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Just how fit are these guys?

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  • okgookgo Posts: 4,368
    Being in a bunch of 50 and being in a bunch of 80 feels no different, you're still surrounded by bikes. None of the circuits I've done have been dangerous, but you could easily kill yourself if you got it wrong, tree/railings/ car on other side of the road, whatever.

    If someone can go from 4th cat to elite in 12 months then there isn't that much skill involved, its about being fitter, and faster/stronger than other riders. Try going from total football/skateboard/tennis ametuer to semi pro in a year, it won't happen.
    Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com
  • ilovebigwigilovebigwig Posts: 118
    singleton wrote:
    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.

    Agreed. Also, whilst reading an Olympic Guide this morning, I found myself pretty impressed by the level of fitness in the ladies field hockey competition.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 50,728 Lives Here
    singleton wrote:
    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.


    One relates to the other though. Since the sports tests endurance like no other, fitness is absolutely key.

    A football player can, say, join as a substitute for the last 10 minutes since they are 'not quite fit enough' and still have an impact on the game. (by say, scoring a goal).

    In cycling that is absolutely not possible.
  • okgookgo Posts: 4,368
    What like Cav sitting in all day because he'd get dropped otherwise, then coming out in the last 30 secs to bag a sprint? ;)
    Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com
  • ilovebigwigilovebigwig Posts: 118
    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.

    I understand the points made here, but other sports are not saying "oh we can't be bothered to compete every day", it is just impossible to. You could not play an international rugby test match every day for three weeks, but I would argue that playing number 6 or 7 every 5-6 days for over a month in a World Cup is as tough as it gets.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 50,728 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.

    I understand the points made here, but other sports are not saying "oh we can't be bothered to compete every day", it is just impossible to. You could not play an international rugby test match every day for three weeks, but I would argue that playing number 6 or 7 every 5-6 days for over a month in a World Cup is as tough as it gets.

    For sure, but if we're talking pure aerobic endurance, no sport tests it more.

    With running, rugby, most weight bearing sports generally, there are limiting factors beyond aerobic endurance.

    For sure, the bike allows for easy recovery - all you need to do is stop pedalling - but that then enables a much more rigorous and heavy emphasis placed on aerobic endurance.
  • shockedsoshockedshockedsoshocked Posts: 3,954
    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:

    These days they also spend a considerable amount of time kicking each other and racially abusing opponents as well, but that's another argument :wink:
    "A cyclist has nothing to lose but his chain"

    PTP Runner Up 2015
  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    okgo wrote:
    Being in a bunch of 50 and being in a bunch of 80 feels no different, you're still surrounded by bikes. None of the circuits I've done have been dangerous, but you could easily kill yourself if you got it wrong, tree/railings/ car on other side of the road, whatever.

    If someone can go from 4th cat to elite in 12 months then there isn't that much skill involved, its about being fitter, and faster/stronger than other riders. Try going from total football/skateboard/tennis ametuer to semi pro in a year, it won't happen.

    How many people do you know that have gone from 4th Cat to Elite in 12 months? Names please.
    More problems but still living....
  • shockedsoshockedshockedsoshocked Posts: 3,954
    amaferanga wrote:
    okgo wrote:
    Being in a bunch of 50 and being in a bunch of 80 feels no different, you're still surrounded by bikes. None of the circuits I've done have been dangerous, but you could easily kill yourself if you got it wrong, tree/railings/ car on other side of the road, whatever.

    If someone can go from 4th cat to elite in 12 months then there isn't that much skill involved, its about being fitter, and faster/stronger than other riders. Try going from total football/skateboard/tennis ametuer to semi pro in a year, it won't happen.

    How many people do you know that have gone from 4th Cat to Elite in 12 months? Names please.

    http://herbalifeleisurelakesbikes.com/team/tom-bustard/
    "A cyclist has nothing to lose but his chain"

    PTP Runner Up 2015
  • amaferanga wrote:
    okgo wrote:
    Being in a bunch of 50 and being in a bunch of 80 feels no different, you're still surrounded by bikes. None of the circuits I've done have been dangerous, but you could easily kill yourself if you got it wrong, tree/railings/ car on other side of the road, whatever.

    If someone can go from 4th cat to elite in 12 months then there isn't that much skill involved, its about being fitter, and faster/stronger than other riders. Try going from total football/skateboard/tennis ametuer to semi pro in a year, it won't happen.

    How many people do you know that have gone from 4th Cat to Elite in 12 months? Names please.

