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Old 03-01-14, 01:40 AM   #26
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More of the same, this one analyzing the decline in speeds for the different components of triathlons, showing that cycling speed decreases at a later age and more gradually with than running or swimming speeds. As the cycling portion of a triatholon is supposed to be akin to a time trial (no drafting allowed), this may not be as affected by cycling race dynamics.

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/1...10730903418620
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Old 03-01-14, 02:27 AM   #27
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More of the same, this one analyzing the decline in speeds for the different components of triathlons, showing that cycling speed decreases at a later age and more gradually with than running or swimming speeds. As the cycling portion of a triatholon is supposed to be akin to a time trial (no drafting allowed), this may not be as affected by cycling race dynamics.

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/1...10730903418620
In cycling on flat roads, the biggest factor that determines speed is aerodynamic drag. At constant coefficient of drag, in the regime where aerodynamic drag dominates your energy cost, for every 1% reduction in power, your speed goes down 0.333% (ratio 1/3). In running and especially in swimming, the ratio is much closer to 1.
It stands to reason that, with age, running and swimming times would rise faster than cycling times, even in a time trial like setup. The relative importance of experience vs. age would also be higher. It's hard to raise your absolute power by 10%, but, for many people, it's pretty easy to reduce your aerodynamic drag by the same 10%. Older, more experienced cyclists would require less power to go the same speed.
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Old 03-01-14, 02:34 AM   #28
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In cycling on flat roads, the biggest factor that determines speed is aerodynamic drag. At constant coefficient of drag, in the regime where aerodynamic drag dominates your energy cost, for every 1% reduction in power, your speed goes down 0.333% (ratio 1/3). In running and especially in swimming, the ratio is much closer to 1.
It stands to reason that, with age, running and swimming times would rise faster than cycling times, even in a time trial like setup. The relative importance of experience vs. age would also be higher. It's hard to raise your absolute power by 10%, but, for many people, it's pretty easy to reduce your aerodynamic drag by the same 10%. Older, more experienced cyclists would require less power to go the same speed.

I was with you until the last 2 sentences. Serious 28 y.o. racers are working to mine every advantage they can to go faster. I don't think they need lessons from anyone about how to further reduce drag, and certainly not by 10%.

in other words, if younger riders are already optimizing drag, older riders don't require less power to go the same speed.
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Old 03-01-14, 02:42 AM   #29
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I was with you until the last 2 sentences. Serious 28 y.o. racers are working to mine every advantage they can to go faster. I don't think they need lessons from anyone about how to further reduce drag, and certainly not by 10%.

in other words, if younger riders are already optimizing drag, older riders don't require less power to go the same speed.
My point related mainly to triathlon, not TDF. I have no doubt that an average 28yo TDF participant has lots to teach anyone, including myself, about minimizing drag. But an average 48yo triathlon participant might have measurably better drag-related skills than an average 28yo triathlon participant, which would mostly cancel the loss of power that occurs between 28yo and 48yo, to the point that the reduction in overall time, in a study like the one you quoted, is not statistically significant.
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Old 03-01-14, 03:48 AM   #30
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My point related mainly to triathlon, not TDF. I have no doubt that an average 28yo TDF participant has lots to teach anyone, including myself, about minimizing drag. But an average 48yo triathlon participant might have measurably better drag-related skills than an average 28yo triathlon participant, which would mostly cancel the loss of power that occurs between 28yo and 48yo, to the point that the reduction in overall time, in a study like the one you quoted, is not statistically significant.
That last sentence is speculation stated as fact. I do not know that it is wrong, but you don't know that it is right. In particular, you haven't actually done any statistics on the data (and neither have I), so it's not clear how you know what would be statistically significant.

(OK, if I read more carefully, you say that a 48 y.o. triathlete "might" have measurably better skills than younger competitors. True. They might.)

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Old 03-01-14, 07:35 AM   #31
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OTOH, Greg Lemond doesn't look like he can be very fast at this weight:

http://www.wired.com/geekdad/wp-cont.../01/LeMond.jpg
I have heard many who have met, and ridden with him say otherwise.
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Old 03-01-14, 07:41 AM   #32
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Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems like none of the TDF riders are the best riders when they hit their 40's and 50's.

Do they stop racing ? Are they just worn out ?
Maybe it just gets boring for them? I am no where near a TDF pro, but get bored every couple of years and switch what type of racing I do.
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Old 03-01-14, 08:02 AM   #33
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I was with you until the last 2 sentences. Serious 28 y.o. racers are working to mine every advantage they can to go faster. I don't think they need lessons from anyone about how to further reduce drag, and certainly not by 10%.

in other words, if younger riders are already optimizing drag, older riders don't require less power to go the same speed.
Knowledge and experience are always an advantage regardless of the sport, and are probably more evident with cycling than with running. The younger athletes may be more likely to disregard this fact.

On the original question, I doubt that former TDF pros would be "not very good" later in life by anyone's standards. There's just too great a gulf in natural ability between those guys and the rest of us.

Does anyone know how many current domestic racers are former TDF pros?
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Old 03-05-14, 06:48 PM   #34
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I don't know any pro cyclists. (I have met a few). But I do know quite a few international level Rugby players.

They may play past their prime, but not all that much. AS long as they can contribute at the real first Division they may continue to play. At some times they will play past that drawing nice paychecks in Japan or a few other places. But by and large once they drop below that top level very few play. It is the top (or at least neat it) or nothing.

