need some advice from pros please?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by mattbond7, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. mattbond7

    mattbond7 New Member

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    hi all,

    I'm new to the forum, but have been cycling road bikes for two years now and racing in time trials for the past year.
    I'm currently training daily, doing a minimum of 20miles per day, at most is generally about 30.
    Im 19 years old, but i really would like to get into cycling professionally, i've won club awards this year, and in my 10 and 25 mile time trials i have shown a lot of improvement in a relatively short space of time.
    I'm worried i'm already too old too be even attempting to consider this as a career,or that pro cycling is a bit pie in the sky, but i was hoping you guys could help?

    thanks

    matt
     
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  2. rotorua

    rotorua New Member

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    no you are not too Old to think about a pro career, but I would say start road racing as well as TTs. You will need to ride longer for road racing though.
     
  3. mattbond7

    mattbond7 New Member

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    Thanks, i am entering an inter university road race next year, and i do intend on riding more road races, whats the best way to get myself recognised?
    is it worth entering hill climbs as well, my build lends me to to them and i came in the top half of a 150 rider field at the only one i have done?
     
  4. bgoetz

    bgoetz Member

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    I am no pro, but still can add my $.02. 19 is certainly not to old to dream of becoming a professional cyclist; however, as with most sports the talent that it takes to become a professional is well beyond what even the best local athletes have, professional cyclists are the best of the best. On top of having the talent you have to have some luck to make it along the hard road of cycling without enduring a career ending injury and have to be in the right place at the right time to come across an opportunity.

    That said if you really have the drive and extreme focus that it takes to attempt to be great, go for it. Late teens/early 20s are the perfect time to pursue such a venture and while it may be a "pipe dream" to think you will be the next Lance, who knows maybe you will come away with an amazing life experience racing on a continental team, or even a team over in Europe.

    We had a guy who spent a year or so in his early 20s racing in Europe, he went over, raced hard with some legends of the sport. In the end he realized that even at his best he could not make the living and future that he desired by staying down the path of cycling and came home and finished college. What a life experience he has to tell his children/grandchildren someday though!!
     
  5. bgoetz

    bgoetz Member

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    If you have potential and are attending enough regional races, at some point you will be noticed by a team and hopefully things will progress from there...
     
  6. mattbond7

    mattbond7 New Member

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    thanks, i was always worried id started too late because it was too expensive to get hold of a road bike from my parents, and i had to wait until my uncle upgraded his old time trial bike, how many miles a day should i be working to then?
     
  7. bgoetz

    bgoetz Member

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    I would try to base your training off of duration and intensity vs. mileage. Take a look at the Cyclists Training Bible, it is a good read and I think will give you a good place to start with regards to setting up a structured form of training...
     
  8. mattbond7

    mattbond7 New Member

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    Is that a book or online thing?
     
  9. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    I would advise against becoming a pro if you are getting into it for the money. If you love the sport and have some talent, the time and a lot of dedication then why not give it a shot.
     
  10. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

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    I don't think you will get any advise for a professional here.

    Since you are in a club, I would suggest you asking them if you are good enough to become a professional.

    But based on your middle of the pack performances and your lack of mileage, you lack something important to becoming professional.
     
  11. mattbond7

    mattbond7 New Member

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    its the first sport i've always wanted to be out training in, im certainly not going for the money, as for results, i only started racing at the beginning of the year, and time trials have improved so much since i started, my club have been encouraging and are very hopeful for me but i wanted unbiased opinions thats all
     
  12. bgoetz

    bgoetz Member

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    Yeah, because Lance came out of the gate knocking out daily 100 mile training rides and winning races. I am really not sure what delusions you have of the cycling abilities that you have or think you had to make stupid comments like this.........
     
  13. mattbond7

    mattbond7 New Member

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    sorry im confused am i being the naive one or are you telling off the other guy?
     
  14. bgoetz

    bgoetz Member

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    I talking with "Old Guy", it is always Old Guy.........

