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Are Cat 1 racers considered pros?

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Are Cat 1 racers considered pros?

Old 07-23-20, 10:17 AM
  #126  
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Originally Posted by RadDog View Post
Ah yes...now you are swimming in excuses. If you were decent at all you would take the bet and potentially earn $5k. But you are not. You are but words and if you raced me I would crush you.

Put up or shut up. Race me. You are a coward.
This is all so ridiculous on so many levels. You're waving your e-wang around at a bunch of strangers you have never met. You don't know anything about them. You don't know anything about riding with someone until you ride with them.
They don't know you. They aren't just going to take time off work and from family and fly to some other city to race some internet troll for $5k when they don't know if he even has access to the money or will pay if they beat him. It sounds too far fetched even to a casual observer.
And to call someone you haven't met a "coward"? And "dick tuck"? After saying such things to some people how do you know they wouldn't just show up and flatten you?
Your trolling needs a little polishing. And don't underestimate people.
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Old 07-23-20, 10:47 AM
  #127  
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Originally Posted by td.tony View Post
Do most Cat1 racers get paid to ride for their team? Or do they all just train and race in their free time?
Reason I ask is because at crits the categories usually say something along the lines of cat 1/2/3/pro.
Or are pros in another category one step above Cat 1?

In my experience, Cat 1 / Elite / A etc is an amateur license and Pro a license of its own. I was Cat 1 and wanted to become a Pro at one point but never got a contract, didn't make the cut. My sponsored amateur team had two members who went on to become Pro, both local only not international. One on the back of having gone to the Olympics for track. Pro is quite a step up. I've known some who went to race for teams in France but gave up after only a couple of years. It's a tough gig, Pro cycling.

I wasn't paid as a sponsored amateur rider and prize money was never great but I did get 'free' stuff: the kit, bike parts, race entry and hotels and meals on occasion. The team I'm with now gets sponsored kit and race entry but that's all.
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Old 07-23-20, 10:49 AM
  #128  
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Originally Posted by RadDog View Post
I could not handle that much volume. I am a 58 year old competitive bodybuilder and strength and conditioning coach who also has done lots of riding. First, you are probably very genetically gifted towards endurance work. Also, it sounds like you are not riding that hard. No judgment, I could never ride hard several hours per day myself. I ride to tax my cardio system and to get my legs as big and powerful as possible. Unlike you, I only ride 40 minutes a day 4 days a week (lift 3-4 days) and that is absolutely all my body can handle.

However my riding style is to emulate the training of someone who races crit. I go as hard as I can for 25-30 minutes of the 40 I am on the bike. Lower body is on fire. Even this much training pushes the overtraining envelope for me.
So if you want to race this guy just make it more than 30 minutes.
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Old 07-23-20, 01:37 PM
  #129  
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There was a much-publicized case in the UK not so long ago - last year I think - whereby a Messenger cyclist knocked down a pedestrian and killed her. He's in prison now. Just this week a CCTV image was posted looking for another Messenger after an elderly man was killed too. It is a highly competitive business as the Reporters delved into what happens once these type of cases became more widely reported, the guys and girls involved do take it very seriously, there is a huge amount of competition as they go about their business in crowded cities, running red lights, ignoring all traffic rules and norms in their pursuit and, putting pedestrians and other cyclists at great risk. There are annual races too, no sanctioning body, very illegal etc that takes place in Europe.

