How much of racing performance is genetics vs actual training? I'm curious because it seems the top place guys have always done well and the bottom of the pack racers always seem to stay there. Also, I know some slightly over-weight guys who don't even train that hard - show up to a race and place in the top 20 of a regional Cat 4 event (and they're in they're 40's and new to racing).
My observation, not just from this but working with athletes for many years and competing in many sports over the last 25 years, is that when it comes to strength, speed and endurance - people are hard-wired. You can teach a boxer to hit harder, but you can't teach him to hit hard (as my old boxing coach used to say). I believe the same is true with cycling - perhaps even more so. You can increase power and aerobic /anaerobic threshold - refocus your training, buy new equipment - but actual race placement will not vary significantly from year to year.
Thoughts on this?