Why can't someone like Robbie McEwen climb?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by jojoma, Dec 17, 2007.

  1. thunder

    thunder New Member

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    yep, they specialise and carve out a niche.

    Mcewen strikes me as very similar to Oscar Freire. If MCewen went harder on the medical program, and changed his training, I think he would be a good classics rider like Freire. NOT over cobbles though, more the circuits that OF excells on. See: Allan Davis.
     


  2. Roadie_scum

    Roadie_scum New Member

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    :rolleyes:

    First up:

    1. Be able to finish 250-300km race or multi-day tour, sometimes with climbs and crosswinds.

    2. Win sprint

    Not all about Anaerobic Capacity and NMP.

    Second: Anaerobic Capacity starts to be a pretty small part of the puzzle at 5 minutes.

    Mr McEwen may have slightly higher NMP and AWC than his (climbing specialist) peers, but the reason he can do what he does and my mates who do <12s flying 200's on outdoor 330m tracks and win club crits can't is that he has a substantially higher VO2max and FTP.

    Oh yeah, and he loves to win, is aggressive, and an unforgiving personality. He has the angries. That helps sometimes.
     
  3. doctorSpoc

    doctorSpoc New Member

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    i thought it would be pretty obvious i'm speaking in RELATIVE terms... of course Robbie has incredible aerobic abilities.

    but, 1st up... :rolleyes: unfortunately for Robbie h'e not climbing and TTing against you and and your mates, he's climbing against the likes of the Contadors and Solers of this world ant TTing against guys like Cancellara and Evans and compared to those guys he's crap! and even if he slimed down, the best he could hope for is to be mediocre at climbing against HIS peers. that's why he sticks to what he was born to do and why climbing specialist stick to what they can do... on the highest level your genetics dictate how you race.

    second up... if the in hills in a race are long and in any way decisive Robbie doesn't have a snowballs chance in hell of being competative RELATIVE to HIS peers.. in crosswinds (on flats) he does have a snowballs chance in hell if he hides well...


    third up... Robbie might have slightly higher than average AnCap and NMP than his peers... but this is what is decisive for him... this is what makes him successful at what he does.. he has ok aerobic abilities (relative again) that allows him to be in the game.. but this is not what makes Robbie, Robbie... i'll say it again in RELATIVE terms Robbie is all about AnCap and NMP... anyone that cometes at that level has to have good aerobic abilies, but his aerobic abilities are in no way shape or form exceptional when compared to HIS peers.
     
  4. john979

    john979 New Member

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    This is a big if and while it is possible to increase muscle mass, increasing cardiovascular capability to match would not be possible.
     
  5. doctorSpoc

    doctorSpoc New Member

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    oops.. missed one... a person with good AnCap can make AnCap a big part of the puzzle over 5min... i have pretty run of the mill FTP but i can hold my own and kick ass over 5min... actually up to 10min i can use superior AnCap to pretty much hold my own... basically it tops up my lacking FTP over intervals of those lengths... this is why you see sprinters going toe to toe with the traditional TTers in prologues.
     
  6. italiano

    italiano New Member

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    I'm not sure, John, how my unlikely hypothetical about Bettini could be taken out of context and misunderstood after so much explanation that followed.:)

    Paolo and Robbie are highly specialized and are good at what they were destined to do. Neither will benefit from trying to change to much their natural phisique.Neither did. IOW, Robbie did not strive to become a climber and Paolo did not waste his time becomeing a chrono expert.
     
  7. Frigo's Luggage

    Frigo's Luggage New Member

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    I doubt any club rider could take McEwen in a flying 200 m. Maybe a very small handful of Cat 1 track guys. Nobody else. Pros are so much better than the rest of us that it is not even a fair comparison.

    He is not loaded with fast twitch muscles like Carl Lewis or other track and field sprinters. But this guy has a ton of fast twitch muscles and trains them to be even faster. He is not training to climb. Hell, he chooses to live in Belgium...not the Alps or Italy.
     
  8. Roadie_scum

    Roadie_scum New Member

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    I was waiting for someone to bite on that... I've seen them do it. QED. :p
     
  9. Crankyfeet

    Crankyfeet New Member

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    +1. Wasn't McEwen a track sprinter prior to concentrating on road racing? He is not a slow twitch muscle fibre guy. You don't need a heap of slow twitch fibres to stay with the pro peloton on a flat stage IMO. You do need to be a good athlete/cyclist of course.

    He's not anywhere near AT during the first 97% of the race. Even he admits he is a fast twitch guy and has always been a sprinter all through his life.

    If there were a heap of guys out there who could beat him in a 200m track sprint, then most of them would beat him in a flat road race, with the help of a team and a 190 member peloton, and a modicum of endurance training IMHO.
     
  10. Roadie_scum

    Roadie_scum New Member

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    You patently do not have the first clue what you are talking about.
     
  11. Roadie_scum

    Roadie_scum New Member

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    EG:

    Aces Scratch Race - 16 Laps

    1 Adrian Hanson (Coburg CC)
    2 Robbie McEwen (Qld)
    3 Stephen Rossendal (Tas)
    4 Kial Stewart (ACT)

    Yet Adrian couldn't finish a road race in the protour if his life depended on it. And he is a very good, serious athlete who trains hard (and I have a lot of respect for).