All that said, I'm sure not all are like that. I'd absolutely agree too that the best of these riders have a high degree of skill - akin to that of any good off-road cyclist where significant obstacles present themselves. They may not win any track races, time trials, crits, road races, XC MTB etc but they are good at their own niche and while not an officially legally sanctioned division - as far as I am aware - it is competitive and it is sport. Not for me however, I don't care for having to break the law in order to win since I would stop at traffic lights etc and not risk pedestrians well-being. Perhaps on a closed circuit well Policed and no risk to others, then yeah, I'd give it a go, could be fun - as a road sprint specialist and XC MTB'er too it would suit me.
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Old 07-23-20, 01:40 PM
  #130  
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Also an XC MTB'er here so accustomed to dodging obstacles and picking smooth lines on the fly. It's mainly the car stuff that is too scary for me.
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Old 07-23-20, 04:33 PM
  #131  
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Originally Posted by AlgarveCycling View Post
In my experience, Cat 1 / Elite / A etc is an amateur license and Pro a license of its own. I was Cat 1 and wanted to become a Pro at one point but never got a contract, didn't make the cut. My sponsored amateur team had two members who went on to become Pro, both local only not international. One on the back of having gone to the Olympics for track. Pro is quite a step up. I've known some who went to race for teams in France but gave up after only a couple of years. It's a tough gig, Pro cycling.

I wasn't paid as a sponsored amateur rider and prize money was never great but I did get 'free' stuff: the kit, bike parts, race entry and hotels and meals on occasion. The team I'm with now gets sponsored kit and race entry but that's all.
I trained with some Cat 1 guys and I would describe them as animals. I have a tremendous degree of respect for them, but, as you note, it is a very different type of riding. Different cities require different skill sets. Messengers in NY are very different from messengers in San Francisco. In SF the cars ignore you. In NY they gun for you. Messengers....the fast ones making good money, road 3 ring front chain set ups because the hills in SF are brutal. The best conditioned messengers were in SF riding those massive hills. There were messengers on fixies, but they were usually slugs that did not get tags requiring hill riding. We had guys come from NY and they often struggled. NY messengers (because it is flat) ride fixies. This is one area where Cat 1 riders will be very strong. They are good with gearing, and their level of endurance is as good as any athlete anywhere. For example, if you ran 4-5 hours a day day after day you would wear your legs down to the nub. In cycling you can ride that long because there is little impact focused on the feet and lower leg. This means that endurance cyclists really operate in a zone that few other athletes get to.

However, this is just one, albeit a very important one area of needed skills. Road bikers had a problem adapting to conditions where you are taking high risks. Road bikers tend to be staid analytical types who obey the law. The risks messengers take are insane but to them they are perfectly normal. On the other hand, BMX and MTB racers are the types that don't get their hair ruffled over a law or two. They were often pot smoking skate and bike punks who don't fit in anywhere in society, except in the messenger world. Messengers become addicted to the energy, risks and adrenalin you get on the street in high speed dangerous densely packed situation. It should be no surprise that they have a tendency to become drug and alcohol addicts. I started off as a clean cut college kid who loved to ride. 5 years later I was drinking 15 beers a day everyday and doing dangerous drugs. It eventually cost me my job.
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Old 07-23-20, 04:35 PM
  #132  
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Originally Posted by TMonk View Post
Also an XC MTB'er here so accustomed to dodging obstacles and picking smooth lines on the fly. It's mainly the car stuff that is too scary for me.

Mountain bikers tend to make the transition more easily. They also tend to party more than road guys.
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Old 07-23-20, 04:51 PM
  #133  
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I've been accused of that before, esp in the college days, but still, I'm one of the guys who's willing to have a beer (or two) at training camp in January.

