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Thread: the pros are not us. we are not them.

  1. #1
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    Default the pros are not us. we are not them.

    Recent trip to Italy...
    We came upon a beautiful little climb in Tuscany... climb to Sassa.
    don't remember the %, etc.. was about 6k long.... a steady beautiful not super steep climb.

    that night one of our crew is on strava ( not I, don't care or need to know....)
    our pretty fit riders were up to the top in about 23 minutes...
    personally i stopped about 5 times to take pictures.

    heading into Strava that night...one of the riders checked out the climb.

    a lot of pros live in the area and apparently use this climb as a kind of threshold test.

    we well noted Francisco Casagrande did the climb in around 12 minutes...
    30k/hr or approx. 20mph.

    oye.

    beautiful climb though.
    note well... there is no restaurant at the top! we went up hoping to catch some coffee. it does not go through so you have to go back down...
    which is a beautiful descent. fabulous place to ride a bike.
     

  2. #2
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    Default Re: the pros are not us. we are not them.

    Come to Marin county and you’ll my humbled fast too. Every little bump is strava tagged with plenty of pro KOMs.
    Last edited by joosttx; 4 Weeks Ago at 07:50 AM.
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    Default Re: the pros are not us. we are not them.

    Similar story Steve. I was riding Motorcycle support for Tour D' Trump (1990??). Don't be too impressed, anyone with a black BMW moto got in. Going up a mtn. climb I had done many times and seeing these guys fly blew my mind. They were riding 20+ mph where I tempo'd at 8 to 10 mph. All illusions shattered.

    The other moment in time where many of us realized we are not them was Lemonds TDF final TT win in 1989. Everybody I knew who thought they were "not so bad" promptly got on their bikes and tried to see how long we could hold his average pace of 34 mph. Basically impossible.

    Dope or no dope I do not care, these are special human beings capable of things we can only read about.

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    Default Re: the pros are not us. we are not them.

    I dont look at them as special people so much as people willing to put in the work and dedication to get to that level. Regular riders are handicapped by jobs, families, etc. And most important of all, dont have the burning desire to be as fast as possible - to compete. But dont get me wrong, I respect anyone willing to put in that monumental amount of work/sacrifice. And it is amazing to see how fast professional riders can go.
     

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    Default Re: the pros are not us. we are not them.

    I used to host some pros each spring for a March criterium. The biggest takeaway I got from riding and talking with them was, the pros go harder on hard days and easier on easy days. At the time, I was running steam plants for the Navy and spent my days on my feet in a hot engineroom and then ride in the afternoon. I was fast back then but I was just hanging on in the pro/1/2 crits so I could lead out a friend and could occasionally get in a break on the road races but would get spanked eventually.
    I heart burnt bikes.

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    Default Re: the pros are not us. we are not them.

    Quote Originally Posted by jumphigher View Post
    I dont look at them as special people so much as people willing to put in the work and dedication to get to that level. Regular riders are handicapped by jobs, families, etc. And most important of all, dont have the burning desire to be as fast as possible - to compete. But dont get me wrong, I respect anyone willing to put in that monumental amount of work/sacrifice. And it is amazing to see how fast professional riders can go.
    Appreciate the sentiment. You may want to take a cautious approach thinking that hard work and dedication is all it takes.

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    Default Re: the pros are not us. we are not them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
    Appreciate the sentiment. You may want to take a cautious approach thinking that hard work and dedication is all it takes.
    yup - no different that a world class musician and a guy who can routinely hit a 100mph fast ball - hard work and dedication are necessary to get you to your personal "ceiling" - but the pros have that special something that allows their ceiling to be higher than ours.

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    Default Re: the pros are not us. we are not them.

    Quote Originally Posted by jumphigher View Post
    I dont look at them as special people so much as people willing to put in the work and dedication to get to that level. Regular riders are handicapped by jobs, families, etc. And most important of all, dont have the burning desire to be as fast as possible - to compete. But dont get me wrong, I respect anyone willing to put in that monumental amount of work/sacrifice. And it is amazing to see how fast professional riders can go.
    Pretty much this. Their sole occupation in a 24h day is trying to be faster. I used to ride in the elite ranks when u23 and I was on a similar level to some french riders who later won grand tour stages but decided to prioritize studies instead, climbing mountain passes on the 52t ring behind a motorbike. Hanged the bike for 8 years or so. When I started riding a bike again I was afraid of the smallest climb and I had to remove the computer on my handlebar because it made me feel so depressed to be that slow.

    Now I've been racing recently with a former road cycling olympic champion, cyclocross world champion and giro d'Italia KOM. He too did a complete hiatus for a number of years. It took him about 3 years to be at this level and although he is among the fastest in his age group he is not above everybody.

    These guys are as normal as you are. They have just chosen to dedicate 99.99% of their time to cycling.
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    Default Re: the pros are not us. we are not them.

    e-Richie made a great post on insta recently I'm not sure if it's related or not but hear, hear!

    Rim brakes atmo.

    Because I am not them.
     

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    Default Re: the pros are not us. we are not them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
    Appreciate the sentiment. You may want to take a cautious approach thinking that hard work and dedication is all it takes.
    Agreed.
     

