November 26, 2014 Login  


Riding in the pro peleton
Last Post 04/01/2014 04:16 PM by jacques anquetil. 40 Replies.
Printer Friendly
Sort:
PrevPrev NextNext
You are not authorized to post a reply.
Page 2 of 3 << < 123 > >>
Author Messages
79pmooney

Posts:1190

--
03/30/2014 01:41 PM
I did OK as a 3. Not much on the flats except one or two well timed moves late in races. In the hills, I could ride with much higher level riders, 1s and 2s (back before pro racing even existed here). I could have qualified and raced as a solid 2/marginal 1 IF there were Cat 2 multi-week stage races, especially with mountains. I probably would have had a good shot at spotted jerseys and maybe a top 5 finish if the race were long and hard enough.

But those races don't exist. I got to marginal 2 and never would have gone farther. I don't remember my long capacity, but remember clearly (and with a lot of shame) it being the smallest in my junior high class. And years later, I remember Raleigh rider John Gromek telling me on the Olympic development race in Harvard, MA telling me to drop back and go easy on the long climb so I wouldn't blow up. I didn't; I knew full well that when my lungs max out, you could hear my breathing from a mile away, but that my body was doing fine.

I started racing at 23. If started at 12 I could have been better, but not radically better and never Elite/national 1/Pro level. Not with the body I was issued.

Ben
79pmooney

Posts:1190

--
03/30/2014 02:05 PM
Just remembered a funny episode from my last season/post accident year. The district rep had allowed me to become a Cat 2 so I could ride the 1/2 Mt Washington race to close my last season. (She knew well of my accident. She was at the annual dinner of my club, NEBC, while I was in a coma 8 miles away. She knew I was a couple of places away from moving up and would make it easily if not for the accident and that I had riding/pack skills.)

So I moved up in July and started racing every race I could to get my speed up. At a local 1/2 crit, I got dropped pretty quickly. Chased, knowing full well I would get pulled in a few lap, but the work was good. Behind us, the women's race was running. Clubmate Lynn Lemaire, current national TT champ/record holder, had broken free and was on course to a long solo victory. She caught me. I took her wheel and held on until we got lapped, I was pulled and she continued on to the top spot.

So here I am. Glued to a woman's wheel, getting my speed work in prep for my big race in 2 months! In front of a healthy crowd! And of course, I could not lead! A) she was leading a separate race and B) I wasn't strong enough! The District rep was at that race and many of the other races I rode that season. She saw where I came from, a small shadow of the rider of a year before. And she was my biggest fan! Thank you, Grace Jones!

Ben
stronz

Posts:313

--
03/30/2014 05:45 PM
all interesting but missing the point. The question is NOT how did you all do when you tried to hang with the pros or riders that were faster than you. We all have lives that dictate we cannot be doing this properly 100% of the time as we might like. The question is could you take just about any good athlete and devoted them 100% to getting in the miles, nutrition, intervals, equipment and recovery that modern thinking dictates produces the best results and come out with a rider capable of hanging in the pro peleton.

Lets say we start with a 100 good athletes of 16 years old. Lean and fit and mentally committed. Spend five years of high miles and propper training. Theyre not doing anything else. This is their job. How many 21 year old pro level riders do we wind up with? I think over 50%. Maybe even 75
Ride On

Posts:452

--
03/30/2014 05:56 PM
Anquetil , you nailed it. The avg is low but when they went his watts went off the chart.
steelbikerider

Posts:44

--
03/30/2014 06:29 PM
I think you would be lucky to get 10%. Lack of desire, burn out, changing interests, injuries would all be factors. Look up numbers from the Soviet- bloc countries in the 60's thru the 80's and you would get a good answer.
longslowdistance

Posts:724

--
03/30/2014 10:00 PM
Stronz I say likely less than 0.1%.
Pretty much all pro tour cyclists are freaks of nature. Top rouleurs like Poli would kill most riders on climbs. It's only against the truly top tier they get dropped.

Master50

Posts:246

--
03/30/2014 11:25 PM
Every rider I have known that made it in pro cycling was outstanding from the first time we ever saw them race. The very first race and the fastest pace is manageable for them
Keith Richards

Posts:755

--
03/31/2014 09:26 AM
An elite level athlete is an elite level athlete. They are hard to come by.

