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Just how fit are these guys?

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  • cycling5280cycling5280 Posts: 279
    iainf72 wrote:

    Let me know when the ASO officially change their record books and take Armstrong's wins off. I believe it all at that point.

    Grand, does this mean you accept Andy Schleck won the 2010 TdF?

    HAHA..Yes but not really. I don't believe in champions that don't believe in themselves. Andy doesn't think he won it so why should I? :)

    He turned up to the ceremony for him to pick up the jersey...

    By your logic, someone could throw a motor on their bike and win, as long as they win 'on the road'. :roll:

    “It’s nice to accept this jersey, but for me it doesn’t change anything – it’s not like a win. It’s not the same sensation as climbing on the podium,” Schleck said, according to AFP.

    The whole 'on the road' comment came directly from Schleck. It's his logic.
  • ProssPross Posts: 24,227
    Surely that is just saying that he doesn't feel like he won as he never got the chance to get on the podium and receive the yellow jersey at the end? It's a long way from how you are trying to twist it that he doesn't feel like the rightful winner.
  • cycling5280cycling5280 Posts: 279
    Pross wrote:
    Surely that is just saying that he doesn't feel like he won as he never got the chance to get on the podium and receive the yellow jersey at the end? It's a long way from how you are trying to twist it that he doesn't feel like the rightful winner.

    Actually Andy has said himself plenty of times that he doesn't feel like the rightful winner because he truly believes in Contador's innocence. I'm not trying to twist anything. Read for yourself.

    Schleck, who is set to inherit the 2010 Tour de France title, said overnight: "There is no reason to be happy now. First of all I feel sad for Alberto. I always believed in his innocence. This is just a very sad day for cycling. The only positive news is that there is a verdict after 566 days of uncertainty. We can finally move on. I trust that the CAS judges took all things into consideration after reading a 4000 page file.
    "If now I am declared overall winner of the 2010 Tour de France it will not make me happy. I battled with Contador in that race and I lost. My goal is to win the Tour de France in a sportive way, being the best of all competitors, not in court. If I succeed this year, I will consider it as my first Tour victory."


    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/sport/cycling/i-h ... z1wNud6h49
  • Daz555Daz555 Posts: 4,040
    I have a decent amount of experience in and around pro football and there is a direct correlation between top class performances and top class conditioning. Obviously there are exceptions (Maradona etc) which don't need highlighting, but in general the most competitive, talented players, in particular midfielders, maintain phenomenal levels of fitness, for example Keane, Gerrard and Vieira of recent years.

    The only thing I would ever say against the fitness of cyclists is that due to the lack of impact, they can maintain extremely low body weights which adds considerably to their ability to increase endurance and recovery abilities.

    I would suggest that Ironman competitors kick a$$ the most.
    I don't doubt the fitness of the top class players but what actually holds back the supreme fitness of footballers is that they have to be able to play at their absolute best once or twice a week for 10 months of the year. This prevents them from going utterly mental in training - the sort of training which can only be done by athletes preparing for a handful of events through the year.
    You only need two tools: WD40 and Duck Tape.
    If it doesn't move and should, use the WD40.
    If it shouldn't move and does, use the tape.
  • frenchfighterfrenchfighter Posts: 30,642
    Dont make me laugh about footballers. They dont come close the pro cyclists.

    These top level pros are different specimens all together.

    I bet if you took 1000 people at random, you could train them and make 100 pros but maybe 1 a pro cyclist (if you are lucky).
    Contador is the Greatest
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 24,078
    Dont make me laugh about footballers. They dont come close the pro cyclists.

    These top level pros are different specimens all together.

    I bet if you took 1000 people at random, you could train them and make 100 pros but maybe 1 a pro cyclist (if you are lucky).

    That's absolute nonsense. For a start there are far more people playing football in the world than there are racing cyclists - it's far more competitive. It's incredibly difficult to make it as a good level pro.

