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View Poll Results: What is a Pro cyclist - multiple choice, public
USAC license says pro
37.50%
UCI license says pro
47.92%
Gets stuff, travel, races for free
12.50%
Nets a profit from cycling
18.75%
Cycling is the only job they have
25.00%
Can feed a family/buy house with racing job
16.67%
Very serious Cat 1 racer that does PRT races
6.25%
Rides for a Pro team invited to pro tour (UCI-any) events
33.33%
Has a team salary
47.92%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 48. You may not vote on this poll

What is a Pro Racer?

Old 04-25-17, 07:31 AM
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So what you are really trying to say is the collegiate system should be lauded for their successful efforts to not only attract but nurture a higher level of competition inside their generally high quality program. That they also manage to positively encourage new riders who would otherwise lack any fitness or socially acceptable means to pursue is yet another sign of a generally high quality program.



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Old 04-25-17, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by carpediemracing

Around here I imagine it would take about $35k salary to be able to rent a cheap place, buy food, pay utilities, so that would be my definition of a minimum salary. $50k, for sure a pro.
Years ago, the amateur team I was on (Go-Mart) decided to create a Professional team, which competed as a Division III pro team, (which would now be a UCI continental team).

The pro team got $500 a month in season, a small per diem on days they raced, and they could live in a house that the Team rented.

Enough for a single guy to scrape by on in season. Hardly enough to support your own household.
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Old 04-25-17, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by mike868y
where are you finding this 35 year old age limit? i've never seen this before*

*haven't read the rule book.
I have not seen it in the rule book. It may not be a rule.
17-35 was on registration brackets for collegiate races.
I have a 63 year I sometimes register - I should have seen what would happen.
As last night was the last to register I'll have to ask at nats.
There are memos and outdated items on the USAC page and this is an area I think things are made up as they go.
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Old 04-25-17, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Voodoo76
How about a AAA Baseball player, one call from the majors, making the minimum?
Minor League Baseball is kind of an odd hybrid. The minimum salary is $1,100 a month (only in season, and with spring training, travel, etc. considered not even minimum wage), but you also have guys in the minor leagues that were high draft picks and got 7 figure signing bonuses from the Major League club that drafted them.

So on AAA team you can have a couple of guys worth millions, and the rest just scraping by.
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Old 04-25-17, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval
When I was in college DII was simply a matter of being a smaller school versus DI. It had nothing to do with varsity/club. In fact, I was on a cycling scholarship, we had a coach who recruited, drove us to races, etc. in the van and trailer, all fees and hotels and travel (even meal money) taken care of, kits, some equipment, etc.
Or a better deal than some pros.

There are four groups. Varsity Div I, Div II and Club Div I and Div II .
Not in the rule book - in policy:
https://s3.amazonaws.com/USACWeb/for...cyDocument.pdf
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Old 04-25-17, 08:18 AM
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When anyone asks "Is ... professional ...?"

pro∑fes∑sion∑al
prəˈfeSH(ə)n(ə)l/
adjective
adjective: professional

1.
relating to or connected with a profession.
"young professional people"
synonyms: white-collar, nonmanual "people in professional occupations"
antonyms: blue-collar

2.
(of a person) engaged in a specified activity as one's main paid occupation rather than as a pastime.
"a professional boxer"
synonyms: paid, salaried "a professional rugby player"
antonyms: amateur
  • having or showing the skill appropriate to a professional person; competent or skillful.
    "their music is both memorable and professional"
    synonyms:expert, accomplished, skillful, masterly, masterful, fine, polished, skilled, proficient, competent, able, experienced, practiced, trained, seasoned, businesslike, deft; Moreinformalace, crack, top-notch
    "a thoroughly professional performance"
    antonyms: amateurish
  • worthy of or appropriate to a professional person.
    "his professional expertise"
  • informal derogatory
    denoting a person who persistently makes a feature of a particular activity or attribute.
    "a professional naysayer"

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Old 04-25-17, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval
But guest-riding isn't being on the roster. ...
Registered pro team = pro riders.
I quoted the USAC rule requirement in bold. You have to be Cat 1. Adrian was on the roster, a junior and I *think* a Cat 1 at the time because he was also competing in the junior amateur nationals Cat 1,2,3.