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    Default Re: the pros are not us. we are not them.

    2004 tour de france: on an Erickson tour we did three cols, essentially one each day. Each day was hard. The tour did all three in one day with the finish time as i recall of more or less 6 hours; if I recall correctly the stage was the one where Landis was in the lead, then Jan came up as did Lance and Lance sprinted past everyone for the win. That was the day I truly realized that I had ever had about as much chance being a pro cyclist as a pro NBA or NFL player. These guys have physical talents that go beyond what the average joe can train their body to do.
     

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    Default Re: the pros are not us. we are not them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
    ...The other moment in time where many of us realized we are not them was Lemond's TDF final TT win in 1989. Everybody I knew who thought they were "not so bad" promptly got on their bikes and tried to see how long we could hold his average pace of 34 mph. Basically impossible.
    This. One of the most shocking, humbling bits of 'pro's are not you' trivia at the time. I remember well riding down a hill, a pretty good hill, and then realizing this is how fast Lemond rode for 15 miles, on the flats. It was, indeed, impossible to fathom.
     

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    Default Re: the pros are not us. we are not them.

    Anytime I watch a baseball game and see an outfielder throw a bullet to home, I'm reminded that pro athletes do things that "normal" people simply cannot do - and make it look easy.

    It's a big part of the reason why some of these folks earn a fat check.

    Looking closely at the difference between elite amateurs, typical pros, and elite pros in any given sport is usually illuminating.

    Human potential... always inspiring.

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    Default Re: the pros are not us. we are not them.

    Quote Originally Posted by bigbill View Post
    The biggest takeaway I got from riding and talking with them was, the pros go harder on hard days and easier on easy days.
    Quoted because so many of the non-pros I ride with need this beaten into their heads.
     

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    Default Re: the pros are not us. we are not them.

    Quote Originally Posted by sk_tle View Post
    Pretty much this. Their sole occupation in a 24h day is trying to be faster. I used to ride in the elite ranks when u23 and I was on a similar level to some french riders who later won grand tour stages but decided to prioritize studies instead, climbing mountain passes on the 52t ring behind a motorbike. Hanged the bike for 8 years or so. When I started riding a bike again I was afraid of the smallest climb and I had to remove the computer on my handlebar because it made me feel so depressed to be that slow.

    Now I've been racing recently with a former road cycling olympic champion, cyclocross world champion and giro d'Italia KOM. He too did a complete hiatus for a number of years. It took him about 3 years to be at this level and although he is among the fastest in his age group he is not above everybody.

    These guys are as normal as you are. They have just chosen to dedicate 99.99% of their time to cycling.
    I disagree with this. Almost anyone can become a CAT2 amateur cyclist if they put in the hard work. Beyond that though talent matters a lot. It doesn't matter how hard I train, how good my diet it is, or what equipment I get setup with: I'm not going to push my V02max into the high 70's it would take to be a professional endurance athlete and I'm not going to hit the 5.5 W/kg it would take to fly up most of those hills. If you were able to race with the elites as a U23 it means that you had some talent.
     

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    Default Re: the pros are not us. we are not them.

    zach gets it --

    if you are not a physiological outlier, you are not going to be a professional athlete.

    freak genetics + put in the work = pro

    average genetics + put in the work = you're very practiced, but you're not very good. life is like that.
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    Default Re: the pros are not us. we are not them.

    This is why i go stand on some local climb every year at the AToC

    It is mind blowing to see the pros go full gas or soft peal it up climbs that hurt me.

    Like the one year they went up Tunitas Creek - really, going 15+ up that middle steep section?

    It's genetics plus hard work.
     

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    Default Re: the pros are not us. we are not them.

    Not to mention how sobering it is to see what those guys can do off the couch after 5 years of retirement.
     

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    Default Re: the pros are not us. we are not them.

    Quote Originally Posted by TTX1 View Post
    Anytime I watch a baseball game and see an outfielder throw a bullet to home, I'm reminded that pro athletes do things that "normal" people simply cannot do - and make it look easy.

    It's a big part of the reason why some of these folks earn a fat check.

    Looking closely at the difference between elite amateurs, typical pros, and elite pros in any given sport is usually illuminating.

    Human potential... always inspiring.
    I grew up a reasonably good baseball player in ultra competitive and baseball crazy South Florida. I even had the chance to sit in the dugout while this guy's team beat the crap out of my school's otherwise very good team. He was so far beyond what the rest of us were capable of that it was like watching an adult play against toddlers. Nobody was surprised to see him take the field with the Mariners a year or two later. The rest of us went to college and got desk jobs because no amount of practice or hard work was going to yield the skills that he was gifted.


    For those who don't know, this is a young A-Rod.
     

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    Default Re: the pros are not us. we are not them.

    Also don't forget, even if the best local rider can hang with a real pro on the Saturday ride or whatever, they're not doing that for weeks at a time.

    Lots of guys can/could put out power with the right training, and lots of Cat I/II/Tri guys do on relatively flat courses for a day or two or three, but to do it weighing virtually nothing and to do it day after day takes more than just hard work. Its fun to imagine that if you had the time you could do it, but the reality is different.
     

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