In college on the intercollegiate team, we used to have the "tour de franzia", where we got drunk on boxed wine and rode cruiser bikes through a nice quiet neighborhood (Sunnybrae near Arcata Ca, Humboldt). Good times!
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Old 07-23-20, 05:57 PM
  #134  
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Originally Posted by AlgarveCycling View Post
In my experience, Cat 1 / Elite / A etc is an amateur license and Pro a license of its own. I was Cat 1 and wanted to become a Pro at one point but never got a contract, ...
It is semi-easy to get a USA pro license. It is essentially the old Cat 1. You (low 20 somethings) can do it making $1,000 from cycling and having the right person ask for you.
In MTB many have a pro license and are still pretty much rec cyclists. The same is true for Cat 1. Points and numbers are not needed if the kid is talented. USAC will forget the "guidelines" and just give the grade.
There are a bunch of juniors that do not have time to go through the upgrade program in the USA as they are racing other places. They are upgraded on a phone call. Same for pro.
You need to be at that level, but the rule book and points are for the older riders.
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Old 07-23-20, 11:14 PM
  #135  
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Originally Posted by Doge View Post
It is semi-easy to get a USA pro license. It is essentially the old Cat 1. You (low 20 somethings) can do it making $1,000 from cycling and having the right person ask for you.
In MTB many have a pro license and are still pretty much rec cyclists. The same is true for Cat 1. Points and numbers are not needed if the kid is talented. USAC will forget the "guidelines" and just give the grade.
There are a bunch of juniors that do not have time to go through the upgrade program in the USA as they are racing other places. They are upgraded on a phone call. Same for pro.
You need to be at that level, but the rule book and points are for the older riders.
Ah ok. Back in the late 80's, early 90's, where I'm from we only had a few Pro domestic teams and if you couldn't get on one of those it meant shipping yourself to Europe and trying your luck there. I thought if I couldn't get on a domestic team, then forget it so I did. It wasn't like I was a great talent anyway, I was just faster than average, picked up some wins here and there but I was never going to earn much from it and would have been an average domestique at best.

Anyway, in my 50's now and living like a Pro with plenty of cycling time, racing when we can and chasing Strava KOM's!

This from yesterday's ride:


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Old 07-24-20, 05:52 AM
  #136  
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Originally Posted by Voodoo76 View Post
Don't shut it down yet, waiting for botto to weigh in.
I'm not B, but I'm in before the lock.
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Old 07-24-20, 06:20 AM
  #137  
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Originally Posted by RadDog View Post
However, this is just one, albeit a very important one area of needed skills. Road bikers had a problem adapting to conditions where you are taking high risks. Road bikers tend to be staid analytical types who obey the law.

Jesus. Have you actually ever done a road race or a big group ride? You really have a weak troll. Go improve your game in another sub forum and come back and try again.
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Old 07-24-20, 07:06 AM
  #138  
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1. Train for crits by simply riding as hard as you can for 30min at a time? That sounds more like time trial intervals. The effort duration and energy system in the body is a bit different. Ask Rubik about the crit stuff, he'd know best.

2. Ever heard of or watched Paris Roubaix? Probably so. The road "furniture" is apparently ridiculous at times. Now, this is memory from reading Gaimon's book about his one time at Roubaix, but I thought I remembered him describing folks having to hop curbs and ride between patio furniture in front of cafe's, trash cans, poorly placed spectators, oh........and obviously the less than ideal cobblestones. IMHO I would put a Paris Roubaix vet on par with a messenger "street racer" for bike skills in a mass chaos environment. Yes, Paris Roubaix isn't littered with cars doing silly stuff.......but the parallel drawn in terms of handling obstacles is probably pretty close for "roadie" stuff.

3. People actually DO run for 4 hours a day almost everyday. Eliud, the guy who broke 2 hours running a full marathon (running faster than 13mph for 2 hours) trains about 140 mpw. Run miles, most folks I know only bike that far per week. Not run. Most of those guys run volume at lower intensity. You do the math on 140 mpw with even just one off day.

Yeah, these guys can't swerve around neutral support cars, motos, wrecked riders, fans, perhaps farm animals..........
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Old 07-24-20, 08:21 AM
  #139  
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Originally Posted by TheKillerPenguin View Post
Get drunk?
Getting drunk might help make some sense of this thread as of late.

Count me in!
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Old 07-24-20, 09:17 AM
  #140  
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The bike skills discussion is interesting in the context of roadie racing. I'm just a cat 2 in SCNCA and even as a lighter rider (66 kg), my threshold w/kg numbers are nothing to write home about. I am good at over/under type efforts and at getting up the road with a few minutes of high power.