I realize many licenses say pro on them. Lots of kids who my son raced last year likely have that on their license now.
Many of the teams are in a pro category and some riders are paying to be on the team. So their license likely says pro, but that was kinda what got me thinking.

A collegiate deal can be better than a pro deal for cycling development.

I don't think that is my son's case, and that was not his selection criteria. But talking to some coaches they give full rides, and as you pointed out - other stuff to basically train and do college at the same time.

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Old 04-25-17, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Doge
I have not seen it in the rule book. It may not be a rule.
17-35 was on registration brackets for collegiate races.
I have a 63 year I sometimes register - I should have seen what would happen.
As last night was the last to register I'll have to ask at nats.
There are memos and outdated items on the USAC page and this is an area I think things are made up as they go.
might be a conference/race specific designation. don't think there's any nationwide rule to that effect.
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Old 04-25-17, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
Years ago, the amateur team I was on (Go-Mart) decided to create a Professional team, which competed as a Division III pro team, (which would now be a UCI continental team).

The pro team got $500 a month in season, a small per diem on days they raced, and they could live in a house that the Team rented.

Enough for a single guy to scrape by on in season. Hardly enough to support your own household.
So this was kinda the whole reason I created this thread. Seemed there were some nice non-pro options out there.

Currently there are some brand new UCI Contenental (PRO) teams. I hear some can not afford to pay all riders, and some riders have to come up with expenses. These are pro riders, riding to pay or the other way around.
vs
My conversation with a coach at a college that pays everything (+ implied since not NCAA).
Kid attends ages 17-21 taking an easier degree and schools supports missing class for training and races. The kid races everywhere domestically (USA), has all cost covered and gets a degree.

If a cyclist has a goal to get picked up by a UCI WTT (Euro) around age 21-22 when most WTTs sign pros, college may be a better path.

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Old 04-25-17, 09:45 AM
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^ The UCI Rules for U23 riders create one disadvantage for that route. Continental teams can have 2 U23 riders, Pro Continental Teams 3 U23. So if you go 4 years of college, your limiting the time you have to catch on, and prove yourself, with a Pro Team, under the U23 opportunity.

It would seem to me, if either 1) your not fully committed to making a living as a pro, or 2) you don't have a good offer from a good team, College scholarship is a good choice.

If you really are serious about making a living as a pro, and you've got a good offer, I'd skip Collegiate cycling.

Only offer "pay to play" Continental team, and I see your argument for college.
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Old 04-25-17, 10:14 AM
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There are 1-2 graduating juniors each year that seem to get a good contract. Brandon 2016 and Adrian 2015 are the only two that come to mind.

There are 10-20 each year that "become pro" and are close to pay to play - I don't have all details, but some and of course feed zone talk.
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Old 04-25-17, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by miyata man
So what you are really trying to say is the collegiate system should be lauded for their successful efforts to not only attract but nurture a higher level of competition inside their generally high quality program. That they also manage to positively encourage new riders who would otherwise lack any fitness or socially acceptable means to pursue is yet another sign of a generally high quality program.
...
While I realize that was a factious post.

-This appears to be a USAC system, not a college one.
-Not being in the NCAA they kind of roll their own. That has pros and cons.
-There is far more money in college athletics (all sports) than domestic pro cycling. The trick is shifting the money between sports programs and making it interesting for a college to put more into cycling.
-Seems to me, as I posted a page back collegiate would be better (my view) if the P1s and maybe 2s were out of individual collegiate competition and did category races. This would give "college kids" a shot. Right now, at least in my kid's conference, no started cycling in college kid would have a chance of winning the races I've seen. That would then
Originally Posted by miyata man
positively encourage new riders who would otherwise lack any fitness or socially acceptable means to pursue...
(Allow any category to do the TTT, make it on 4th rider.)
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Old 04-25-17, 12:19 PM
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I'm a pro in my own imagination. and that's all that matters.
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Old 04-25-17, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by mike868y
where are you finding this 35 year old age limit? i've never seen this before*

*haven't read the rule book.
90% sure of this: It was a rule last year but not anymore this year. Don't know if it was a rule before.