    There's at least two failed footballers who are big name cyclists.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • No_Ta_DoctorNo_Ta_Doctor Posts: 10,030
    It's all about being fit for purpose. Anything else is just ridiculous.

    You can even have the same nonsense within cycling: who is fitter, Tony Martin or Andy Schleck?

    That said, Bill Werbeniuck wasn't all that fit.
    “Road racing was over and the UCI had banned my riding positions on the track, so it was like ‘Jings, crivvens, help ma Boab, what do I do now? I know, I’ll go away and be depressed for 10 years’.”

    @DrHeadgear

    The Vikings are coming!
  • frenchfighterfrenchfighter Posts: 30,642
    RichN95 wrote:
    it's far more competitive.

    Even worse for footballers in that case in the comparison stakes.
    Contador is the Greatest
  • vsvs Posts: 468
    I bet if you took 1000 people at random, you could train them and make 100 pros but maybe 1 a pro cyclist (if you are lucky).

    :D 1 in 10 random people could be pro footballers :D - So you think in a 50,000 crowd on a Saturday afternoon 5000 people could be good enough to be playing and earning fortunes instead of paying to watch.

    Yep I'll take up that bet with you. I'll also wager that you'll not find the pro cyclist from your 1000.
  • frenchfighterfrenchfighter Posts: 30,642
    You are correct. The absolute ratios matter not, them relative to each other do.
    Contador is the Greatest
  • shinyhelmutshinyhelmut Posts: 1,345
    I have a decent amount of experience in and around pro football and there is a direct correlation between top class performances and top class conditioning. Obviously there are exceptions (Maradona etc) which don't need highlighting, but in general the most competitive, talented players, in particular midfielders, maintain phenomenal levels of fitness, for example Keane, Gerrard and Vieira of recent years.

    The only thing I would ever say against the fitness of cyclists is that due to the lack of impact, they can maintain extremely low body weights which adds considerably to their ability to increase endurance and recovery abilities.

    I would suggest that Ironman competitors kick a$$ the most.

    And people still argue that footballers wouldn't benefit from PEDs because it's a game of skill.....
  • shinyhelmutshinyhelmut Posts: 1,345
    Dont make me laugh about footballers. They dont come close the pro cyclists.

    These top level pros are different specimens all together.

    I bet if you took 1000 people at random, you could train them and make 100 pros but maybe 1 a pro cyclist (if you are lucky).

    Have you been drinking?
  • frenchfighterfrenchfighter Posts: 30,642
    No, just a cycling purist. Zero care for a sport like football.

    Lets break this down from a very basic perspective: what efforts are required of footballers? to move around, sometimes fast, for 90 mins, with a 15mins break halfway and breaks throughout the other 90mins for fouls, throw-ins, corners etc. In addition they can spend much time not moving or moving slowly into other positions. In total they 'run'10-16km over 90mins, with multiple breaks. And they do this competitively how often? dont follow this rubbish sport so I'd guess a few times max a week.

    So from this perspective, your average fit joe could cope with those demands.

    No need to compare this to cyclists as any reader with a modicum of intelligence can compare the physical demands and see that a pro cyclist would crush a footballer.

    The rest is technical and strategic so doesn't fall under an easy comparison or something that is really being discussed here anyway.
    Contador is the Greatest
  • singletonsingleton Posts: 1,646
    Most people on here are interested in cycling, and can also have a good understanding of what it takes to ride one of the big tours - so we're very impressed by the people that do it.

    But if you talk to distance swimmers or decathletes or triathletes then they will have huge respect for the people at the top of their sport - because they will have a good understanding of what it takes to be that good at their sport.

    Pro cyclists are incredibly fit and superb cyclists, no doubt.

    But don't for one minute think that makes them the 'fittest' athletes on the planet. Armstrong isn't winning the triathlons he's entering and they involve more time cycling than doing anything else.
  • bigmatbigmat Posts: 5,111
    singleton wrote:
    Most people on here are interested in cycling, and can also have a good understanding of what it takes to ride one of the big tours - so we're very impressed by the people that do it.

