The chance of being a champion
Titanium
Posts: 2,056
Many studies suggest that physiological properties have a Normal / Gaussian Distribution (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normal_distribution).
By this, I mean you get a bell curve for all sorts of properties related to the way we're made. Take height, average male height in the US is 5"9'. But you get a bell curve. So plenty of guys who measure 5"8' and 5"10 but you'll find few and few people the further you get. So the odds of an adult male being 5"0' or 6"6 are smaller. Buy the time you find guys who are 4"0' or 7"0', we're talking very small odds.
The same should be true for factors that influence cycling. Lung volume and VO2 max are subject to Normal Distribution too. Indeed, power output and power to weight should also follow this Normal Distribution but here I don't know. Has anyone studied this?
Presumably once you get towards 6W/kg, we're talking real rarities, the odds of finding people capable of this are very small. But has anyone worked out the probability here, the distribution?
I'd be very keen to know more here from those with an eye on sports science and physiology journals.
By this, I mean you get a bell curve for all sorts of properties related to the way we're made. Take height, average male height in the US is 5"9'. But you get a bell curve. So plenty of guys who measure 5"8' and 5"10 but you'll find few and few people the further you get. So the odds of an adult male being 5"0' or 6"6 are smaller. Buy the time you find guys who are 4"0' or 7"0', we're talking very small odds.
The same should be true for factors that influence cycling. Lung volume and VO2 max are subject to Normal Distribution too. Indeed, power output and power to weight should also follow this Normal Distribution but here I don't know. Has anyone studied this?
Presumably once you get towards 6W/kg, we're talking real rarities, the odds of finding people capable of this are very small. But has anyone worked out the probability here, the distribution?
I'd be very keen to know more here from those with an eye on sports science and physiology journals.
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Comments

I think you're probably right and that's why pro cycling has been plagued by drugs (especially blood doping /EPO) which affects the 'curve' gathering more 'exceptionals'. In any given population there will be a small percentage that are very something  fast, fat, long lived etc. Blood treatmnet increases teh number of exceptionals. Some are to be expected but not as many as we appear to jhave had a times!0