Originally Posted by rubiksoval
I don't get the club/varsity designation.
It is new this year. As far as I know everyone races together. There are just two different rankings. One for schools that bring a school bus, recruit riders, have coaches, etc. (re: Marian and Lindenwood here in the Midwest) and another one for everyone else, where basically whoever shows up gets to race. No idea whether it is a good or bad system or how it has made anything change, my school is too far down the pecking order to worry about this stuff.

Originally Posted by rubiksoval
I'm not a fan of 30 year old grad students, though. I think it should be restricted to undergrad. Even then you have some ringers come in. My school recruited a previous Canadian national champ and then an Aussie that had been racing well in Europe and both of them came in and won collegiate national titles while a bit older than most students.
I am a fan, otherwise I would not get to race. I am sure the big cycling programs abuse it, but for the most part it is just a bunch of people wanting to race for fun. No harm in that. Again, could be different for people actually looking to win national titles and whatnot. Maybe that's where the club/varsity designations could come in handy: Want to be a varsity team? Abide to eligibility rules similar to those of NCAA sports. Club team? Free for all basically.
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Old 04-25-17, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by PepeM


I am a fan, otherwise I would not get to race. I am sure the big cycling programs abuse it, but for the most part it is just a bunch of people wanting to race for fun. No harm in that. Again, could be different for people actually looking to win national titles and whatnot. Maybe that's where the club/varsity designations could come in handy: Want to be a varsity team? Abide to eligibility rules similar to those of NCAA sports. Club team? Free for all basically.
But you can race, in usac races.
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Old 04-25-17, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval
But you can race, in usac races.
True, which would mean almost exclusively criteriums for me. I really enjoy the collegiate weekends. obviously I'm not entitled to them, but I don't think I do any harm participating. Judging by last weekend's races if you cut grad students the fields would be diminished considerably. My team is about 50% grad. The other local university is 100% grad.
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Old 04-25-17, 02:23 PM
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There used to be age limits for pro racing. I remember learning about it when Joop Zoeltemelk won Worlds, at age 39 (the perfect storm finish, a fantastic finish for him). He'd turn 40 the following season. In the year he won the professional racing age limit was 40 years and your racing age was your age on Dec 31 of the season. In other words it would be illegal for the World Champion to race the following season.

They either changed the rule or gave him an exception, I don't remember which, but since then I haven't heard of any age limit I think they just abolished the rule.

If there was a 35 year age limit it might have been in place from the PRO days, before USCF and PRO merged. Back then a pro couldn't enter a USCF race. I had the dubious privilege of turning away Dave Chauner, who lived a couple streets away from where I grew up, a few times from races because he had a pro license and I wasn't permitted to have pros. I added the Pro to Pro-1-2-3 races I promoted initially so I wouldn't have to turn him away.
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Old 04-25-17, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by PepeM
True, which would mean almost exclusively criteriums for me. I really enjoy the collegiate weekends. obviously I'm not entitled to them, but I don't think I do any harm participating. Judging by last weekend's races if you cut grad students the fields would be diminished considerably. My team is about 50% grad. The other local university is 100% grad.
Yeah, I'd guess at least 50% of collegiate racers are grad students. That sounds about right.
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Old 04-25-17, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Doge
While I realize that was a factious post.

-This appears to be a USAC system, not a college one.
-Not being in the NCAA they kind of roll their own. That has pros and cons.
-There is far more money in college athletics (all sports) than domestic pro cycling. The trick is shifting the money between sports programs and making it interesting for a college to put more into cycling.
-Seems to me, as I posted a page back collegiate would be better (my view) if the P1s and maybe 2s were out of individual collegiate competition and did category races. This would give "college kids" a shot. Right now, at least in my kid's conference, no started cycling in college kid would have a chance of winning the races I've seen. That would then

(Allow any category to do the TTT, make it on 4th rider.)
It wasn't facetious. Though I've been critical of some of your angles and twists I really like the direction this thread is taking right now. To that end, I don't have exploring the rule book for things to exploit to my son's advantage familiarity with collegiate level racing. You do.

