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Kenya Cycling

Mad_MalxMad_Malx Posts: 4,097
edited December 2014 in Pro race
On the off-chance that anyone wants to read about anything other than doping, the gruan had pics and article on Kenyans other than Fenton (although he does get a mention):

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/galler ... e-training

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2014/d ... -de-france

Posts

  • No_Ta_DoctorNo_Ta_Doctor Posts: 10,094
    Was a nice article, but should really have had a mention of MTN-Qhubeka. Not a specifically "black African" team, but plenty of black Africans on 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!
  • Mad_MalxMad_Malx Posts: 4,097
    ^That was my thought too when I saw it but forgot by the time I posted.

    With their genetics there ought to be some massive potential in east Africa.
  • Potential is there but cycling requires serious funding unlike any other sport. And the conditioning on the bike needs to start from a young age.
  • mm1mm1 Posts: 1,101
    Conditioning, race craft and tactical nous. If it were all about aerobic ability Cav (among many others) would not have made it as a pro and every race would be run off as a TT (2012 and 13 Tours anyone?) I vaguely recall the runner Ian Stewart (or it may have been his brother Peter) taking up cycling for a short time in the late 1970s: world class runner, never got out of 3rd Cat (when there were only 3) on the bike.
  • Mad_MalxMad_Malx Posts: 4,097
    I'm not suggesting total domination, clearly the variety of specialities (sprint, climb, tt) indicate that there are many more variables than distance running, which is much if the appeal. However, combine an aerobic advantage with enough riders coming through and there is a good chance of some stars appearing.
  • No_Ta_DoctorNo_Ta_Doctor Posts: 10,094
    Given the absolutely immense genetic variation within Africa it's reasonable to assume that all the niches in the peloton could be filled quite easily. The aerobic requirements of climbing mountains tends to focus attention on East Africa, but we could also see e.g. West African sprinters popping up - if there were resources and structure to give them a path.

    It's the lack of grass-roots structure and elite resources that means that the dream of a "black African" team chock full of Kenyan super-climbers is highly likely to fail. And it's why Qhubeka's approach is far more likely to succeed. By gaining a big name sponsor and recruiting enough European riders to keep them at the races on sporting merit they're able to create a path for any talent that is there. Showing that there's a way to get to ride a GT or a monument, to earn a good wage, to maybe get picked up by a top team - that's far more important to driving development than a noble project that can't promise that your talent will ever be backed by the resources required to make you a top pro.
    “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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