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Old 03-09-10, 12:00 PM   #1
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Would you want to be PRO?

I often wonder what it would be like to be in the professional peloton? I am sure it is a dream for most cyclists to be able to ride at the caliber that the pros ride but how many of you would really want to be a professional rider?

There are a lot of perks if you are at the top but many are just workers. They ride their butts off and make little money (in a relative sense). Travel all the time and are away from family a lot. A lot are dealing with injuries at some point or another. The conditions aren't always warm and sunny and the accomodations they stay in are not first class. Their careers are short and many need to find jobs when they retire (unlike the big North American sports stars).

Still, there is something glamourous about training and riding with a team. Travelling in Europe and elsewhere. Being at the top level of competition. And doing what most of us dream to do (ride) when we are at work and they are doing and getting paid for it.

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Old 03-09-10, 02:48 PM   #2
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I know some pros... I'm sure they love their job but I wouldn't want it.
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Old 03-09-10, 04:21 PM   #3
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If the wealth in cycling rivaled the wealth in the sport I currently play, I would want to be a professional cyclist. As it currently stands, what I earn in a week, wouldn't be earned by an average rider in a year, so cycling will only supplement the sport I currently do. Although having said that, my wealth doesn't rival Armstrong's account. BUT, I love cycling more, both as an armchair fan & rider.

The pro's to being a cyclist (for me) would be travelling, seeing new places, new Countries, constant change of scenery, fans lining the road... Something I'm not getting now.
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Old 03-09-10, 04:25 PM   #4
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Travel, cheering crowds, podium girls. What's not to like. From an observers viewpoint, it sure looks exciting. It would even be ok as a domestique for a year or two.. Maybe not for a decade or more, unless it brings you a fortune as it has Lance Armstrong.
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Old 03-09-10, 04:52 PM   #5
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podium girls. What's not to like.
The problem with podium girls is they don't act in the same way as groupies do for Rockstars.

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Old 03-09-10, 06:53 PM   #6
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. ^.. George Hincapie married a French Podium girl. Does that not make her sort of a groupie.
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Old 03-09-10, 11:26 PM   #7
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For 99% of all pros it's a sh*t living. Poor pay, no glorious victories, cheering crowds and beautiful podium girls. It's riding across north Belgium in February - 38 degress, rain blowing sideways - at 28 mph on sh*t roads while praying that your contract will be extended and that you can pay next months rent on the apartment you share with three other pros.

No thanks
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Old 03-10-10, 03:50 AM   #8
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For 99% of all pros it's a sh*t living. Poor pay, no glorious victories, cheering crowds and beautiful podium girls. It's riding across north Belgium in February - 38 degress, rain blowing sideways - at 28 mph on sh*t roads while praying that your contract will be extended and that you can pay next months rent on the apartment you share with three other pros.

No thanks
+1 Life as a European pro isn't glamorous -- maybe down in Spain -- but up here in the Benelux region it is a hard life they lead

But then again ... I'd do it in a heartbeat were I born with different genes and had I lived in Europe in the 70s.
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Old 03-10-10, 05:46 AM   #9
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I'd love to experiance the lifestyle for a couple of years at least.
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Old 03-10-10, 06:28 AM   #10
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For 99% of all pros it's a sh*t living. Poor pay, no glorious victories, cheering crowds and beautiful podium girls. It's riding across north Belgium in February - 38 degress, rain blowing sideways - at 28 mph on sh*t roads while praying that your contract will be extended and that you can pay next months rent on the apartment you share with three other pros.

No thanks
Don't most of the pro races start about March 1 and favor the Mediterranean, at least until Spring arrives in the north..?.. If only I could qualify for a year or so and then go back to our every day lives, it would be worth every inconvenience.
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Old 03-10-10, 06:32 AM   #11
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For 99% of all pros it's a sh*t living. Poor pay, no glorious victories, cheering crowds and beautiful podium girls. It's riding across north Belgium in February - 38 degress, rain blowing sideways - at 28 mph on sh*t roads while praying that your contract will be extended and that you can pay next months rent on the apartment you share with three other pros.

