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What makes pros so much quicker?

Old 09-26-15, 09:08 PM
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B1KE
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What makes pros so much quicker?

Hey everyone,

September marks my first year in cycling so I apologize in advanced if it's a newbie or stupid question.

I've managed to up my avg speed to around 27-28km which I'm happy with. I follow a lot of quick roadies on Strava who average 32-33km per hour which I think was fast until I was watching some stages of the Tour De France and the pros their average 44-47km an hour over 100km+ of terrain.

Keep in mind the roadies are also guys who train, eat properly and have a dedicated riding scheduled so what do the pros do that make them so much quicker than the talented roadies?
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Old 09-26-15, 09:09 PM
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Genetics. Same as top athletes in any sport, they got lucky with good parents.
Then make use of it by training properly.
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Old 09-26-15, 09:24 PM
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Old 09-26-15, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
Genetics. Same as top athletes in any sport, they got lucky with good parents.
Then make use of it by training properly.
^Yup, exactly what Homebrew said. You can never make a mule into a top show horse...
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Old 09-27-15, 04:43 AM
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You need at least 3 years of regular and scheduled training for your leg muscles. This is where most of us fail.
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Old 09-27-15, 05:35 AM
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Don't forget the top coaches with a track-record of creating Olympic and TDF champions are few and far in between. Their coaching methods often look at odds with mainstream ideas. Even with optimized training schedule and all the time available to ride and recover, it still takes 5-10 yrs to get within 99%!of your genetic potential. Up until that point, you still have a tonne of training and learning to do.
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Old 09-27-15, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
Genetics. Same as top athletes in any sport, they got lucky with good parents.
Then make use of it by training properly.
Yes, but that sort of begs the question; how are their genes different? What are the indicators that one was "born" to be a good cyclist? An endomorphic body type would pretty much rule out a career in road racing, but anything else?
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Old 09-27-15, 06:03 AM
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Originally Posted by kbarch View Post
Yes, but that sort of begs the question; how are their genes different? What are the indicators that one was "born" to be a good cyclist? An endomorphic body type would pretty much rule out a career in road racing, but anything else?
limitations on vo2max, metabolic efficiencies, muscular composition, etc.
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Old 09-27-15, 06:19 AM
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they have better bikes than we do. their wheels are lighter, their cable routing is more aerodynamic, and frames have superior strength to weight ratio.


or so im lead to believe.
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Old 09-27-15, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by B1KE View Post
Hey everyone,

September marks my first year in cycling so I apologize in advanced if it's a newbie or stupid question.

I've managed to up my avg speed to around 27-28km which I'm happy with. I follow a lot of quick roadies on Strava who average 32-33km per hour which I think was fast until I was watching some stages of the Tour De France and the pros their average 44-47km an hour over 100km+ of terrain.

Keep in mind the roadies are also guys who train, eat properly and have a dedicated riding scheduled so what do the pros do that make them so much quicker than the talented roadies?
It is a combination of genetics, mental toughness, great coaching, team support, opportunity and desire, not necessarily in that order. I have probably missed something but most of the reasons for success as a pro are contained in those areas.
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Old 09-27-15, 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by redfooj View Post
they have better bikes than we do. their wheels are lighter, their cable routing is more aerodynamic, and frames have superior strength to weight ratio.


or so im lead to believe.
No. In fact, many amateurs ride on bikes that are lighter than the pros use in the TdF, because the UCI races have a minimum weight limit that does not apply in lower categories of racing. If you want to race a bike with identical specs to that used by Chris Froome, you can buy it.

They are faster because they are more gifted. Tou may as well ask what makes one person cleverer than another.
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Old 09-27-15, 06:36 AM
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Only ones who is gifted are stars like Froome or Quintana. You guys do not fool yourself, never. It's all about dedication.
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Old 09-27-15, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by B1KE View Post
Hey everyone,

September marks my first year in cycling so I apologize in advanced if it's a newbie or stupid question.

I've managed to up my avg speed to around 27-28km which I'm happy with. I follow a lot of quick roadies on Strava who average 32-33km per hour which I think was fast until I was watching some stages of the Tour De France and the pros their average 44-47km an hour over 100km+ of terrain.

Keep in mind the roadies are also guys who train, eat properly and have a dedicated riding scheduled so what do the pros do that make them so much quicker than the talented roadies?
I think you are leaving out a segment of amateurs who usually average in the high 30s on their rides. I have only been riding a road cycling for two years and I starting to creep into the 31-32 km pace and I get dusted constantly by more experienced friends.

Pros are still significantly faster but there are some amateurs out there who are amazing when you consider many of them have "day jobs".
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Old 09-27-15, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Robius View Post
Only ones who is gifted are stars like Froome or Quintana. You guys do not fool yourself, never. It's all about dedication.
Really, no. Even a routine domestique in a top team is up there in a tiny percentage of the population in terms of the physiology needed for endurance sports. The vast, vast majority of us, including those who race, could never get close to being as good as them no matter how hard we trained.
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Old 09-27-15, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Robius View Post
Only ones who is gifted are stars like Froome or Quintana. You guys do not fool yourself, never. It's all about dedication.
Good luck with that.

Please report back once your dedication has taken you there.
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Old 09-27-15, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Robius View Post
Only ones who is gifted are stars like Froome or Quintana. You guys do not fool yourself, never. It's all about dedication.
thats like saying nba/nfl players who arent in the all-star games are just a product of dedication. a selective group is a selective group
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Old 09-27-15, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
No. In fact, many amateurs ride on bikes that are lighter than the pros use in the TdF, because the UCI races have a minimum weight limit that does not apply in lower categories of racing. If you want to race a bike with identical specs to that used by Chris Froome, you can buy it.