My only point is that an average good athlete can get to decently high level if they start early enough with this sport.
----- It is his word versus ours. We like our word. We like where we stand and we like our credibility."--Lance Armstrong.
Master50

Posts:246

--
03/31/2014 10:07 AM
Posted By Keith Jackson on 03/31/2014 09:26 AM
An elite level athlete is an elite level athlete. They are hard to come by.

My only point is that an average good athlete can get to decently high level if they start early enough with this sport.


I would agree that an early start is essential for athletic development. I really think that had I taken to bike racing as a teen that I would have been a better cyclist as an adult. That said as a teen cycling was one of the few physical activities I enjoyed but not as a sport, as transportation. Training is essential to reaching what ever potential we have but there are definitely a rare bunch that start higher than most can reach. These are likely the pool of athletes the Pros swim out of.
stronz

Posts:313

--
03/31/2014 10:07 AM
very interesting to me. So the consesnus is that it is mostly natural talent. I would certainly agree for the top 20% or so of the pros. But I'm skeptical for all the rest. I think an average pro is made. Not born.
79pmooney

Posts:1190

--
03/31/2014 12:06 PM
Stronz, I think it is both. Becoming pro is only possible for the top say 5% of the gene pool. Then it is years of some of the hardest work in sports. Occasionally a 0.01% comes along who can easliy ride and win the early races and even go pro without too much effort. Those 0.01%ers that so the work are the Lemonds, the Merckxs. etc. (They might actually be more like 0.0001%)

Ben
jrt1045

Posts:362

--
03/31/2014 12:15 PM
you can train your way to a 2 - given time, resources and a bit of drive. from there its all about genetics.

My only regret is that I didn't sandbag the 3's until I got tired of feeling successful went from a 4 to a 2 in about 3 seasons and some change. Never amounted to much after that, after a season or 2 I realized it was a kinda a waste of time with a few good days scattered here and there. The crits are doable at the Pro 1/2 level but its the road races and circuit races with a little something wrinkled in where you notice that the good genes make a difference. Handful are racing, the rest are pack filler, should polish up their resumes and stop being delusional enough to fly out to redlands. Like one of the other posters, for me it was Superweek back in the day, too - only I was getting drug around alpine valley at like a zillion miles an hour, then the real racing started.

From what I've noticed over the years, a real pro looks like a pro from the moment he ever decided to first swing a leg over the top tube. Even most of those guys don't really make it either. Its a tough sport at the sharp end of the grid
Orange Crush

Posts:1234

--
03/31/2014 12:57 PM
Posted By Keith Jackson on 03/31/2014 09:26 AM
An elite level athlete is an elite level athlete. They are hard to come by.

My only point is that an average good athlete can get to decently high level if they start early enough with this sport.


As the local T&F and soccer coaches say, if you can teach your kids to do it properly before age 13 (give or take), then they can operate an order of magnitude above those that start later in life. It is those kids that show early motivation that make it. Is Marianne Vos genetics or is it the fact that from a young age she was super-keen to beat her older brother that gave her that competitiveness that brought her to where she is?
longslowdistance

Posts:724

--
03/31/2014 03:54 PM
For skill sports like soccer starting young is essential.
While of course there is some skill to cycling, it's mostly about horsepower. Merckx started racing when he was 16, which is still fine today.
I still think only a tiny minority of the population would ever have a shot at a pro tour contract. Choose your parents carefully!
Keith Richards

Posts:755

--
03/31/2014 04:56 PM
I would never go up to cat 2 unless they made me, to be honest.

As I tell all my friends when they get to cat 2, "no more easy days for you!"

For the average recreational racer, cat 3/masters racing in your age group is plenty of entertainment without too much sacrifice.
----- It is his word versus ours. We like our word. We like where we stand and we like our credibility."--Lance Armstrong.
You are not authorized to post a reply.
Page 2 of 3 << < 123 > >>


Active Forums 4.1

Latest Forum Posts
Mavic jerseys. Who knew? posted in The Coffee Shop


Chris Horner gets a ride for 2015 posted in Professional Racing

TJ Giro or Tour 2015 posted in Professional Racing

A good read posted in The Coffee Shop


Tour de Basement posted in Road Cycling

No articles match criteria.
  Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy  Copyright 2008-2013 by VeloNation LLC