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Old 03-30-09, 02:58 PM   #1
pungee
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How Long?

How long do you think it takes in cycling to find out what your potential is for the sport?

If you suck at yr 2 of serious training are you destined for eternal suckage? Is there any hope down the road?
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Old 03-30-09, 03:21 PM   #2
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If you are talking about making it to the pro level, you should have already gone through the ranks to at least a USA cat2. If that has been difficult to achieve over two years, fuggitabowtit.

Can you ride 120k (75 miles) on your normal road machine in 3 hours? Then you might have a chance. That was always the old-school mark of ability.
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Old 03-30-09, 03:21 PM   #3
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I've been training only one year. So I'm still safe

I started from such a schlub though...might take 5 years for me!

Seriously...no clue
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Old 03-30-09, 03:32 PM   #4
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If you're wondering if you should go pro, you should know in the first year.

That's not to say that years of hard work won't pay off. But that's more determined by work ethic and desire than raw talent.

I've know a lot of talented riders who have squandered it, and I know some average riders who have worked harder than the next person to earn a living as a pro.
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Old 03-30-09, 03:33 PM   #5
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Didn't we just do this thread a week ago?
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Old 03-30-09, 03:34 PM   #6
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5 years
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Old 03-30-09, 03:34 PM   #7
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How quickly can the human body change?
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Old 03-30-09, 06:07 PM   #8
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If you are talking about making it to the pro level, you should have already gone through the ranks to at least a USA cat2. If that has been difficult to achieve over two years, fuggitabowtit.

Can you ride 120k (75 miles) on your normal road machine in 3 hours? Then you might have a chance. That was always the old-school mark of ability.
No I am not talking about turning pro. More of just wondering when you lie in the cycling world.

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If you're wondering if you should go pro, you should know in the first year.
Do you thinks this applies to knowing if you are going to be a pack fodder in the 4's or guy who sees the podium in the 3's.

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Didn't we just do this thread a week ago?
Oops. I had a respectable guy tell me that it may take 3 yrs to see what you have in the world of cycling and I wanted others opinions.
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Old 03-30-09, 06:19 PM   #9
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Oops. I had a respectable guy tell me that it may take 3 yrs to see what you have in the world of cycling and I wanted others opinions.

That is basically Friel's opinion as well. I have known some guys who really blossomed in years 3 and 4 when they can do a lot bigger load of training.
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Old 03-30-09, 07:17 PM   #10
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In my experience if you're not crushing it in the 4s in a year or two its unlikely you will ever see the podium in a 3s race. You may become a competent 3, but the podium, me thinks not. Guys on the podium of 3s races are really 2s just waiting to gather enough points to become a 2, and you'll know pretty quickly if you've got that kind of engine.

Does that mean you can't enjoy this sport? Hell no! I sucked when I started almost 20 years ago (and still suck btw). I won my first 4s race four years after getting my arse handed to me in my first two years of racing. I eventually upgraded to the 3s and got my head handed to me in the Masters 1-2-3 races. I left the sport for 6 years and returned three years ago as a 4.

Today I race 45+ or 50+ events, and sometimes M 35 4/5 or 45 4/5 races. When I line up for an "open" Master race I'm trying to go top 10, and if I really have a great day, top 6. I know that the guys with district jerseys and stars and stripes on their sleeves are going to walk away with the podium placings, but a "victory" for me is hanging in there and being competitive. When I do Masters 4/5 races then I have a chance at a podium spot, and that's pretty cool.

So even if you don't have "it", this sport can be a blast. So I wouldn't sweat it if you "suck" (your words) right now. Keep training hard and smart, adjust your goals, and enjoy.
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Old 03-30-09, 07:21 PM   #11
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I got better every year up till 6 years. For me though I think I mostly started getting my first wins because I figured out how to race more then developed fitness.
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Old 03-30-09, 10:29 PM   #12
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I have a hard time believing that anyone can't become a pro cyclist. Anyone can be a top regional level rider just by hard work. If you don't like hard work and want to become a pro cyclist then that's a different story. But for those that want it it's not only not impossible but a reasonable goal given the amount of time spent riding (5 years). Nowadays, even if you're good enough to ride at that level you may not find a team because few teams have the resources to invest in you.
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Old 03-30-09, 10:39 PM   #13
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I have a hard time believing that anyone can't become a pro cyclist. Anyone can be a top regional level rider just by hard work. If you don't like hard work and want to become a pro cyclist then that's a different story. But for those that want it it's not only not impossible but a reasonable goal given the amount of time spent riding (5 years). Nowadays, even if you're good enough to ride at that level you may not find a team because few teams have the resources to invest in you.
Are we really going to start up that again? Do you realize how inclusive anyone is?
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Old 03-30-09, 10:42 PM   #14
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Are we really going to start up that again? Do you realize how inclusive anyone is?
Truth...
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Old 03-30-09, 11:43 PM   #15
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Can you ride 120k (75 miles) on your normal road machine in 3 hours? Then you might have a chance. That was always the old-school mark of ability.
are you talking about 75m in 3h on any given road by yourself??? don't pros average that with the whole peloton working together?

