How good are the pros?

phreak
phreak Posts: 2,930
edited July 2009 in Road beginners
I did a 20km loop this morning balls out at an average speed of around 32km/hr. It wasn't completely flat with a few hundred metres of climbing but even so, the sight of Cancellara and Contador going round a hilly time trial at an average of 50km/hr is amazing.

I know the pros have all the kit, and of course I could be particularly slow, but even so it really underlined how bloody good they are.
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Comments

  • DomPro
    DomPro Posts: 321
    Worth remembering that there is a significant difference between a rider that can average say 32km/h and a rider who can maintain 40km/h. Based on the fact that if you double your speed then air resistance quadruples (x4) and the power required to maintain that speed increases eight fold (x8 ).

    So yes, they are bloody strong.
    Shazam !!
  • Garz
    Garz Posts: 1,155
    .. and tend to have superior lung capacity compared to normal people.
  • Frank the tank
    Frank the tank Posts: 6,553
    It's what they do. They're professional cyclist, they train at it day in day out even so some are better than others this could be due to their training regimes or because of natural selection (god given gifts).

    Rest assured the lantern rouge in the TdF would rip the legs off of anyone that posts on this forum. I would strongly suspect.

    Watch the next poster be A Contador. :lol::lol:
    Tail end Charlie

    The above post may contain traces of sarcasm or/and bullsh*t.
  • Wappygixer
    Wappygixer Posts: 1,396
    Also remember that these guys compete at trhe highest level and riding there will also increase fitness much more than riding for pleasure.
    You could train and train and train but you wont get as fit so quickly as if you competed, you just cant push yourself over the edge when training
  • Frank the tank
    Frank the tank Posts: 6,553
    Wappygixer wrote:
    Also remember that these guys compete at trhe highest level and riding there will also increase fitness much more than riding for pleasure.
    You could train and train and train but you wont get as fit so quickly as if you competed, you just cant push yourself over the edge when training

    Phew!!!!! It wasn't A Contador afterall.
    Tail end Charlie

    The above post may contain traces of sarcasm or/and bullsh*t.
  • pianoman
    pianoman Posts: 706
    You could train and train and train but you wont get as fit so quickly as if you competed, you just cant push yourself over the edge when training

    So the answer to knocking a couple of minutes off your 10 mile TT is to "do some racing"?

    I do find it strange the way our club (and many others) gives lots of awards for TT performance but we don't stage any bunch races for club members only. It would be interesting to see if the same people filled the top ten places in both bunch fights and rides against the clock.
  • Jon8a
    Jon8a Posts: 235
    Chris boardman managed to keep an average speed of 56kmph for 1 hour! I struggle to even hit 56kmph unless it's downhill!

    But yes they are professionals, they train for a living. I bet I know far more chemistry than most people could ever dream of because it's what I do for a living.
  • Frank the tank
    Frank the tank Posts: 6,553
    TBH I've never road raced but to me "testing" is totally different, the individual rider has total control over his/her effort and can dictate their ride. Whereas in a bunch race you sometimes have the pace dictated to you and you have to react and put increased efforts in when you perhaps have chosen not to.
    Tail end Charlie

    The above post may contain traces of sarcasm or/and bullsh*t.
  • PianoMan wrote:
    You could train and train and train but you wont get as fit so quickly as if you competed, you just cant push yourself over the edge when training

    So the answer to knocking a couple of minutes off your 10 mile TT is to "do some racing"?

    I do find it strange the way our club (and many others) gives lots of awards for TT performance but we don't stage any bunch races for club members only. It would be interesting to see if the same people filled the top ten places in both bunch fights and rides against the clock.
    We have a club league thats open to just us and a neighbouring club and the handicap races are the makings of it. We (the Leisure Riders nonracing) get 3 mins on our equivalent to your cat 4,s 6 on the 3s and 12 onthe 2+1s. This format has meant that we work together as a team and ride at speeds we would never attempt on a club run. Generally we get caught but the lads have to work very hard to catch us.My 10tt pb on our club course has come downfrom 32min 19 to 27.12 since April.
    Re the pros. I get the chance to ride with AnPost Sean Kelly rider and track Olympian David O'Loughlin every so often and I can tell you he warms up at what I would call my top speed. :lol:
    Go neiri on bothar leat.
  • Pokerface
    Pokerface Posts: 7,960
    Jon8a wrote:
    I bet I know far more chemistry than most people could ever dream of because it's what I do for a living.


    I bet some of the pro riders know a lot more about 'chemistry' than you do! :P
  • Clum84
    Clum84 Posts: 196
    What amazes me is that in the time trials, there is so little difference in times really. It really shows that these guys are performing to the maximum that a human body can operate at.
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  • CiB
    CiB Posts: 6,098
    Re speeds, recall that they ride in a group and spread the effort, so spend a short while at the front then a lot longer tucked in slipstreaming at maybe a third of the effort.

    They're still fitter than a butcher's dog though.
  • Pokerface
    Pokerface Posts: 7,960
    Clum84 wrote:
    What amazes me is that in the time trials, there is so little difference in times really. It really shows that these guys are performing to the maximum that a human body can operate at.

    There was an 8'11" difference between first and last place in the last TT in the Tour. That's a HUGE difference!

    But even the worst place finisher was still better than I'll ever do in my lifetime!
  • System_1
    System_1 Posts: 513
    I watched the Edinburgh Nocturne race a couple of months ago. The difference in speed up Victoria Street (a cobbled climb) between the pros and the Cat 1's was vast. I'd be lucky to ride down it at the speed David Miller et al climbed it. Watching on TV and looking at stats doesn't do them justice either. Seeing them perform in the flesh was an eye opener.
  • softlad
    softlad Posts: 3,513
    this could be due to their training regimes or because of natural selection (god given gifts).

    natural ability plays a big part. Back in the early 90s, a young fella (aged 15 or 16 I guess) turned up to one of the local evening 10s run by the Maidenhead club. His family had just moved over here from Hong Kong and he was a good five minutes quicker than the next fastest.. His name was David Millar.