Hearing there are people 35 years or older racing collegiate sounds repulsive. Worse than a 21 year old high school athlete who got held back in 3rd and 4th grade after starting a year late. College should be a lot less about winning at sports than figuring out where you fit in and maximizing your potential there. Grad students appear to be a necessary piece to make collegiate cycling work right now. It sounds odd but it appears to work.

There is no money in collegiate cycling or they wouldn't be so dependent on wage earning students halfway through adulthood. Like it or lump it most kids are way out on their future wages just to be in college. I do appreciate you coming honest that this long winded conversation has a distinct point. Why you think your kid should be on a pedestal above the scrum like the stars in ball sports. Where the money actually exists. I can understand that and maybe even appreciate your single minded devotion.
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Old 04-25-17, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by PepeM
True, which would mean almost exclusively criteriums for me. I really enjoy the collegiate weekends. obviously I'm not entitled to them, but I don't think I do any harm participating. Judging by last weekend's races if you cut grad students the fields would be diminished considerably. My team is about 50% grad. The other local university is 100% grad.

Gotcha.

Personally, I never like collegiate racing. I did two seasons and it always seemed like a waste of time to me because I had to do these lower-quality races with smaller fields instead of USAC races (could be a more region-specific thing, though). I won a few collegiate races, including conf. champs and the conference overall and it didn't do much for me "resume-wise". Nationals was the only race anyone seemed to care about, but even that paled in comparison to "real" nationals (U-23).

Is it even worth doing nowadays if cycling is your focus? I know Nolan Tankersley won the collegiate crit and rr nats last year, but I only know that because he's from TN and it popped up on my fb feed because we've raced a few times. Seems like his other results from last year are a bit more important, but obviously a national champ is something you hold on to. At least he's a teenager.

Okay, just looked up RR results from D1 last year. Two names I know pop out: Stefan Rothe won and Brice Brookshire, 6th. Brice is 26 but Stefan Rothe is 36 years old!
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Old 04-25-17, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by miyata man
... Why you think your kid should be on a pedestal above the scrum like the stars in ball sports. Where the money actually exists. I can understand that and maybe even appreciate your single minded devotion.
This really is not directly about my kid other that he and I are exposed to it. For us, other than a couple months in 2015, cycling has always been a hobby.

It was the realization of how many distinct and segmented groups there are. This is my rough breakdown of the collegiate As, how it may be a very viable path to pros and of course figuring out what a pro is.

~10% aspire to be "real pros" (whatever that is - this thread) having maybe a better path via collegiate cycling vs the Devo pro path. They are Cat 1s, the top 20% in collegiate (A)s and they could also be sponsored by the college to do PRT races around the country.

~1-2% are ex-pros getting free school by cycling. They are also among the top 20% but the focus is different.

~5% are kids that started collegiate as competitive juniors and are not focused on being cycling pros. They are also among the top 20% but the focus is different. My kid is in that group, and no complaints, rather the first two groups make it interesting.

The rest of the As that have minimal chance of winning in Collegiate. Or much less than doing category races. The difference is huge. I have never seen a teammate of the winner get lapped 6 times - until collegiate As. It is a less than ideal setup.
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Old 04-25-17, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by PepeM
...
It is new this year. As far as I know everyone races together. There are just two different rankings. One for schools that bring a school bus, recruit riders, have coaches, etc. (re: Marian and Lindenwood here in the Midwest) and another one for everyone else, where basically whoever shows up gets to race. No idea whether it is a good or bad system or how it has made anything change, my school is too far down the pecking order to worry about this stuff....
They race together in Mountain - except at Nationals, where due to "pros", club seems stronger this year.
But in a race you don't know who is club and who is varsity. Weeks later - you may not know. In the Mountain conference the website has not been updated since last year.

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Old 04-25-17, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval
Gotcha.

Personally, I never like collegiate racing. I did two seasons and it always seemed like a waste of time to me because I had to do these lower-quality races with smaller fields instead of USAC races (could be a more region-specific thing, though). I won a few collegiate races, including conf. champs and the conference overall and it didn't do much for me "resume-wise". Nationals was the only race anyone seemed to care about, but even that paled in comparison to "real" nationals (U-23).

Is it even worth doing nowadays if cycling is your focus? I know Nolan Tankersley won the collegiate crit and rr nats last year, but I only know that because he's from TN and it popped up on my fb feed because we've raced a few times. Seems like his other results from last year are a bit more important, but obviously a national champ is something you hold on to. At least he's a teenager.