i have wondered though...with solo breakaways...like with mancebo this year, i guess he must have been doing 25mph average by himself right, in order to stay in front of the rest of the pack? does anyone have the numbers on him from that day?
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Old 03-31-09, 12:57 AM   #16
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I got better every year up till 6 years. For me though I think I mostly started getting my first wins because I figured out how to race more then developed fitness.
I have seen some older guys winning cat 1/2 races, and it was pretty obvious that it wasn't the watts/kg. They were just racing smarter and had a good sprint. I guess if you are really top class you can motor your way to a win without understanding the race at all. But that doesn't seem very likely.
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Old 03-31-09, 02:36 AM   #17
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Are we really going to start up that again? Do you realize how inclusive anyone is?
fair enough. Let's exclude all physically handicapped and mentally disabled people. Happy?
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Old 03-31-09, 05:30 AM   #18
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are you talking about 75m in 3h on any given road by yourself??? don't pros average that with the whole peloton working together?

Pros together can go wayyyy faster.
That's why a neo-pro should have this basic ability to ride 120k in 3hrs by themself.
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Old 03-31-09, 05:51 AM   #19
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How long do you think it takes in cycling to find out what your potential is for the sport?

If you suck at yr 2 of serious training are you destined for eternal suckage? Is there any hope down the road?
The beauty of this sport is the peter principle is in full play. Once you stop sucking on one level, and get bumped up, you get to suck again.
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Old 03-31-09, 12:12 PM   #20
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are you talking about 75m in 3h on any given road by yourself??? don't pros average that with the whole peloton working together?

i have wondered though...with solo breakaways...like with mancebo this year, i guess he must have been doing 25mph average by himself right, in order to stay in front of the rest of the pack? does anyone have the numbers on him from that day?
Mancebo averaged nearly 26mi/hr with some nice hills thrown in and it was raining. Pelotons dont necessarily work together. In fact rarely to never does a peloton work together.
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Old 03-31-09, 12:37 PM   #21
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Either I'm way below average (I may be, for real) but there is no way that I could have raced with the pros at my best. No frickin way. With an aero and weight advantage (I ran aero wheels before most folks thought they were safe for mass start races, and I ran some of the lightest and stiffest wheels/pedals out there), I couldn't beat good Cat 3s. I had a hard time going 21 mph on a solo ride, but I could easily hit 42-46 mph in sprints (headwind to tailwind speeds).

I've never won a Cat 3 summer race, a proper race with a good field.

A good friend of mine, who never made it beyond staglaire (sp?), which is sort of like a "trial pro", for usually a month or two in the fall or spring, would regularly avg 24-25 mph for 2-4 hours. When he was a little pip-squeak starting in high school he could out TT, climb, and ride me. He only got better. To give some relevance to his riding ability, one of his Junior National training camp mates was one Christian Vandevelde. My friend did about 7-8 years in Europe, returning for Philly, but never quite made it. He's a phenomenally strong cyclist, still very strong after not riding for a year and gaining 40 lbs.

Talent is talent. On sneakers you should be able to go 21-22 mph in a 10 mile TT. With a normal bike and a normal kit, you should be doing 25 mph regularly for an hour at a time.

If you're any less than that, forget it. Get a good day job.

I figure it takes about 9 months of racing to get an idea of where you'll be (in 3 months you'll have a good idea, but good riders just keep improving). 3 seasons to get to maybe 90% of your ability.

cdr
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Old 03-31-09, 12:42 PM   #22
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fair enough. Let's exclude all physically handicapped and mentally disabled people. Happy?
No. See the other thread, no need to repeat my arguments.
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Old 03-31-09, 01:21 PM   #23
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Talent is talent. On sneakers you should be able to go 21-22 mph in a 10 mile TT. With a normal bike and a normal kit, you should be doing 25 mph regularly for an hour at a time.

If you're any less than that, forget it. Get a good day job.
Rocking the day job.
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Old 03-31-09, 03:02 PM   #24
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Pros together can go wayyyy faster.
That's why a neo-pro should have this basic ability to ride 120k in 3hrs by themself.
i guess, i dont know why i thought that was so insane...im so used to seeing my average which includes stop signs, lights, and occasional obstacles that a pro would not necessarily have to deal with. i can hit 25 avg on fiesta island ( no lights, rarely cars) and tried for a 30 avg to beat the island TT record...but thats a different story.
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Old 03-31-09, 03:21 PM   #25
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I'm way stronger in my second year of racing than my first. I like the way that friel suggests making measureable goals for yourself. We're not going to be pro. F-it. so what.

What I love about this sport is that when I suck, I can fix it to a certain degree--or become measurably better. I/We know what we must do, doing it is the hard part. How that "measurably better" stacks up against other racers is a different story.

Sure we all work hard, anyone who can finish a race works hard to do that. Are you working hard enough?--is the real question. The answer for most of us: not really. Have you exhausted all your training options? prob not. So, destiny is in your hands.
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