    Ian Wright, Vinny Jones to name a few famous ones, both semi pros/working normal day jobs when spotted, given the chance at pro football.
    "Cycling isn't a game, it's a sport. Tough, hard and unpitying, and it requires great sacrifices.
    One plays football, or tennis, or hockey. One doesn't play at Cycling."
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    That bloke from the Comic last week ? I forget his name though - sorry.
  • tailwindhometailwindhome Posts: 15,506
    ^Donal Harrington


    The Men of the Rás: “They were absolutely out of it; they could hardly even look up


    team-centra.jpg

    http://www.stickybottle.com/latest-news ... n-look-up/
    Believe that a farther shore
    Is reachable from here.
    Believe in miracles
    And cures and healing wells
  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    amaferanga wrote:
    okgo wrote:
    Being in a bunch of 50 and being in a bunch of 80 feels no different, you're still surrounded by bikes. None of the circuits I've done have been dangerous, but you could easily kill yourself if you got it wrong, tree/railings/ car on other side of the road, whatever.

    If someone can go from 4th cat to elite in 12 months then there isn't that much skill involved, its about being fitter, and faster/stronger than other riders. Try going from total football/skateboard/tennis ametuer to semi pro in a year, it won't happen.

    How many people do you know that have gone from 4th Cat to Elite in 12 months? Names please.

    Ian Wright, Vinny Jones to name a few famous ones, both semi pros/working normal day jobs when spotted, given the chance at pro football.

    They're footballers, not cyclists.
    More problems but still living....
  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    edited May 2012
    amaferanga wrote:
    okgo wrote:
    Being in a bunch of 50 and being in a bunch of 80 feels no different, you're still surrounded by bikes. None of the circuits I've done have been dangerous, but you could easily kill yourself if you got it wrong, tree/railings/ car on other side of the road, whatever.

    If someone can go from 4th cat to elite in 12 months then there isn't that much skill involved, its about being fitter, and faster/stronger than other riders. Try going from total football/skateboard/tennis ametuer to semi pro in a year, it won't happen.

    How many people do you know that have gone from 4th Cat to Elite in 12 months? Names please.

    http://herbalifeleisurelakesbikes.com/team/tom-bustard/

    BC rankings page seems to be borked at the moment, but I'll take your word for it that he went from 4th Cat to Elite in a season. Clearly a naturally gifted rider. Not one of these BMX or MTB racers turned road though is he?

    EDIT: He was a triathlete

    EDIT EDIT: Is he riding the tour series? One of the riders getting lapped? I'm not trying to knock the guy cos he's better than I'll ever be, but he looks to be struggling on technical circuits against the experienced Elites when I bet his numbers are comparable. Just trying to reinforce the point that there's more to it than just being physically gifted....
    More problems but still living....
  • ilovebigwigilovebigwig Posts: 118
    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:

    These days they also spend a considerable amount of time kicking each other and racially abusing opponents as well, but that's another argument :wink:

    Too busy racially abusing people to really get into the PEDs...
  • ilovebigwigilovebigwig Posts: 118
    amaferanga wrote:
    okgo wrote:
    Being in a bunch of 50 and being in a bunch of 80 feels no different, you're still surrounded by bikes. None of the circuits I've done have been dangerous, but you could easily kill yourself if you got it wrong, tree/railings/ car on other side of the road, whatever.

    If someone can go from 4th cat to elite in 12 months then there isn't that much skill involved, its about being fitter, and faster/stronger than other riders. Try going from total football/skateboard/tennis ametuer to semi pro in a year, it won't happen.

    How many people do you know that have gone from 4th Cat to Elite in 12 months? Names please.

    Ian Wright, Vinny Jones to name a few famous ones, both semi pros/working normal day jobs when spotted, given the chance at pro football.

    Both over 20 years ago, one nearer 25...
  • shockedsoshockedshockedsoshocked Posts: 3,954
    amaferanga wrote:
    amaferanga wrote:
    okgo wrote:
    Being in a bunch of 50 and being in a bunch of 80 feels no different, you're still surrounded by bikes. None of the circuits I've done have been dangerous, but you could easily kill yourself if you got it wrong, tree/railings/ car on other side of the road, whatever.

    If someone can go from 4th cat to elite in 12 months then there isn't that much skill involved, its about being fitter, and faster/stronger than other riders. Try going from total football/skateboard/tennis ametuer to semi pro in a year, it won't happen.

    How many people do you know that have gone from 4th Cat to Elite in 12 months? Names please.

    http://herbalifeleisurelakesbikes.com/team/tom-bustard/

    BC rankings page seems to be borked at the moment, but I'll take your word for it that he went from 4th Cat to Elite in a season. Clearly a naturally gifted rider. Not one of these BMX or MTB racers turned road though is he?