But I do have better bike handling and riding skills than most IMO. The physical handling doesn't come in to play so much in road racing, esp. compared to other disciplines like MTB and messenger racing. But it helps.

There is a lot of skill associated with going as fast as possible while using a minimum of energy. Physical nuances like chosing the best line, holding your body/shoulders a certain way depending on the wind and optimizing your cadence with course features can make it easier to hold speed. Mental nuances like knowing exactly how long and hard to pull, if/when you need to close a gap and when to pull the plug on an effort also make it easier to go fast. Some of these things come with experience, and to some degree their also innate in a rider's talent.

I credit a lot of my ability to roll breakaways with guys over my pedigree to these nuances. Same with my ability to set course records (locally) and win state champ TTT's with these guys - skill, less brute strength:


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Old 07-24-20, 06:46 PM
  #141  
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Originally Posted by RadDog View Post
I started off as a clean cut college kid who loved to ride. 5 years later I was drinking 15 beers a day everyday and doing dangerous drugs. It eventually cost me my job.
The legend grows.
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Old 07-24-20, 08:12 PM
  #142  
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Originally Posted by TMonk View Post
The bike skills discussion is interesting in the context of roadie racing. I'm just a cat 2 in SCNCA and even as a lighter rider (66 kg), my threshold w/kg numbers are nothing to write home about. I am good at over/under type efforts and at getting up the road with a few minutes of high power.

But I do have better bike handling and riding skills than most IMO. The physical handling doesn't come in to play so much in road racing, esp. compared to other disciplines like MTB and messenger racing. But it helps.

There is a lot of skill associated with going as fast as possible while using a minimum of energy. Physical nuances like chosing the best line, holding your body/shoulders a certain way depending on the wind and optimizing your cadence with course features can make it easier to hold speed. Mental nuances like knowing exactly how long and hard to pull, if/when you need to close a gap and when to pull the plug on an effort also make it easier to go fast. Some of these things come with experience, and to some degree their also innate in a rider's talent.

I credit a lot of my ability to roll breakaways with guys over my pedigree to these nuances. Same with my ability to set course records (locally) and win state champ TTT's with these guys - skill, less brute strength:


I'm in the hat

That was an absolutely fantastic post, I wish I could like it twice.

I have tremendous respect for road racers. They are some of the best athletes in the world and in terms of pure fitness are extraordinary. My description of someone at your level is "animal" and it is no surprise that Tour winners get called things like "cannibal." I love MMA but you know what? Professional cyclists are arguably the toughest athletes on the planet.

In addition, one of, if not the best thing I ever did for my bike skills was to train with high level road racers. They taught me pedal and cadence sophistication I had never seen broken down so well, and this was after 20 years of riding.

For more than 10 years I followed every stage of the Tour and The Giro and Paris Roubaix.

That is what I think of road racers.
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Old 07-25-20, 04:26 PM
  #143  
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Originally Posted by RadDog View Post
That is what I think of road racers.
But you feel compelled to try and call them out at every opportunity?

Makes zero sense.

Again, why not buy a license and go race?
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Old 07-26-20, 11:30 AM
  #144  
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Originally Posted by TMonk View Post
The bike skills discussion is interesting in the context of roadie racing. I'm just a cat 2 in SCNCA and even as a lighter rider (66 kg), my threshold w/kg numbers are nothing to write home about. I am good at over/under type efforts and at getting up the road with a few minutes of high power.

But I do have better bike handling and riding skills than most IMO. The physical handling doesn't come in to play so much in road racing, esp. compared to other disciplines like MTB and messenger racing. But it helps.

