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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 07-07-12, 10:22 AM   #1
Mrs.Hill-Pumper
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Le Tour De France!

One word, "OUCH!"
Those guys are amazing!
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Old 07-07-12, 11:01 AM   #2
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I don't see how anyone can ride like that without pharmicutical assistance.
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Old 07-07-12, 11:06 AM   #3
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I don't see how anyone can ride like that without pharmicutical assistance.
Careful -arguments about doping tend to get threads locked pretty fast.

As a matter of interest, the times for the big climbs in the Grand Tours have got slower again in recent years, which may be evidence that the testing regimes are starting to reduce the use of performance - enhancing drugs. The big favourites are also tending to have more bad days than they did in the 1990s and early 2000s, too, which lends some support to that theory.

And, of course, we ordinary mortals tend to underestimate just how prodigious a gifted and committed athlete can get after ten years or so of training.
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Old 07-07-12, 12:39 PM   #4
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These people do this as a full time job. It is work not a hobby. They are expected to preform.

I love watching it!
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Old 07-08-12, 06:37 PM   #5
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As a recent new rider, I am humbled by them.
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Old 07-08-12, 08:01 PM   #6
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After being a pretty bad crash - I had someone come up to me at a race and asked what it felt like.. I told them "well imagine being in the back of a pickup truck going 40mph with micro thin clothing on and then just jump out" That is how it feels.
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Old 07-08-12, 08:03 PM   #7
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As a recent new rider, I am humbled by them.
+1

Absolutely amazing!!
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Old 07-08-12, 10:21 PM   #8
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i race comes to mind when you think of how hard this sport is.. 1985 Paris Roubaix.. 172 started - 35 finished.. Rain - Hail - sleet - snow temps in the 20's and these guys are still in short sleeves. Can you say hard as nails.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvAdfqo43s0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wm3-g7uWQ4Y
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Old 07-09-12, 05:15 AM   #9
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I read a book about the history of the tour, wooden rims, single gears, racing through the night carrying all your spares, getting attacked by friends of rivals. The organiser's ideal race would be where only one person made it back to Paris and they would be crowned champion. Quite an amazing feat back in 1903. No wonder most of them cheated in 1904 and got on the train.
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Old 07-09-12, 05:24 AM   #10
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If you want to admire a real tough TdF competitor from way back, you could do worse than Eugene Christophe.

Actually, his experience on the Tourmalet wasn't his toughest. In 1910 he won Milan-San Remo. Out of 71 starters only three finished. He could have died of exposure.
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Old 07-09-12, 09:25 AM   #11
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I agree it is amazing to watch and I take my hat off to the riders, they are incredible athletes. I'm actually in the south of France right now and the tour comes near me on July 14th which is Bastille day!! I will ride my bike to a spot on the route and cheer like heck when they come by!!
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Old 07-09-12, 10:02 AM   #12
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I recently competed in a Triathlon with both a Pro and Elite divisions. I'm out there doing 19 MPH and proud of myself as I've ever been. It was a dual distance event on a multi lap course, so I was getting passed by the Pros/Elites twice. When they blow by at north of 28 MPH it's stunning and seems impossible. I've got so much respect for these folks.

Oh, gives a whole new meaning to "Left".
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Old 07-09-12, 10:20 AM   #13
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When I was at my fittest, back in my 20s, I was still a bit of a Clyde. I tried my hand at citizen's class racing with mixed success. It was all I could to do to manage the tiniest fraction over 20 mph in a 10 mile TT. I was blown away by the abilities of our shop's team racers, who regularly turned in averages of 25-28 for those races. There was no way in the world I was going to be able to keep up with them under any circumstances. They amazed me. Then I saw my first national-caliber amateurs who were an order of magnitude better than our club guys and I was astonished. Then I got to see some US-based trade team pros, who were in turn an order of magnitude better than the amateurs. And only a handful of them were good/fast enough to race in Europe. The guys in the pro peloton, even those who finish way back, are incredible athletes.
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Old 07-09-12, 10:27 AM   #14
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Careful -arguments about doping tend to get threads locked pretty fast.
Or they get moved to the Professional Cycling forum.

If this thread is a TdF race discussion, we have existing threads in Pro and the Road forum for that. If it is going to be a discussion that stays Clyde/Athena related, it can stay open.
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