    But if you talk to distance swimmers or decathletes or triathletes then they will have huge respect for the people at the top of their sport - because they will have a good understanding of what it takes to be that good at their sport.

    Pro cyclists are incredibly fit and superb cyclists, no doubt.

    But don't for one minute think that makes them the 'fittest' athletes on the planet. Armstrong isn't winning the triathlons he's entering and they involve more time cycling than doing anything else.

    He's winning some, and he's ancient and hopefully off the PEDs...

    Re footballers, I think British Cycling look at young footballers that haven't made the grade as part of their search for talent - in the UK certainly the best athletes are likely to gravitate towards football as it is the most popular, highest profile (and best paid) sport. So in terms of natural athletic ability, I would imagine footballers are right up there.
  • ilovebigwigilovebigwig Posts: 118
    No, just a cycling purist. Zero care for a sport like football.

    Lets break this down from a very basic perspective: what efforts are required of footballers? to move around, sometimes fast, for 90 mins, with a 15mins break halfway and breaks throughout the other 90mins for fouls, throw-ins, corners etc. In addition they can spend much time not moving or moving slowly into other positions. In total they 'run'10-16km over 90mins, with multiple breaks. And they do this competitively how often? dont follow this rubbish sport so I'd guess a few times max a week.

    So from this perspective, your average fit joe could cope with those demands.

    No need to compare this to cyclists as any reader with a modicum of intelligence can compare the physical demands and see that a pro cyclist would crush a footballer.

    The rest is technical and strategic so doesn't fall under an easy comparison or something that is really being discussed here anyway.

    The cyclists would beat all other athletes at cycling, but i think that is it re endurance, they would lose out in running or swimming or rowing contests. They have no resistance to impact, and very little "strength". Rugby players have to maintain and increase their bodyweights to protect themselves, but remain outstandingly fit, particularly in rugby league, footballer similarly.

    Your earlier comment re the ease to make it as a footballer is outstandingly naive. Cycling as a professional does not require the same levels of skill as doing the equivalent in football, rugby, tennis, golf, cricket...etc. I think this is indicated in the quite high number of people that crossover from other cycling disciplines to road cycling very quickly, and also from entirely seperate sports.
  • ilovebigwigilovebigwig Posts: 118
    I would quickly like to establish that I respect the abilties of cyclists tremendously, but I do not believe that they are the epitome of the perfect athlete.
  • ProssPross Posts: 24,227
    I think Frenchie's post was on slightly the wrong tack. It would probably be possible to train 1% of the populace to the levels of physical fitness of a professional footballer but not to be a professional footballer as the skills are the biggest determining factor. There are probably players in the lower leagues who are fitter than some premiership stars but don't have the footballing ability required.
  • ilovebigwigilovebigwig Posts: 118
    Pross wrote:
    I think Frenchie's post was on slightly the wrong tack. It would probably be possible to train 1% of the populace to the levels of physical fitness of a professional footballer but not to be a professional footballer as the skills are the biggest determining factor. There are probably players in the lower leagues who are fitter than some premiership stars but don't have the footballing ability required.

    Agreed.
  • okgookgo Posts: 4,368
    Jesus Christ!

    I can't actually believe some of the stuff written here!!

    Road cycling is hardly a skillful sport is it? Downhill, BMX, trials etc do require skill, you are not going to find many people that can fly down a mountain like Steve Pete, or find many people with the balance and spacial awareness of Danny McAskill. There are a few aspects of road cycling that require skill, finding gaps, going downhill quickly etc. But they are nothing compared to the talents a trials bike rider needs to develop to be any good.