They are faster because they are more gifted. Tou may as well ask what makes one person cleverer than another.
wait, youre telling me a 2016 s-works team edition wont make me more competitive ?!?!?
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Old 09-27-15, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
Really, no. Even a routine domestique in a top team is up there in a tiny percentage of the population in terms of the physiology needed for endurance sports. The vast, vast majority of us, including those who race, could never get close to being as good as them no matter how hard we trained.
Maybe...
But I don't know how anyone could say that if they haven't trained as long and hard as the so-called 'tiny percentage'
Train that long and that hard and then do the comparisons.
This is no offense to you btw Chasm54 as for all I know, you may have trained as much as a pro.
But I believe that most people who say things like that haven't even attempted to train 1/10th of what the pros have so they really shouldn't be talking about gene pools and things in general they know nothing of.
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Old 09-27-15, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by B1KE View Post
Hey everyone,

September marks my first year in cycling so I apologize in advanced if it's a newbie or stupid question.

I've managed to up my avg speed to around 27-28km which I'm happy with. I follow a lot of quick roadies on Strava who average 32-33km per hour which I think was fast until I was watching some stages of the Tour De France and the pros their average 44-47km an hour over 100km+ of terrain.

Keep in mind the roadies are also guys who train, eat properly and have a dedicated riding scheduled so what do the pros do that make them so much quicker than the talented roadies?
There's no question they're faster but the vast majority of the difference in speeds you've mentioned is due to riding in a pack. An avg Cat 3 crit is 42-45 kph. Good amateurs are in the 5W/kg range. Pros more like 5.5 to 6+.

Training 25 hrs/wk for years helps. Talent, like many things in life follows a bell curve. Pros are far to the right side of that curve.
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Old 09-27-15, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by bakes1 View Post
Maybe...
But I don't know how anyone could say that if they haven't trained as long and hard as the so-called 'tiny percentage'
Train that long and that hard and then do the comparisons.


But I believe that most people who say things like that haven't even attempted to train 1/10th of what the pros have so they really shouldn't be talking about gene pools and things in general they know nothing of.
simple numbers game

there are something like 200 UCI pro and Continental teams. let's say something like 3000 riders (who arent exactly accountants by day moonlighting as riders by night).

so yes they train on a pro regiment, and most of those 3000 arent domestiques for a "top team"....

we can use use power of deduction to say that your Account Manager buddy who races cat 2 crits on the weekend wont be invited to the Bora-Argon squad no matter how much more he practices
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Old 09-27-15, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by RISKDR1 View Post
It is a combination of genetics, mental toughness, great coaching, team support, opportunity and desire, not necessarily in that order. I have probably missed something but most of the reasons for success as a pro are contained in those areas.
Also there is a difference in the amount of time they'll spend on a bike, over a period of years.
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Old 09-27-15, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by bakes1 View Post
Maybe...
But I don't know how anyone could say that if they haven't trained as long and hard as the so-called 'tiny percentage'
Train that long and that hard and then do the comparisons.
This is no offense to you btw Chasm54 as for all I know, you may have trained as much as a pro.
But I believe that most people who say things like that haven't even attempted to train 1/10th of what the pros have so they really shouldn't be talking about gene pools and things in general they know nothing of.
They train that long and hard because they are pros, not the other way around. They don't need to have a day job, so they can train that much. How do you think they became professionals though? By showing potential way above those around them.
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Old 09-27-15, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by bakes1 View Post
Maybe...
But I don't know how anyone could say that if they haven't trained as long and hard as the so-called 'tiny percentage'
Train that long and that hard and then do the comparisons.
This is no offense to you btw Chasm54 as for all I know, you may have trained as much as a pro.
But I believe that most people who say things like that haven't even attempted to train 1/10th of what the pros have so they really shouldn't be talking about gene pools and things in general they know nothing of.
I've spent a lot of time on a bike. I've also spent a lot of time around bike racers, including some young ones who are now on the UK olympic development squad and older ones who rode professionally back in the day. The difference between those that "have it" and the rest of us is night and day. And that difference remains obvious even within that elite group. There are thousands of pro cyclists, who seem astoundingly fast and strong and race and train full time. But even among that group, very few ever get to ride for Sky or Movistar or whoever in a Grand Tour, becase they aren't good enough.

If I had trained systematically frm an early age, and had the leisure to do so full time as an adult, I'd have been pretty good. I'd never ever have made the pro ranks, though, I don't have the raw material. And most people who think they'd have been good enough if only they'd trained better are fooling themselves.
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Old 09-27-15, 08:14 AM
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Making cycling a full time endeavor probably helps. Thats where most of us fail.
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Old 09-27-15, 08:40 AM
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Cycling is one of few sports where poor diet is a benefit. The euro rider eats moldy cheese, fish caught out of polluted waters, pasta and bread. And they eat stuff like hearts and kidneys, gizzards, and lamb tripe. The average euro rider is much smaller in stature compared to his american counterpart.

The average American is feasting on corn fed beef. Packing on the pounds at an early age. Growing beyond normal size. Those early years of soda, hormone enriched milk, and sugar, lots of sugar, are a detriment. 6 foot 4 inches, 250 pounds, size 15 feet, football or basketball are the sports of real men.

Then you have your British riders. Tea and scone types. How Tommy Godwin could ride 75,000 miles in a year on tea and crackers is a wonder.
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