No thanks
That pretty much sums it up. Unless you're an Armstrong or a Contador, the money just doesn't justify the work.

Then again, if you were a pro and someone asked you if you would want your current 9-5 job, what would you say? Does the pay justify the hours put in?
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Old 03-10-10, 06:49 AM   #12
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My favorite read about the life of a pro is Michael Barry's "Inside the Postal Bus." Overall, the consensus , it might not be all glamor , but most days it's fun.
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Old 03-11-10, 04:07 PM   #13
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"The Rider" by Tim Krabbé is also another must read from a first person perspective.
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Old 03-22-10, 12:22 AM   #14
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At 34 and a single dad of two boys I'm too old and busy to even think about it but if I had the chance back in the day then hell yes I'd do it. From what I gather unlike most road cyclist I only make around what a pro cyclist (non star) makes in a year any way so why not? You only have your 20's once.
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Old 03-22-10, 04:03 PM   #15
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The only reservations I would have is, the speeds on the downhill parts of the course. Because I can't see myself wanting to do 40mph+ unless the downhill was largely a straightaway. If there were a bunch of hair-pin turns, I wouldn't go any faster than 20mph.

Because, While Marco Pintani had a drug problem, he was killed on a downhill stretch when he was going too fast AND, not wearing a helmet.
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Old 03-22-10, 04:06 PM   #16
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When I was young, reckless, and single, heck yeah!
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Old 03-22-10, 08:52 PM   #17
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When I was young, reckless, and single, heck yeah!
Young, reckless and single - those would be my pre-qualifiers as well. Of course when I was yound restless and single I didn't have any pre-qualifiers. But that might be the point.
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Old 03-23-10, 08:42 AM   #18
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Because, While Marco Pintani had a drug problem, he was killed on a downhill stretch when he was going too fast AND, not wearing a helmet.
Anybody able to shed light on this?
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Old 03-23-10, 10:43 AM   #19
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Anybody able to shed light on this?
He could be referring to the Milan to Turin race in '95.
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Old 03-23-10, 10:58 AM   #20
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He could be referring to the Milan to Turin race in '95.
Yeah, but even if you make the leap that it was the injuries from that race that led to the depression/drug addiction which caused his death, the injuries were to his leg not his head so I don't understand the reference to not wearing a helmet.
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Old 03-23-10, 01:54 PM   #21
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The only reservations I would have is, the speeds on the downhill parts of the course. Because I can't see myself wanting to do 40mph+ unless the downhill was largely a straightaway. If there were a bunch of hair-pin turns, I wouldn't go any faster than 20mph.

Because, While Marco Pintani had a drug problem, he was killed on a downhill stretch when he was going too fast AND, not wearing a helmet.
I'm not sure who this "Pintani" guy is, but I'm guessing you were actually referring to Fabio Casartelli.
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Old 03-23-10, 02:06 PM   #22
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Because, While Marco Pintani had a drug problem, he was killed on a downhill stretch when he was going too fast AND, not wearing a helmet.
???
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Old 03-23-10, 02:28 PM   #23
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Yeah, but even if you make the leap that it was the injuries from that race that led to the depression/drug addiction which caused his death, the injuries were to his leg not his head so I don't understand the reference to not wearing a helmet.
He could have been wearing the famous bandana?.

His injuries didn't lead to depression. It was the race which doctors discovered his prevalent EPO use, which is known to lead to depression in itself. He needed a blood transfusion or he would have died that day due to his high hematocrit levels.
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Old 03-23-10, 02:33 PM   #24
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He could have been wearing the famous bandana?.

His injuries didn't lead to depression. It was the race which doctors discovered his prevalent EPO use, which is known to lead to depression in itself. He needed a blood transfusion or he would have died that day due to his high hematocrit levels.
That's nice.

Now can you explain how he was killed on a downhill stretch, when your own post seems to imply he survived that crash?
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Old 03-23-10, 03:10 PM   #25
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I'm not sure who this "Pintani" guy is, but I'm guessing you were actually referring to Fabio Casartelli.
That occurred to me too. This is much more egregious than mixing a metaphor.
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