    Football is first a game of skill, second fitness and all the rest. Players can get by with being lazy, or not that fit as long as they're good. Look at Berbatov, lazy git, yet the talent he has still allows him to play at the top level. You can't train touch and awareness in an adult, its something that you need to have from a VERY young age.
    Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com
  • iainf72iainf72 Posts: 15,779
    okgo wrote:

    . There are a few aspects of road cycling that require skill, finding gaps, going downhill quickly etc. But they are nothing compared to the talents a trials bike rider needs to develop to be any good.

    A trials rider messes up he puts himself in hospital. A road rider in a bunch messes up he puts other people in hospital. They've got to ride at high speed, with people all around them and constant change. They are highly skilled as well.
    Fckin' Quintana … that creep can roll, man.
  • okgookgo Posts: 4,368
    Nonsense.

    Risk and skill are different things.

    I can ride in a bunch at 50 mph, the same as Cavendish can, it took about 2 months of doing it to feel perfectly at ease with it. However to even get to the stage where you can keep a bike on its back-wheel while you line up a hop or whatever is months and months of practice.

    Skateboarding for instance is one of the hardest things I've tried. To even get the thing off the ground is again a lot of practice, yet to perfect a trick while moving is something that could either take a few weeks, or you could never get it right. These things are all much harder to learn that anything I've seen in road racing, yet require a lot less in fitness stakes of course. Although trials riders will have mega strong forearms and lats.
    Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com
  • No_Ta_DoctorNo_Ta_Doctor Posts: 10,030
    No, just a cycling purist. Zero care for a sport like football.

    Lets break this down from a very basic perspective: what efforts are required of footballers? to move around, sometimes fast, for 90 mins, with a 15mins break halfway and breaks throughout the other 90mins for fouls, throw-ins, corners etc. In addition they can spend much time not moving or moving slowly into other positions. In total they 'run'10-16km over 90mins, with multiple breaks. And they do this competitively how often? dont follow this rubbish sport so I'd guess a few times max a week.

    So from this perspective, your average fit joe could cope with those demands.

    No need to compare this to cyclists as any reader with a modicum of intelligence can compare the physical demands and see that a pro cyclist would crush a footballer.

    The rest is technical and strategic so doesn't fall under an easy comparison or something that is really being discussed here anyway.

    I'd suggest that from your ignorance of football you should probably refrain from commenting.

    Elite footballers might only run 10k in a match, but they do it in bursts. They're effectively doing interval training.
    The competitive aspect of fitness for a footballer involves not pure stamina, but the ability to maintain high acceleration and high top speed throughout a match to make sure you get the best out of your positioning - make yourself some space, get to the ball first etc. Given the extreme level of selection in football it would be naive to think that the competitive advantage to be gained over an opponent through physical ability/fitness wouldn't be massively important. Yes, you can make up for some of that with skill and tactical nous (Jan Molby springs to mind) but it's always going to be a determining factor.

    Another aspect of footballer fitness is flexibility - the body positions they have to engage in order collect, move with and strike the ball require a lot of suppleness - especially as the body is often under a lot of physical stress when doing this - executing a sharp turn in the face of an oncoming tackle, for instance, puts a huge strain on joints.
    “Road racing was over and the UCI had banned my riding positions on the track, so it was like ‘Jings, crivvens, help ma Boab, what do I do now? I know, I’ll go away and be depressed for 10 years’.”

    @DrHeadgear

    The Vikings are coming!
  • shockedsoshockedshockedsoshocked Posts: 3,954
    okgo wrote:
    Jesus Christ!

    Football is first a game of skill, second fitness and all the rest. Players can get by with being lazy, or not that fit as long as they're good. Look at Berbatov, lazy git, yet the talent he has still allows him to play at the top level. You can't train touch and awareness in an adult, its something that you need to have from a VERY young age.