Okay, just looked up RR results from D1 last year. Two names I know pop out: Stefan Rothe won and Brice Brookshire, 6th. Brice is 26 but Stefan Rothe is 36 years old!
I'm sure you're right regarding regional differences. Over here, collegiate aside, there will only be one non-collegiate road race within a five hour drive this year. That road race only happened because Lindenwood's race wasn't put in the collegiate calendar for some reason, so they made it USAC and the state championship. So, unless racing collegiate, there are just not many chances to do road racing. Also worth noting that I am just a Cat 4 in his second year of riding/racing. I am sure as a Cat 1 or 2 things would look much different.

Also, TTTs are fun. Nowhere else can you do that.

Originally Posted by Doge
They race together in Mountain - except at Nationals, where due to "pros" club seems stronger this year.
But in a race you don't know who is club and who is varsity. Weeks later - you may not know. In the Mountain conference the website has not been updated since last year.
Over here it is easy to tell who's who. Did they arrive in one of the two massive buses? Varsity. Did they squeeze five people and their bikes in daddy's minivan? Club. Apart from that everyone races together. Luckily for me in the C races I don't have to deal with the might of proper teams. If I was an A maybe I wouldn't like Marian and Lindenwood dominating every single time.

I also agree that the differences in level are huge, and that can be seen in all categories. I'd say a Cat4 field around here is considerably harder than a C collegiate race. As far as I know the A riders from the top teams do ok in USAC races, but they don't dominate.
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Old 04-25-17, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by PepeM
...
I also agree that the differences in level are huge, and that can be seen in all categories. I'd say a Cat4 field around here is considerably harder than a C collegiate race. As far as I know the A riders from the top teams do ok in USAC races, but they don't dominate.
B's are grass root college, they are beyond beginners and not dealing with pro stuff. The As - totally depends. At the Boulder Roubaix a Rally college kid (I was told) did the P1s and got 5th. The College As started behind the P1s and the selection group passed all the P1 except the first 6 P1s. So hard to tell from that.

At the USAFA race where I was having my feed zone chats, It was the women RR As where a Colombian woman was on fire. She is very impressive and looked WC (I know a few). Women B and C fields were 3 and 2 riders respectively.

So my questioning of "why collegiate" applies as much to women as men.

Women's A 1-16 place 37 min + . It was more but 16 place got DNFs.

The men - min spread from 1st to 16th place same race - different distances:
P12~3 - same distance as As
3/4~2
4/5~5
A~22
B~10
C~13

Anyway I think USAC wants to see smaller spreads in races. I do.

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Old 05-09-17, 07:04 AM
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Bikes: Cannondale EVO, CAAD9, Giant cross bike.

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Originally Posted by Duke of Kent
If we're using "living wage" as the definition, scratch out most of the women's field and a good chunk of the men, too.

Hell, Mara Abbott said part of the reason she retired was that she got sick of having to work part time to make ends meet. The same woman that took 4th in the Olympics and won the women's version of the Giro.

A woman who goes to school with me races for a Women's WorldTour team. We ride together a couple times a week, I built her a mountain bike, she's come over for dinner, etc. First year at that level, and she's young, but from what I gather her paycheck is hardly impressive.


Pretty much. Since the entire sport is basically supported, cash-wise by sponsorships (and not paying customers), most of the money goes to team operations. If there's anything left after all that, the riders get a little bit. Having done this...all you pretty much do is declare yourself as a professional, your license changes. It does not mean you get paid a dime. It's a classification.

However, if you can still get this DVD, "The Hard Road" by Jamie Paolinetti is a great look at low budget pro racing. They had decent sponsors, but it is expensive to run a team.

My money helped pay for a little bit of college.

To me a professional is a person who makes their living racing. It's their job. Like being a businessperson, lawyer, whatever.

It is not for the faint of heart.


I saw a bunch of college mentions...

https://www.muknights.com/sport.php?s...SplashCookie=1

They have a velodrome across the street. They have a facility exclusively for their cycling team for workouts. We chuckle that they are the UCLA of cycling.
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