There is a lot of skill associated with going as fast as possible while using a minimum of energy. Physical nuances like chosing the best line, holding your body/shoulders a certain way depending on the wind and optimizing your cadence with course features can make it easier to hold speed. Mental nuances like knowing exactly how long and hard to pull, if/when you need to close a gap and when to pull the plug on an effort also make it easier to go fast. Some of these things come with experience, and to some degree their also innate in a rider's talent.
I heard a rider talk about how his team would see who could have the most time coasting in their training races. The ability to save energy is a skill that good road riders have. Years ago, a study was done on pedaling smoothness. There were cyclists from various disciplines. The riders who had the least efficient pedal stroke were track sprinters. Different events in cycling require different skills. This just doesn’t seem that hard to understand.
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Old 07-27-20, 10:45 PM
  #145  
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Making a living at cycling is something more could do if they wanted to. This is something that you decide before you are old enough to legally drink, not a mid-20s. I knew a few of kids that could have been WT pros and didn't want to, and a few that are. Listen to Phil Gaimon videos and you can get his perspective.. Those deciding they maybe could and those deciding not to are different.

Jobs are pretty much jobs. If you are the best at it, it is a pretty good job. If you are like the other few hundred chasing it, it may not be so much fun, unless of course you are paid millions for the journey such as in the big sports.
I understand being a pro is hard. That does not make it such a good life decision, even if you can do it.
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Old 07-28-20, 06:16 AM
  #146  
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Originally Posted by Doge View Post
Making a living at cycling is something more could do if they wanted to. This is something that you decide before you are old enough to legally drink, not a mid-20s. I knew a few of kids that could have been WT pros and didn't want to, and a few that are. Listen to Phil Gaimon videos and you can get his perspective.. Those deciding they maybe could and those deciding not to are different.

Jobs are pretty much jobs. If you are the best at it, it is a pretty good job. If you are like the other few hundred chasing it, it may not be so much fun, unless of course you are paid millions for the journey such as in the big sports.
I understand being a pro is hard. That does not make it such a good life decision, even if you can do it.
I know Phil and saw him rise through the ranks while he was attending college here at UF. I also know several people that tried to rise to his ranks, including several that started as juniors (12ish). While determination can get people places (hey I made it to the 2s! in my late 30s/early 40s), a big part of the equation really does involve picking the right parents and getting some genetic blessings.
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Old 07-28-20, 06:46 AM
  #147  
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serious question. did he pick the right parents? we can agree there's more to it anyway. including the clean tattoo. he's an instagram influencer. it's not like he made it in the show.
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Old 07-28-20, 07:08 AM
  #148  
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Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
serious question. did he pick the right parents? we can agree there's more to it anyway. including the clean tattoo. he's an instagram influencer. it's not like he made it in the show.
I might be misinterpreting his post, but I took it as Phil did NOT choose the right parents. At least what I've read of Phil's book he claims many times to NOT have had a good feeling about having the right parents. And he pushed for his dream anyway. He called it something like "real talent".

Again, from the book. I don't live in you guy's world.

As far as "real talent", it is relatable. I grew up playing golf with kids who spent their childhoods on the course and couldn't shoot par to save their lives (or save their quarters and dollars). "Real talent" in golf is the hand-eye-body coordination equivalent I guess of in endurance sport "having the right parents". Lessons and buckets of balls and hours at the course can help a lot. But if you know what you're doing, you can just look at somebody swing and know which person has a totally manufactured swing.........and the ones who use the resources to hone their "real talent". It's almost like seeing "natural beauty" versus a bunch of makeup and clothes.
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Old 07-28-20, 07:16 AM
  #149  
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youtube, not instagram
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Old 07-28-20, 07:53 AM
  #150  
topflightpro
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I have to agree with Ken. Hard work is very important. But it can only take you so far if you do not have the proper genetics. Alternatively, just having the proper genetics won't guarantee you success without also putting in the hard work.

For example, we all know that Barry Bonds used PEDs to increase his size and strength. But, studies also show that his eyes and brain see and process information faster than average, which allows him to respond to a 95 mph fastball, swing the bat and make a hit. Without that key advantage, it's doubtful he would have been as successful as he was, even with hardwork and PEDs. (As a reminder, his father was a pro baseball player too.)
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