    Well it's not. Get 11 skilled lazy bastards against 11 lads with incredible work rate who can run about for a full 90 minutes and I know who i'd put my money on. Football like most sports can be broken down into individual components required to be good at it. The modern game is more physical and faster than ever (look at the physiques of modern day footballers compared to those even in the 90s), so strength and speed are important. It's an intermittent sport, most of the time is spent walking with bursts of extremely high intensity sprinting, and it's the ability to recover from these bursts and be fit enough to do it for a full game that makes top players. Factor in fatigue, and loss of concentration and composure in front of goal and the game is won or lost there. How many points do the top teams take in the last 10 minutes when inferior teams are tired? (As a Boro fan I know all about this). Or goal scoring opportunities missed because players have spent themselves on the run forward? Players leaving gaps because they don't track back quick enough?

    If skill was paramount you'd get "talented" players walking straight into starting line ups after months laid up.

    In very basic terms if you out run, out muscle and out pass your opponent, the likelihood is you'll win games. Skill and fitness however cannot be exclusive.
    "A cyclist has nothing to lose but his chain"

    PTP Runner Up 2015
  • okgookgo Posts: 4,368
    Yes I know.

    Training someone to that level of fitness wouldn't be hard. Finding someone that has the touch, awareness all the other stuff I said is very difficult, especially since nearly most boys have played football at some point, so huge numbers competing for attention.
    Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com
  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    okgo wrote:
    I can ride in a bunch at 50 mph, the same as Cavendish can, it took about 2 months of doing it to feel perfectly at ease with it. However to even get to the stage where you can keep a bike on its back-wheel while you line up a hop or whatever is months and months of practice.

    Do you ride in a bunch of >100 riders on unfamiliar roads with road furniture all over the place, pinch points, etc. or with ~50 other riders round a 5 mile circuit that has been chosen because it's safe for ordinary amateur racers?

    Try watching some some city centre crits that have a support race and you'll see there's a world of difference in skill level between the domestic Elites and 2nd or 3rd Cat riders.
    More problems but still living....
  • BikingBernieBikingBernie Posts: 2,163
    Pross wrote:
    I think Frenchie's post was on slightly the wrong tack. It would probably be possible to train 1% of the populace to the levels of physical fitness of a professional footballer but not to be a professional footballer as the skills are the biggest determining factor. There are probably players in the lower leagues who are fitter than some premiership stars but don't have the footballing ability required.

    Agreed.
    I would think that rather more than 1% of the population could be trained to the level of fitness of a professional football player. Whatever, I would be bet that far fewer could be trained to the level needed of a professional cyclist, let alone a contender for the big events.

    What I have always found most intriguing about such musings is the fact that there will be many people walking about, perhaps doing nothing but swilling beer and watching TV, who have the physiology, if not the background and psychology, of a potential Tour winner.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 50,613 Lives Here
    Point is, I can't think of any other mainstream sport with the level of competitiveness that cycling has that tests endurance so extremely.

    Racing between 3-7 hours, with occasional one hour TT efforts over 3 weeks is unprecedented in pretty much every sport.

    Even 1 weeks, which in cycling terms are small, are a lot. The only sport that comes close is the once a year Tour de Ski.

    The one day races are still a 6-7hr aerobic effort.

    No-one disputing the other skills you need in cycling, but that's what sets it apart from other sports.
  • BikingBernieBikingBernie Posts: 2,163
    Get 11 skilled lazy bastards against 11 lads with incredible work rate who can run about for a full 90 minutes and I know who i'd put my money on. Football like most sports can be broken down into individual components required to be good at it.
    I recall a study of the various physical activities undertaken during professional football which was intended to identify which components needed working on. The big surprise was that the players spent more time walking slowly backwards than they did running forwards at full pace. :wink:
  • singletonsingleton Posts: 1,646
    I can't think of any other mainstream sport with the level of competitiveness that cycling has that tests endurance so extremely.

    That may very well be true and if the OP had said that he is amazed at the unique levels of endurance of pro cyclists then more than half of the posts would never have happened.

    But that wasn't the original post - it was about fitness and so there's been a lot of debate about what that means.
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