    Note - Club and State Level Riders at our State Champs:

    ELITE MEN - QUALIFYING ( 200mt )
    20 Kial STEWART ACT 1st 10.676
    3 Adrian HANSON CBG 2nd 11.309
    7 Eddie WILSON BWK 3rd 11.684
    13 Tim RALTON BGO 4th 11.784
    14 Michael MAINE TAS 5th 11.799
    18 Peter WALKER CAR 6th 11.840
    15 Luke PRETLOVE ART 7th 13.137


    MEN UNDER 19 - QUALIFYING ( 200mt )
    57 Trevor GRIFFITHS SHP 1st 11.308
    60 Scott SITTAMPALAM BBN 2nd 11.314
    59 Ben SANDERS CAR 3rd 11.343
    56 Anthony RIX BGO 4th 11.449
    54 Toby DITE HAW 5th 11.530
    62 Jake KING CAR 6th 11.648
    66 Oliver PHILLIPS BWK 7th 11.845
    71 Lachie WORN BGO 8th 11.875
    64 Lachlan RITCHIE BGO 9th 11.964
    65 Cory ROBINSON WNG 10th 12.054
    69 Jeremy KELLY HOR 11th 13.123
    72 Cameron SHEEDY CAR dns

    Would Robbie go under 11 for a 200? It's possible but I doubt it. That puts him in the same company as these quality club riders when it comes to a flying 200 (and some under 19's). Yet he is one of the best riders in the world in his discipline. The point? You are misunderstanding the nature and requirements of the discipline.
     
  12. 531Aussie

    531Aussie Well-Known Member

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    ^ Jeez, John Kennedy was doing 10.9s at training for the World Masters. Maybe he should be racing against the 19-yr-olds :p
     
  13. Piotr

    Piotr New Member

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  14. LachWorn

    LachWorn New Member

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    I was actually in the u/19's for this event and highly doubt any of us could've beat McEwan in a track sprint.
     
  15. doctorSpoc

    doctorSpoc New Member

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    but there is a big.. no, HUGE difference between sustainable power (which compared to other Euro pros is likely mediocre) vs maximal power - 5min power (which is obviously very, very high compared to other pros and is a completely other energy system to the one required for sustainable power).. plus the fact that.. 150lbs at 5'8", believe it or not is very heavy for a climber.. he'd need to get down to 130-125 area. and in terms of W/kg numbers that much weight diff is enough make the difference between being a tour winner vs a state champ winner given enough power to start with and maintained at the lower weight..

    so a he'd need to produce enough sustainable power in the first place.. which he can't or we'd see him winning flat time trials left and right, and doing solo breakaways all the time which we don't, so we know for his size he has a pretty mediocre FTP (compared to other euro pros... to you and me and most domestic pros he's kick our asses all over town).. and he'd then on top of having the FTP (which he obviously doesn't) he'd need to lose about 20lbs to be able to utilize that power effectively to climb on a ProTour/grand tour/ardennes classic winner level..

    Robbie doesn't have the genetics, the size or the inclination to be a climber.. he's a sprinter.. that's what his genetics have given him and that's the best thing he has in his arsenal to win races... and they might not win grand tour GCs, but sprinters win more races than anyone in the peloton... he will likely be good and sub 1km hill but any hill over about 1km he'll struggle on because of his genetics and his weight... which believe or not is pretty big to be able to climb longer climbs..
     
  16. teetopkram

    teetopkram New Member

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    There's truth to this. The one mountain-top stage finish I got to see in person (Axe-3-Domaines in 2005), the lagging groups (multiple ones) containing the sprinters were going laughably slow...they were all talking within the group and joking with the fans running beside them. Of course this was after 100+ km and the Peyresourde, but still it was obvious they were taking it quite easy. Their only concern is making it within the time limit.
     
  17. doctorSpoc

    doctorSpoc New Member

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    sure sprinters are taking it as easy as they can on the climbs.. they do this on TTs as well... that doesn't mean if they actually tried they'd be up there with front group, 2nd group or thrird group in the high mountains i likely means they'd only lose 25-30mins or so instead of 45mins-1hr on those stages. in a stage race people go for the wins they are capable of being competitive in.. you don't see Alberto Contador up there at the end of stage throwing elbows with the sprinters either to get 10th or 15th place do you.. people do what makes sense. and it makes no sense for sprinters to even try on a mountain stage because no matter what they do they are going to get there asses handed to them. they can obviously climb ok look at Thor this year when he wanted to cement his lead in the green jersey and get a bunch of intermediate sprints.. he made it over a bunch of big mountains first.. but only because the real favourites were not even trying at that point and the rolled over him just as a matter of course when they actually started racing...
     
  18. teetopkram

    teetopkram New Member

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    I agree wholeheartedly...we're saying the same thing...never said they could climb with the climbers, but they could climb faster if they wanted. I happened to be in Barcelona this year to see the stage finish, and I couldn't believe Thor made it up that final nasty pitch to win the sprint.
     
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