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U23 Results as predictor

iainf72iainf72 Posts: 15,782
edited April 2014 in Pro race
I don't follow anything aside from elite men, so never really pay attention to results for U23 or junior races, but I've become slightly interested in whether they're a good predictor for the future. I remember looking at the Paris-Roubaix results and being amazed how few of the guys who've won have amounted to much in the grown up versions of those races.

You get things like Popovych being good in Paris Roubaix...

The Worlds seem to be an exception. If you're u23 World champ, or on the podium you tend to step up quite well.

Is this just the difference between pro and U23 races / distance / not adjusting to it? Or a maturity thing?
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Posts

  • fat_catfat_cat Posts: 566
    edited April 2014
    Popovych is an interesting one, given he has always ridden in support of other riders, most recently Cancellara. I wonder whether he could have challenged were a team to be built around him.

    Think this is probably true of lots of top U23 riders who go on to have decent pro careers as domestiques.
  • JSCLJSCL Posts: 1,259
    So many people perform well (or okay) at U23 level but will never make it to a full time professional elite rider.

    In fact, many of these successful U23's will ultimately end up working within the sport. So many of them become race mechanics, or 'coaches' and carers. It's not always easy to use it as an indicator unfortunately.
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  • joelsimjoelsim Posts: 7,552
    The same in many sports. Often U21s or U23s just disappear.
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 24,256
    Sometimes it can just be a case of circumstances - being on the wrong sort of team for their needs or picking up and injury at an inopportune time or being on a team that folds at a bad time for the transfer market.

    For example, take Chris Froome (who had good u23 results). If a British team hadn't started up just as Barloworld folded having not really been developed by them, he'd probably be working for KPMG now.

    Others are just riders who have developed earlier - either by just maturing earlier or by getting good quality coaching.
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  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 24,256
    Incidentally, this German site is interesting: http://www.cycling4fans.de/index.php?id=3036 . It has, since 2004, named the top under 23 riders of the year - some are studded years, others are largely anonymous.

    Over the years their no.1 pick has been:

    2004 Thomas Dekker
    2005 Kai Reus
    2006 Dmytro Grabovskky
    2007 Edvald Boasson Hagen
    2008 Coen Vermeltfoort
    2009 Rasmus Guldhammer
    2010 Taylor Phinney
    2011 Nikita Novikov
    2012 Joe Dombrowski
    2013 Caleb Ewan
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • tailwindhometailwindhome Posts: 15,895
    iainf72 wrote:
    I don't follow anything aside from elite men, so never really pay attention to results for U23 or junior races, but I've become slightly interested in whether they're a good predictor for the future.....The Worlds seem to be an exception. If you're u23 World champ, or on the podium you tend to step up quite well.

    Would it be reasonable to suggest that future top tier riders, by the time they are 23, are already making their way in the 'elite' races.
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  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 24,256
    iainf72 wrote:
    I don't follow anything aside from elite men, so never really pay attention to results for U23 or junior races, but I've become slightly interested in whether they're a good predictor for the future.....The Worlds seem to be an exception. If you're u23 World champ, or on the podium you tend to step up quite well.

    Would it be reasonable to suggest that future top tier riders, by the time they are 23, are already making their way in the 'elite' races.
    But most of the top u23 riders are 19-21
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • Garry HGarry H Posts: 6,639
    If memory serves me right, i think only madiot has won both versions of P-R.
  • graeme_s-2graeme_s-2 Posts: 3,382
    Inrng looked at this a while back. He seemed to think the best predictor of future pro success was winning the U23 TT championships.

    http://inrng.com/2012/09/junior-world-c ... prospects/
  • graeme_s-2graeme_s-2 Posts: 3,382
    Garry H wrote:
    If memory serves me right, i think only madiot has won both versions of P-R.
    And Lemond is the only rider to have won both U23 and senior road race world championships
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 24,256
    edited April 2014
    Graeme_S wrote:
    Garry H wrote:
    If memory serves me right, i think only madiot has won both versions of P-R.
    And Lemond is the only rider to have won both U23 and senior road race world championships
    LeMond won the Junior RR, not the u23. The u23 race has only existed since 1996 - prior to that it was the amateur road race (some bloke called Merckx won that and the pros).
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  • Fat Cat wrote:
    Popovych is an interesting one, given he has always ridden in support of other riders, most recently Cancellara. I wonder whether he could have challenged were a team to be built around him.

