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  1. #1
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    what is to old to compete in professional cycling

    I'm in my med 20s and I know that's to old to be professional any most sports but I don't know about cycling.

  2. #2
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    age should not matter if you are healthy.. although others may see it differently

  3. #3
    Mr. Dopolina Bob Dopolina's Avatar
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    If you haven't signed now you probably won't ever be. You're about 10 years too late.

    Yes, there are exceptions but name more than two...
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    Senior Member rebel1916's Avatar
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    I started racing motorcycles in my mid 20s. My first race ever, I was lapped by a 9 year old on a mini bike. I eventually got good enough to do well locally. He's now a pro. Different sports, but that's pretty much the way it goes.

  5. #5
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    Ask Chris Horner.

  6. #6
    Mr. Dopolina Bob Dopolina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waters60 View Post
    Ask Chris Horner.
    Who, at 22, was already racing as a pro and had excellent amatuer results before that.

    If I understand the OP correctly the real question is how old is too old to BECOME a pro. If I am reading that correctly the answer remains 8~10 years too late.

    Again, yes there are a few examples of those who found their way into the pro ranks through other ways but as with those who win the lottery the odds are very much against you.

    If the question is how old can a pro be before they have to hang it up that is changing. Gilbert Duclos Lassalle raced until he was 40 a generation ago. As mentioned earlier Horner is now older than that. There probably is a ceiling at the top level but I don't think it has been defined yet. My guess would be early to mid 40's but even that would depend on the kind of racing.

    Stage racers seem to peak in the late 20's to early 30's (as an average) as they need the years in the saddle and experience. Classics riders are a bit different and I think can race a lot later. Sprinters seem to have a shelf life, too but I don't think I could put a number on that. My guess would be still pretty young.

    There are plenty of amatuer racers well into their 50's who are fast as heck. Check out Kent Bostick.
    Last edited by Bob Dopolina; 06-28-14 at 10:02 PM.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    So basically if OP is a freak of nature who can get on a bike today and race at a pro level and win races than maybe he'll get sponsored. If he is starting from scratch than he should have done it when he was 15 like other pros
    http://www.pedalroom.com/members/rms13

  8. #8
    Mr. Dopolina Bob Dopolina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rms13 View Post
    So basically if OP is a freak of nature who can get on a bike today and race at a pro level and win races than maybe he'll get sponsored. If he is starting from scratch than he should have done it when he was 15 like other pros
    ^^^This.

    See my edited post above.
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  9. #9
    ka maté ka maté ka ora pdedes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jordons2 View Post
    I'm in my med 20s and I know that's to old to be professional any most sports but I don't know about cycling.
    Unless you have a superlative motor, you aren't going to be a pro.
    By the time you're experienced enough to get something germane out of a test ride, you won't need a test ride.

  10. #10
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    As said above you shoulda already started amateur racing if you wanna ride pro tour.

    You should go do amateur racing Anyway, though. If you do make it pro they'll always mention how you entered your first race at 25 on a bike almost as old as you were.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  11. #11
    Redefining Lazy Slackerprince's Avatar
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    What's your experience, so far?


    S
    Having things organized is for small-minded people. Genius controls chaos. J Voigt

  12. #12
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    In the USCF the two largest classes of licensed racers are Masters 35-44 and Masters 45-54.

  13. #13
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    It's not the age, it's the experience. Mid 20s is prime physical condition if we're just talking about the organism. There are plenty of sports where age would not be a barrier if you're good enough. But the only real answer will come from racing. Not even the internet can tell how good you might have been if you don't race.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
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    There's actually a moderate number of pro cyclists who start at age 20+. The key is that they were elite athletes in another sport and then tried cycling in college or shortly after leaving college. If you haven't been competing at the U.S. Olympic trials level in a sport it's not going to happen.

    One side note about these late bloomers. They're bike handling skills are definitely behind the riders who started at 15.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Trucker Dan's Avatar
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    The only current pro that comes to mind is Tom Zirbel. He didn't start riding until his mid 20s, but he was an elite marathoner that was competitive against Kenyan runners.

  16. #16
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
    If you haven't signed now you probably won't ever be. You're about 10 years too late.

    Yes, there are exceptions but name more than two...
    There's Evie Stevens...

  17. #17
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    Anyway, the problem with being a young adult newcomer is that you just haven't had enough time to have your soul crushed into little flecks of gravel.

  18. #18
    Ding! Bandera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jordons2 View Post
    I'm in my med 20s and I know that's to old to be professional any most sports but I don't know about cycling.
    How many races have you already won?

    How far are you from upgrading to Cat. 1?

    District championships, podium placing?

    -Bandera
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  19. #19
    VFL For Life Velo Vol's Avatar
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    You're too old to win the Scripps National Spelling Bee, that much is clear.

  20. #20
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    One of our area riders has been racing professionally for 35 plus years. He's in his 50's. Raced on upper level teams (7-11, Panasonic, maybe Motorolo in the 1980's). He's a Master's champion for CX, MTB, (might even have been a world champion CX rider once) and still races the road on a US based team. He's not the "A" guy on the team, but he contributes consistently to his teams efforts. He broke his hip 3 or 4 weeks ago warming up for a crit in Iowa . . . hopefully he can return to form and continue his unbelievably long career.

  21. #21
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    By their mid-20's a lot of people realize that pro cyclist salaries are pretty low unless you're a marquis rider or at least a top notch domestique in a Pro Tour team. When you're 15 you think you may become one of the best, and one career is the same as another especially if it's something you like. Older than that ... it's hard to see the point unless you still believe you can be a world class rider.

  22. #22
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    I always thought that the important thing was not age but whether you could finish the race.

    unless those competitions actually have age limits.

  23. #23
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dippitydoo View Post
    I always thought that the important thing was not age but whether you could finish the race.

    unless those competitions actually have age limits.
    I could totally finish the Tour de France.

    Unfortunately they pluck you off the course well before the 14 hours I'd need to finish some of the stages
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
    I could totally finish the Tour de France.

    Unfortunately they pluck you off the course well before the 14 hours I'd need to finish some of the stages
    Ah that makes sense hahaha. So i guess its "finish before maximum time allowed"?

  25. #25
    Ding! Bandera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dippitydoo View Post
    Ah that makes sense hahaha. So i guess its "finish before maximum time allowed"?
    A pro contract is not in the offing for club/recreational racers who are doing it for camaraderie and a love of the sport.

    Consistent winners at the top amateur ranks are assessed for potential and National Team status, the culling continues until a very elite few get a Pro contract. The Junior ranks get the most scrutiny, anyone much older won't have the development time it takes to produce elite level riders.

    Read "Domestique" by Charlie Wegelleus for the inside story of the struggle to get to the Pro ranks and stay there.

    -Bandera
    Last edited by Bandera; 06-29-14 at 12:07 PM.
    '74 Raleigh International - '77 Trek TX900FG - '92 Vitus 979 - '10 Merckx EMX-3- '11 Soma Stanyan

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