    EDIT: He was a triathlete

    EDIT EDIT: Is he riding the tour series? One of the riders getting lapped? I'm not trying to knock the guy cos he's better than I'll ever be, but he looks to be struggling on technical circuits against the experienced Elites when I bet his numbers are comparable. Just trying to reinforce the point that there's more to it than just being physically gifted....

    He can't go round corners. But he's as strong as an ox.
    "A cyclist has nothing to lose but his chain"

    PTP Runner Up 2015
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    amaferanga wrote:
    amaferanga wrote:
    okgo wrote:
    Being in a bunch of 50 and being in a bunch of 80 feels no different, you're still surrounded by bikes. None of the circuits I've done have been dangerous, but you could easily kill yourself if you got it wrong, tree/railings/ car on other side of the road, whatever.

    If someone can go from 4th cat to elite in 12 months then there isn't that much skill involved, its about being fitter, and faster/stronger than other riders. Try going from total football/skateboard/tennis ametuer to semi pro in a year, it won't happen.

    How many people do you know that have gone from 4th Cat to Elite in 12 months? Names please.

    http://herbalifeleisurelakesbikes.com/team/tom-bustard/

    BC rankings page seems to be borked at the moment, but I'll take your word for it that he went from 4th Cat to Elite in a season. Clearly a naturally gifted rider. Not one of these BMX or MTB racers turned road though is he?

    EDIT: He was a triathlete

    EDIT EDIT: Is he riding the tour series? One of the riders getting lapped? I'm not trying to knock the guy cos he's better than I'll ever be, but he looks to be struggling on technical circuits against the experienced Elites when I bet his numbers are comparable. Just trying to reinforce the point that there's more to it than just being physically gifted....

    Blimey a triathlete trying road racing - I remember some young American dude who was gonna be the best thing since sliced bread - he tried bunch racing and got battered and dropped in his first races. He did turn out to be OK in the end....
  • okgookgo Posts: 4,368
    The point was road cycling isn't that skilled, Nick Baker (Zappi's) will be an elite soon and has been riding 5 months and a bit. You would never find someone who hasn't played football and have them playing for a championship team within 6 months, out of the question.

    Not knocking the sport, but there isn't much skill in it, lets be honest ffs.
    Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com
  • bigmatbigmat Posts: 5,111
    amaferanga wrote:
    okgo wrote:
    Being in a bunch of 50 and being in a bunch of 80 feels no different, you're still surrounded by bikes. None of the circuits I've done have been dangerous, but you could easily kill yourself if you got it wrong, tree/railings/ car on other side of the road, whatever.

    If someone can go from 4th cat to elite in 12 months then there isn't that much skill involved, its about being fitter, and faster/stronger than other riders. Try going from total football/skateboard/tennis ametuer to semi pro in a year, it won't happen.

    How many people do you know that have gone from 4th Cat to Elite in 12 months? Names please.

    Ian Wright, Vinny Jones to name a few famous ones, both semi pros/working normal day jobs when spotted, given the chance at pro football.

    Both over 20 years ago, one nearer 25...

    Gareth McCleary, non league to premier league (next season with Reading) in about 3 seasons.
  • lostboysaintlostboysaint Posts: 4,369
    amaferanga wrote:
    okgo wrote:
    Being in a bunch of 50 and being in a bunch of 80 feels no different, you're still surrounded by bikes. None of the circuits I've done have been dangerous, but you could easily kill yourself if you got it wrong, tree/railings/ car on other side of the road, whatever.

    If someone can go from 4th cat to elite in 12 months then there isn't that much skill involved, its about being fitter, and faster/stronger than other riders. Try going from total football/skateboard/tennis ametuer to semi pro in a year, it won't happen.

    How many people do you know that have gone from 4th Cat to Elite in 12 months? Names please.

    Ian Wright, Vinny Jones to name a few famous ones, both semi pros/working normal day jobs when spotted, given the chance at pro football.

    Both over 20 years ago, one nearer 25...

    Chris Smalling.
    Trail fun - Transition Bandit
    Road - Wilier Izoard Centaur/Cube Agree C62 Disc
    Allround - Cotic Solaris
  • tailwindhometailwindhome Posts: 15,506
    Er. I'd be pretty sure any footballers being named have probably been playing since early primary school
    Believe that a farther shore
    Is reachable from here.
    Believe in miracles
    And cures and healing wells
  • No_Ta_DoctorNo_Ta_Doctor Posts: 10,033
    Er. I'd be pretty sure any footballers being named have probably been playing since early primary school
    Typically the selection pressures are so fierce in elite youth football that very many talented kids are forced out by one means or another. Late developers, for instance, will have to be sublimely gifted to make an impact playing with kids a lot bigger than them (Oxlaide-Chamberlain very nearly lost his place at the Saints because of this). A momentary lapse of concentration at the onset of puberty and the discovery of girls, alcohol etc. will also see off a huge portion. Many of these kids will take the game up again later, at lower levels, and some may even be "discovered" by bigger clubs because of it.
    “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!
  • RichjRichj Posts: 240
    found this quite interesting http://home.trainingpeaks.com/races/tea ... rance.aspx from last years tour. With the comments about footballers "walking around the pitch" on some stages Flecha was freewheeling for over 10% of a stage and spending time n recovery or endurance mode. I know no one is suggesting it but they don't race hell for leather for 3 weeks, some days are rest days on the bike. Because of this they are able to race for 3 weeks day in day out.