    And the Cyclist's Training Bible is a book, a really good book for getting an idea of what structured training should look like..
     
  15. mattbond7

    mattbond7 New Member

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    oh, thanks for fighting my corner then i suppose :) had a crash today as it happens, just a little bit of road rash nothing too serious lol
     
  16. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

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    Why do you think your world revolves around me?

    mattbond7 asked for opinions. I gave mine. In 12 years we should know if my opinion was right.

    You asked about a career in professional cycling. And now you are not going in it for the money. Perhaps you don't understand what a professional is.

    Professionals train because their jobs require it. Liking the training helps. But there is training and training like a professional. Professional races are 5 hours long. For that you need to enjoy riding for 5 hours. Not at your pace. Not on your schedule. At the pace of the guy who has things to do; places to be after the race.

    On the bike at dawn. 100 degree heat or 35 degree cold. 2-3 days a week 5-6 hours at race effort. Plus a couple shorter hard days. Week after week. I don't think it is possible to like that enough.

    ---

    You are in a club. Someone must have some power measuring equipment. They should have offered the use of it to you. You need 400w for an hour. What numbers do your club members have? What numbers do you have?

    You were in time trials. What were your times? Both past and present so we can see how you have improved. And get some idea of how strong you are.

    Do you do weekly hard rides with the club? How much work do you attempt to do? To get some idea of how dedicated to getting better you are.
     
  17. Alex Simmons

    Alex Simmons Member

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    Matt

    See if you can have a chat with a local coach for some advice to start with.

    There are a lot of things one has to do in order to ride Professionally. Given your late start, you have a lot of catching up to do, not just with physical development but with race experience and good planning and network.

    Your training loads are very light for your age (relative to world class riders of similar age) but one can't just ramp up to such training overnight, it takes a few seasons to get there. Going Pro also needs a long term plan about working toward getting on a lower level race team/squad to start with, then perhaps progress to a development squad. That not only takes consistent hard work, talent and stand out performances, but a strong network of people to help you get there, as well as meeting the people that have influence in selecting new talent. Politics and networking are part of the game.

    I strongly suggest you also plan to include other forms of personal development for your own good/future - additional schooling or a trade for instance. Very few actually make a decent living riding bikes. You may well be the best of the best to come through, but have something else as well you really enjoy to fall back on.

    If you have sponsors that can support you with some financial assistance, then the best investment early on will be to work with a good coach as they will short cut the learning and development cycle for you. Start winning races and more people will take notice.

    Good luck
     
  18. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    Matt, the first step to becoming a pro is to become a really good amateur.

    Cycling is a team sport. You'll get better advice from the people you ride and train with than from anyone on this forum. They know you and they are involved with racing and development. Ask the coaches or more experienced riders you trust what your next step is and and what you need to do to get there.
     
  19. scartissue22

    scartissue22 New Member

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    I am also 19 years old and about a year ago before I was training to the level I am wanted to become a proffesional.
    Like all the other posts before me say, it requires an undying ammount of commitment and MENTAL TOUGHNESS.
    I was banging out over 350 miles a week in little under 3 months of me starting the bike, and the first thing I found out
    is that it is very mentally straining, to become a proffesional you almost have to be brain dead to do what is required.

    Now I'm not trying to put you off but trying to enlighten you to the fact of how great and how commited the proffesionals really are.
    They are pretty much like gods compared to the average/good rider you meet every other day.

    If you want to give it a shot for real, don't fool yourself into thinking you can become lance, you need to give the cat1/elite level a go first, and if you excel where the elites dont, you WILL be noticed and you will likely get a shot at being a pro.
    The best chance you have of doing this, is going to europe, places like france and belgium are where its at.

    I wish you good luck, and another thing is, get a Coach, they will whip your ass into gear.

    Regards.
     
  20. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

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    I hate to burst people's bubbles but ...

    Currently a lot of ex-professionals are riding as Cat1 in the US. Their jobs as professionals simply went away. When the top US professionals get to Europe they are at the bottom of the professional ranks.
     
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