    He hasn't always ridden in support of others, he finished 3rd and 5th at the Giro in 2003 and 2004 for Landbouwkrediet-Colnago.
  • graeme_s-2graeme_s-2 Posts: 3,382
    RichN95 wrote:
    Graeme_S wrote:
    And Lemond is the only rider to have won both U23 and senior road race world championships
    LeMond won the Junior RR, not the u23. The u23 race has only existed since 1996 - prior to that it was the amateur road race.
    I stand corrected. Presumably that means nobody has won both the U23 and elite world road race championship
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 24,256
    Graeme_S wrote:
    RichN95 wrote:
    Graeme_S wrote:
    And Lemond is the only rider to have won both U23 and senior road race world championships
    LeMond won the Junior RR, not the u23. The u23 race has only existed since 1996 - prior to that it was the amateur road race.
    I stand corrected. Presumably that means nobody has won both the U23 and elite world road race championship
    Correct. Matthews and Demare are currently the most likely candidates to do it in the future.
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  • The_BoyThe_Boy Posts: 3,099
    RichN95 wrote:

    Others are just riders who have developed earlier - either by just maturing earlier or by getting good quality coaching.

    Read an article a couple of years ago in, iirc, Pro Cycling magazine talking to one of the coaching staff in the Dutch u23 setup. The general theme seemed to fit - young guys being hothoused and training like pros ripping it up in the junior ranks then, when they stepped up they had less room for improvement.
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  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 24,256
    edited April 2014
    The_Boy wrote:
    RichN95 wrote:

    Others are just riders who have developed earlier - either by just maturing earlier or by getting good quality coaching.

    Read an article a couple of years ago in, iirc, Pro Cycling magazine talking to one of the coaching staff in the Dutch u23 setup. The general theme seemed to fit - young guys being hothoused and training like pros ripping it up in the junior ranks then, when they stepped up they had less room for improvement.

    There's a long line of Dutch riders who have been touted as the next big thing and looked great early - Dekker, Gesink, Kruijzwijk, Reus, Velmeltfoort, Mollema, Keldermann - they have had varying degrees of success. It's just that they have come through the Dutch club system and (usually) Rabobank Continental - the Eton and Oxbridge of cycling educations. By contrast you have likes of Froome who in cycling education terms is a home schooled farm boy.
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  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 52,516 Lives Here
    Is always partly pot luck with juniors.

    You have no idea what their physical ceiling is till you hit it.
  • FJSFJS Posts: 4,820
    The u23 worlds seems a reasonable predctor: very few winners who've not turned into solid pros. Many of te other u23 races just dont get te very top u23 riders, with many of them testing themselves in the senior pro races
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 24,256
    FJS wrote:
    The u23 worlds seems a reasonable predctor: very few winners who've not turned into solid pros. Many of te other u23 races just dont get te very top u23 riders, with many of them testing themselves in the senior pro races
    U23 road race isn't that great - too many variables and who is suited to that course that year, plus advantages of nationality. As mentioned above, the TT is a better indication as you're on your own and you can't fluke power.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • MacaloonMacaloon Posts: 5,545
    RichN95 wrote:
    Sometimes it can just be a case of circumstances - being on the wrong sort of team for their needs or picking up and injury at an inopportune time or being on a team that folds at a bad time for the transfer market.

    For example, take Chris Froome (who had good u23 results). If a British team hadn't started up just as Barloworld folded having not really been developed by them, he'd probably be working for KPMG now.

    Others are just riders who have developed earlier - either by just maturing earlier or by getting good quality coaching.

    Perhaps he is. Not riding a bike much.
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  • argyllflyerargyllflyer Posts: 893
    Matej Mohoric may be a good tip to win the set. Junior and U23 world champion and currently the youngest (I think) member of the World Tour peloton.
  • blazing_saddlesblazing_saddles Posts: 16,081
    Matej Mohoric may be a good tip to win the set. Junior and U23 world champion and currently the youngest (I think) member of the World Tour peloton.

    Taking on LBL today as the youngest rider in the field.
    Impressive.
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  • argyllflyerargyllflyer Posts: 893
    Matej Mohoric may be a good tip to win the set. Junior and U23 world champion and currently the youngest (I think) member of the World Tour peloton.

    Taking on LBL today as the youngest rider in the field.
    Impressive.

    Having looked again, he's the youngest rider in World Tour and Pro Continental so unless a few young stagiaires step up in August he'll be youngest in any .WT race (and most .HC races too) he does.

    If the dates I have are accurate the youngest five in the top two levels are:

    1. Matej MOHORIC (Cannondale)
    2. Edward DIAZ (Team Colombia)
    3. Otto VERGAERDE (Topsport Vlaanderen)
    4. Jonas RICKAERT (Topsport Vlaanderen)
    5. Merhawi KUDUS (MTN-Khubeka)

    Zabel, Bettiol, Bonifazio, Seb Henao and Danny Van Poppel are the next youngest WT riders.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 52,516 Lives Here
    Few articles in last months procycling suggesting that too much too soon is not all that good for juniors.

    You need to build up to the distance, intensity over years.
  • PuttyKneesPuttyKnees Posts: 381
    Junior and below programmes are really hard to use as a predictor, mostly because riders mature at different rates. It's why talent identification at youth level is not a great idea - you discard the riders that mature late. u23 should be a better correlation, but even still, it's a difficult job to extrapolate from there. Many people try to look back at current winners to ask whether they were winners when they were younger - yes most likely, almost all pros will have shown promise at a young age or they wouldn't have been selected.
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