    He also rode-raced with us. I was a third cat back then and he was a junior riding with the Ross Wheelers. He would sit in the bunch with us for a while and then ride away and nobody could stay with him. Alright, every club or area has its local fast guys, but even then, you could tell that Millar was in another league completely...
  • adydow
    adydow Posts: 92
    The Pro's have every need catered for with nutritionist, individual training programs, Dr's physio's etc etc after all its their day job and they do nothing else, so for someone who also holds down a normal job and still manages to compete at a top level would be a remarkable achievement to say the least.
    Of course its about the bike! Although having the legs helps.
  • teagar
    teagar Posts: 2,100
    softlad wrote:
    this could be due to their training regimes or because of natural selection (god given gifts).

    natural ability plays a big part. Back in the early 90s, a young fella (aged 15 or 16 I guess) turned up to one of the local evening 10s run by the Maidenhead club. His family had just moved over here from Hong Kong and he was a good five minutes quicker than the next fastest.. His name was David Millar.

    He also rode-raced with us. I was a third cat back then and he was a junior riding with the Ross Wheelers. He would sit in the bunch with us for a while and then ride away and nobody could stay with him. Alright, every club or area has its local fast guys, but even then, you could tell that Millar was in another league completely...

    Exactly. They'd still sh!t on everyone even if they did half the training we all did. It's that talent combined with full-time training which is what makes them so fast.
    Note: the above post is an opinion and not fact. It might be a lie.
  • Frank the tank
    Frank the tank Posts: 6,553
    David Millar, Isn't he a convicted drug cheat?
    Tail end Charlie

    The above post may contain traces of sarcasm or/and bullsh*t.
  • teagar
    teagar Posts: 2,100
    David Millar, Isn't he a convicted drug cheat?

    *yawn*
    Note: the above post is an opinion and not fact. It might be a lie.
  • softlad
    softlad Posts: 3,513
    David Millar, Isn't he a convicted drug cheat?

    That is well documented. What point are you trying to make..?
  • Frank the tank
    Frank the tank Posts: 6,553
    Personal opinion only, I have no time for them they drag sport into disrepute and deny clean athletes a fair chance and I would take draconian measures against all of them. It's the only way they'll learn.
    Tail end Charlie

    The above post may contain traces of sarcasm or/and bullsh*t.
  • Garz
    Garz Posts: 1,155
    Wouldnt surprise me if they are all using some form of enhancing products, but which sport doesnt suffer from this?

    They are still great athletes anyhow, but surely why is this topic in 'Road Beginners' section?
  • softlad
    softlad Posts: 3,513
    Personal opinion only, I have no time for them they drag sport into disrepute and deny clean athletes a fair chance and I would take draconian measures against all of them. It's the only way they'll learn.

    sorry, is this relevant..?
  • Frank the tank
    Frank the tank Posts: 6,553
    teagar wrote:
    David Millar, Isn't he a convicted drug cheat?

    *yawn*

    I take it you're quite happy for people to cheat then.
    Tail end Charlie

    The above post may contain traces of sarcasm or/and bullsh*t.
  • Frank the tank
    Frank the tank Posts: 6,553
    softlad wrote:
    Personal opinion only, I have no time for them they drag sport into disrepute and deny clean athletes a fair chance and I would take draconian measures against all of them. It's the only way they'll learn.

    sorry, is this relevant..?

    Depends what you mean. I see fair play as relevant.

    You mentioned how good Millar was as a youngster and that he left everyone standing. At some point in his career he wasn't progressing as well as he might and felt the need to cheat by taking performance enhancing drugs.

    I do appologise for taking it a bit off topic though.
    Tail end Charlie

    The above post may contain traces of sarcasm or/and bullsh*t.
  • softlad
    softlad Posts: 3,513
    teagar wrote:
    David Millar, Isn't he a convicted drug cheat?

    *yawn*

    I take it you're quite happy for people to cheat then.

    I was talking about Millar's ability as a junior - not what he did in later life. Are you suggesting he was doping as a 15 year old...??
  • Garz
    Garz Posts: 1,155
    I wouldn't say it was off topic at all, just the topic probably belongs in a more relevant section of the forums..
  • milton50
    milton50 Posts: 3,856
    Sadly it wouldn't matter if I had the best trainers in the world and committed the next ten years of my life 100% toward cycling, if I came up against someone with a VO2 max of 75 ml/kg/min then I don't stand a chance.

    Watching professional cycling is sometimes bittersweet for me. I love watching the best in the world completing some of the biggest endurance challenges there is, but at the same time I can't help feeling disappointed that no matter how much work I do I can never get to that level.
  • teagar
    teagar Posts: 2,100
    teagar wrote:
    David Millar, Isn't he a convicted drug cheat?

    *yawn*

    I take it you're quite happy for people to cheat then.

    Not that.

    I get bored with uncessary doping chat.
    Note: the above post is an opinion and not fact. It might be a lie.
  • MrChuck
    MrChuck Posts: 1,663
    Personal opinion only, I have no time for them they drag sport into disrepute and deny clean athletes a fair chance and I would take draconian measures against all of them. It's the only way they'll learn.

    Well, he had a two year ban, which is a pretty hefty chunk of an athlete's career, and all the evidence is that he has indeed learned his lesson. So, as softlad said, what's your point?