Those that continue in the sport go into coaching or broadcasting.

I imagine it is pretty much the same with cycling. After a certain point it is too much to train to be at the level they would want to compete at.
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Old 03-08-14, 06:32 AM   #35
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OTOH, Greg Lemond doesn't look like he can be very fast at this weight:

http://www.wired.com/geekdad/wp-cont.../01/LeMond.jpg
I don't know about you but I'll bet he still kicks my butt.



Bernard Hopkins is 49 and has been holding lightheavyweight titles through his 40s.

I suppose you could say proof that talented fighters can afford to be economical in their energy for longer than pro bike racers.
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Old 03-09-14, 10:49 AM   #36
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OTOH, Greg Lemond doesn't look like he can be very fast at this weight:

http://www.wired.com/geekdad/wp-cont.../01/LeMond.jpg
I understand the shotgun pellets still in his body do impact his health.
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Old 03-09-14, 10:50 AM   #37
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I quit in my late 20's. Had to move on. Rare is the person who can ride 30,000+ miles a year and have it not get old.
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Old 03-09-14, 02:14 PM   #38
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I quit in my late 20's. Had to move on. Rare is the person who can ride 30,000+ miles a year and have it not get old.
Rare is the person who can ride 30,000 miles a year at all.
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Old 03-15-14, 04:14 AM   #39
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Old 03-19-14, 07:16 AM   #40
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That last sentence is speculation stated as fact. I do not know that it is wrong, but you don't know that it is right. In particular, you haven't actually done any statistics on the data (and neither have I), so it's not clear how you know what would be statistically significant.

(OK, if I read more carefully, you say that a 48 y.o. triathlete "might" have measurably better skills than younger competitors. True. They might.)
Says the miniman who speculates that Greg Lemond is slow. Too funny.

Didn't a fat, older Eddy Merckx put the hurt on a bunch of local racers on a fun charity ride many years ago despite not having ridden in years?

Lemond may not have a 93 ml/kg VoX2 max anymore, but I bet on a flat TT and without any training, there aren't too many here who would beat him on a 40K tt. What do any of the greats have to prove and why would they continue to train like they did in their glory; nonetheless, I suspect most of us could not hold the wheel of the middle aged cycling greats if these legends even did minimal training. BTW.....this is speculation. I have not data or statistics. It is called opinion...
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Old 03-19-14, 07:48 AM   #41
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Lemond may not have a 93 ml/kg VoX2 max anymore, but I bet on a flat TT and without any training, there aren't too many here who would beat him on a 40K tt. What do any of the greats have to prove and why would they continue to train like they did in their glory; nonetheless, I suspect most of us could not hold the wheel of the middle aged cycling greats if these legends even did minimal training. BTW.....this is speculation. I have not data or statistics. It is called opinion...
Lemond just needs some vitamin B shots and a little iron and he'll perk right up.
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Old 03-21-14, 01:49 AM   #42
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Maybe I should have been more clear. I meant to say that the best riders in the 45, 50, 55 classes are NOT former TDF riders. It seems the best TDF riders in the world (in their prime) become completely broken down by the time they hit their late 30's and it seems many don't even cycle anymore after that.

I tend to think genetics play a big factor and also they just spent so much when they were younger they just don't have anything left.
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Old 03-21-14, 04:24 AM   #43
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Maybe I should have been more clear. I meant to say that the best riders in the 45, 50, 55 classes are NOT former TDF riders. It seems the best TDF riders in the world (in their prime) become completely broken down by the time they hit their late 30's and it seems many don't even cycle anymore after that.

I tend to think genetics play a big factor and also they just spent so much when they were younger they just don't have anything left.
Of course not, Jack Nicklaus doesn't show up for my $3 Nassau either.

Maybe the Greg Lemonds of the world just want to hunt, fish, golf, and enjoy their families rather than piddle around the park on 20K Crit?
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Old 03-21-14, 07:46 AM   #44
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Of course not, Jack Nicklaus doesn't show up for my $3 Nassau either.

Maybe the Greg Lemonds of the world just want to hunt, fish, golf, and enjoy their families rather than piddle around the park on 20K Crit?
I wonder if Michael Jordan goes to local courts and tries to hustle basketball.

Not because he still loves the game, because he is a gambling junky.
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Old 03-21-14, 10:01 AM   #45
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Like Actors want to become Director-Producers,

Start a Race bike framebuilding company with their name on it ..

Johan Museeuw Museeuw bikes another example ..

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Old 04-02-14, 12:09 AM   #46
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Maybe the Greg Lemonds of the world just want to hunt, fish, golf, and enjoy their families rather than piddle around the park on 20K Crit?
I think every athlete wants to stay strong forever.

I would bet Greg Lemond would love to be able to ride as hard as the top 50 yr olds
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Old 04-02-14, 04:39 AM   #47
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I think people forget when discussing subjects like this that road racing at the highest level is a team sport. There are successful riders -- stage and TT winners -- who continue riding in the peloton as domestiques, and some of them are very highly regarded because of their discipline, but even more so for their experience. They also are capable of putting aside their egos for the sake of the team. Stuart O'Grady would come to mind except he shat his nest with his recent doping confessions.

Yes, the riders in their 20s are going to be the stage winners, but they get there with the help of the rest of the team. And the good teams have a mix of age, experience and raw talent. I think we will find quite a few of the older riders extending their careers in coming years as support riders.
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