    I have a lot of respect for Pro cyclists, they are amazingly fit athletes but just cos they race for 3 weeks doesn't make them necessarily fitter than other sportsman.
  • tailwindhometailwindhome Posts: 15,506
    ^
    I'm not sure that there are any other sports which employ the physics of drafting too.
    Believe that a farther shore
    Is reachable from here.
    Believe in miracles
    And cures and healing wells
  • No_Ta_DoctorNo_Ta_Doctor Posts: 10,033
    ^
    I'm not sure that there are any other sports which employ the physics of drafting too.

    Most motor sports, but that's a bit different :-)
    “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!
  • afx237viafx237vi Posts: 12,630
    ^
    I'm not sure that there are any other sports which employ the physics of drafting too.

    Most motor sports, but that's a bit different :-)

    Horse racing too... but that's also a bit different.

    (As an aside: national hunt jockeys must match pro cyclists for toughness, even if the levels of fitness are not really comparable.)
  • tailwindhometailwindhome Posts: 15,506
    Motor Sport - Yeah I'm aware they draft and suppose the principle of conserving energy is the same but it's not an endurance sport

    Horse Racing - I had never thought of drafting in Horse Racing and I suppose there must be a similar effect however it's not quite the same either - there's no team work involved, the leader doesn't get towed along for 90%* of the race by other participants willing to share the work load...

    *90% being a made up stat.
    Believe that a farther shore
    Is reachable from here.
    Believe in miracles
    And cures and healing wells
  • tailwindhometailwindhome Posts: 15,506
    Er. I'd be pretty sure any footballers being named have probably been playing since early primary school
    Typically the selection pressures are so fierce in elite youth football that very many talented kids are forced out by one means or another. Late developers, for instance, will have to be sublimely gifted to make an impact playing with kids a lot bigger than them (Oxlaide-Chamberlain very nearly lost his place at the Saints because of this). A momentary lapse of concentration at the onset of puberty and the discovery of girls, alcohol etc. will also see off a huge portion. Many of these kids will take the game up again later, at lower levels, and some may even be "discovered" by bigger clubs because of it.

    Of course. My point was that they didn't just decide one day to give football a go and develope from novice to pro in a short space of time.

    At a tangent I'm always suprised that the resources with most big clubs put into sourcing talent that players can be 'missed'

    James McClean is another example Derry City in the League of Ireland to the Premiership and Euro 2012 in 1 season...
    Believe that a farther shore
    Is reachable from here.
    Believe in miracles
    And cures and healing wells
  • No_Ta_DoctorNo_Ta_Doctor Posts: 10,033
    Er. I'd be pretty sure any footballers being named have probably been playing since early primary school
    Typically the selection pressures are so fierce in elite youth football that very many talented kids are forced out by one means or another. Late developers, for instance, will have to be sublimely gifted to make an impact playing with kids a lot bigger than them (Oxlaide-Chamberlain very nearly lost his place at the Saints because of this). A momentary lapse of concentration at the onset of puberty and the discovery of girls, alcohol etc. will also see off a huge portion. Many of these kids will take the game up again later, at lower levels, and some may even be "discovered" by bigger clubs because of it.

    Of course. My point was that they didn't just decide one day to give football a go and develope from novice to pro in a short space of time.

    At a tangent I'm always suprised that the resources with most big clubs put into sourcing talent that players can be 'missed'

    James McClean is another example Derry City in the League of Ireland to the Premiership and Euro 2012 in 1 season...

    Football clubs have a very wide net and a huge discard. It's utterly ruthless. There's little attention to potential - mostly potential is just extrapolated from what a kid can do already. They might have a peek at a kids genetics by checking out his parents.




    Marathon runners aiming for a world record attempt are regularly paced for at least half the race by quicker lower distance runners. I have no idea if they're gaining a drafting benefit or just being set into a rhythm that will hopefully give them a quick time at a steady maintainable pace.
    “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!
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