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Professional Cycling For the Fans Follow the Tour de France,the Giro de Italia, the Spring Classics, or other professional cycling races? Here's your home...

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Old 07-23-08, 11:18 PM   #1
ablang
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Le Tour: How do these guys do it?

These guys are amazing!

I heard somewhere that they are the best 1% of the best 1% in the world. Some people say that these are the best athletes of any sport.

For Le Tour de France, they do 21 stages in 23 days. Each stage averages about 120 miles and takes about 4-4.5 hours to do. They experience pain and go uphill and downhill, ride through strong winds, wet roads, and get injured from falls (broken helmets, skinned knees and/or elbows) or other riders. They get less than 24 hours of rest, and then they have to do it all over again.

Wouldn't their legs or whole body be sore the next day? Are these guys on drugs or something? I really admire their athleticism, but their level is unreal.
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Old 07-23-08, 11:35 PM   #2
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training, good genes.
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Old 07-23-08, 11:46 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ablang View Post
These guys are amazing!

I heard somewhere that they are the best 1% of the best 1% in the world. Some people say that these are the best athletes of any sport.

For Le Tour de France, they do 21 stages in 23 days. Each stage averages about 120 miles and takes about 4-4.5 hours to do. They experience pain and go uphill and downhill, ride through strong winds, wet roads, and get injured from falls (broken helmets, skinned knees and/or elbows) or other riders. They get less than 24 hours of rest, and then they have to do it all over again.

Wouldn't their legs or whole body be sore the next day? Are these guys on drugs or something? I really admire their athleticism, but their level is unreal.
Hey now! What are you insinuating?
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Old 07-24-08, 12:05 AM   #4
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Actually, they're the best 0.395% of the best 2.897% of the best 3.142%.

But otherwise, you're very insightful...
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Old 07-24-08, 01:47 AM   #5
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Best 1% of best 1% is something like 1 in 10,000. I don't think there are that many road cyclists total in the world.

ProTour cyclists are a few hundred out of almost 7 billion. True stars that have a chance of victory in the pro tours are 10 or 20 out of 7 billion. Yeah they are very special athletes.
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Old 07-24-08, 05:49 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by ablang View Post
These guys are amazing!

I heard somewhere that they are the best 1% of the best 1% in the world. Some people say that these are the best athletes of any sport.

Are these guys on drugs or something? I really admire their athleticism, but their level is unreal.

For endurance and recovery rates, I believe they ARE the best athletes in any sport by some distance. It's achieved by a combination of natural ability, unbelievably hard work, superhuman mental toughness and drugs (obviously the proportions of each vary according to the rider).


In terms of explosive speed and power, though, I believe the NFL (Gridiron) probably has the best athletes. Again, though, this is a sport riddled with drugs. Like Pro cycling at the highest level, though, they would still be very impressive athletes without them.
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Old 07-24-08, 07:45 AM   #7
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Drafting. It's not like these guys are going at 100% every mile of every stage. They've trained for this. They know how to manage their energy over a three week race.
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Old 07-24-08, 08:19 AM   #8
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It was once described as the same as running a marathon, every day for three weeks.
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Old 07-24-08, 08:22 AM   #9
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Best 1% of best 1% is something like 1 in 10,000. I don't think there are that many road cyclists total in the world.
You realize there are single rides that have more than 10,000 riders participate?

Currently there are approximately 51,000 USCF licensed riders. The number of amateur racers worldwide would be a significant multiple of that.

And there have to be at least 20 fairly regular road riders who are not licensed for every USCF licensed racer.

So the number of somewhat serious road cyclists worldwide has to be in the millions.
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Old 07-24-08, 08:23 AM   #10
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It was once described as the same as running a marathon, every day for three weeks.
In energy output that's probably a fairly close analogy. The difference is cycling is not wieght bearing, so you r body doesn't take the same beating.
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