Is it too late for me to become a professional cyclist.

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Is it too late for me to become a professional cyclist.

Postby Giantrider1997 » Sun May 12, 2013 11:22 pm

I really want to become a pro cyclist and that is pretty much the only goal i have in life. I don't know have left it too late; I am 15 years of age and am riding c grade crits. If you think it is possible, what will i have to do to achieve my goal?
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by BNA » Mon May 13, 2013 6:10 am

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Re: Is it too late for me to become a professional cyclist.

Postby toolonglegs » Mon May 13, 2013 6:10 am

Mate, why would you think you have left it too late at 15?... Definitely not too late age wise, whether you have it in you is another matter... Only one way to find out ...good luck! :-)
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Re: Is it too late for me to become a professional cyclist.

Postby Derny Driver » Mon May 13, 2013 10:07 am

Hi buddy
Being a pro cyclist is not something a person just chooses to do like choosing to be a plumber or something. Teams choose you. Often who gets chosen involves things like having the right contacts and being recommended by someone important. These teams are able to cherry pick the cream of Australias best riders. Even great results are no guarantee of anything. At the very least you need results at a national level and even then there is no guarantee.
Firstly , you need to get noticed. You wont get noticed doing doing crits anywhere. Try doing (when you are old enough) some State Opens. We just had 2 big handicap races at Cootamundra this weekend, and Tour de Tweed / battle of the Border last week, not a whisper on here, just reports of crits and insignificant little club races. So this forum is probably the wrong place to hang out if you are serious about cycling for a living.
Secondly, take up track bike racing. This is a pathway to State squads where you will receive expert coaching and be noticed by the big teams. Cycling teams love track riders. Most of our Pros were noticed on the velodrome circuit. Caleb Ewan, Scott Law, Aaron Donnelly come to mind ...
Thirdly, there are some smaller local teams who take on young riders and give them some experience. Paradice investment out of Newcastle come to mind. After getting some results with the smaller team, a bigger NRS team may then offer you a contract. Again, you need to impress the local team with some good results in races with quality fields on the State Open calendar (see CNSW website).
A Pro rider need to be able to work hard on the front a a big race and follow instructions. These guys stand out in the big races because 99% of guys are looking for the easy ride and the win. My advice is to train hard and do the big State races where you will learn how to ride correctly and you will be noticed.
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Re: Is it too late for me to become a professional cyclist.

Postby Nobody » Mon May 13, 2013 11:19 am

Giantrider1997 wrote:I really want to become a pro cyclist...what will i have to do to achieve my goal?
I knew a guy at my work who many years ago won some junior Australian road racing title or something. He considered chasing it further and so took a couple of months off work, trained intensively, then got tested for ability scientifically. The results said he didn't have what it took so continued on with his normal work and life. Since in cycling much of your ability is going to be genetically predetermined, I suggest you get tested as well. You could find out the hard way, but then you might waste time that could be applied to other endeavors in life. Having a long term dream you don't have the genetic potential to achieve may become demoralizing. For every person that aspired to be a pro and made it there are literally thousands that didn't make it for whatever reason. I've heard there is only 1 in 500 who actually have the genetic potential to be a pro.

Of course the easy way to become a professional cyclist is to become a bike courier. :)
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Re: Is it too late for me to become a professional cyclist.

Postby wardie » Mon May 13, 2013 11:29 am

Don't sacrifice your education in pursuit of this goal. Work equally hard at both.
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Re: Is it too late for me to become a professional cyclist.

Postby twizzle » Mon May 13, 2013 11:46 am

Nobody wrote:
Giantrider1997 wrote:I really want to become a pro cyclist...what will i have to do to achieve my goal?
I knew a guy at my work who many years ago won some junior Australian road racing title or something. He considered chasing it further and so took a couple of months off work, trained intensively, then got tested for ability scientifically. The results said he didn't have what it took so continued on with his normal work and life. Since in cycling much of your ability is going to be genetically predetermined, I suggest you get tested as well. You could find out the hard way, but then you might waste time that could be applied to other endeavors in life. Having a long term dream you don't have the genetic potential to achieve may become demoralizing. For every person that aspired to be a pro and made it there are literally thousands that didn't make it for whatever reason. I've heard there is only 1 in 500 who actually have the genetic potential to be a pro.

Of course the easy way to become a professional cyclist is to become a bike courier. :)


There are a number of pro cyclists who were told they would never amount to anything after testing. Testing is indicative, not a guarantee.

The TDF is the cream of the world cycling ranks, yet each year there are only a handful of people who could challenge for the GC or a stage win. That leaves a lot of slots open for people who aren't genetically incredible.

To the OP... got a power meter? Probably a better investment than full-on testing at this point in time.
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Re: Is it too late for me to become a professional cyclist.

Postby Derny Driver » Mon May 13, 2013 12:17 pm

twizzle wrote:To the OP... got a power meter? Probably a better investment than full-on testing at this point in time.

Power meter at 15 years old ? Oh no no no no no
Ride your bike and learn to race.

Maybe you mean jump on a wattbike and do a one off test? But that means nothing at 15. My son did one at 15 and was knocked back from the local Academy of Sport. Hes now at 18 almost off scratch in State Opens.
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Re: Is it too late for me to become a professional cyclist.

Postby Nobody » Mon May 13, 2013 1:01 pm

twizzle wrote:The TDF is the cream of the world cycling ranks, yet each year there are only a handful of people who could challenge for the GC or a stage win. That leaves a lot of slots open for people who aren't genetically incredible.
I'd argue that they are all genetically gifted otherwise they wouldn't be there in the first place. The handful are the true freaks among them.

How many pro riders are there in the world that can make a good living out of it? 500? 1000? There are supposed to be 7.5 billion people on earth now. Much easier to earn money doing something mainstream and to leave the cycling for recreation/sport/commuting etc.
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Re: Is it too late for me to become a professional cyclist.

Postby twizzle » Mon May 13, 2013 1:03 pm

Derny Driver wrote:
twizzle wrote:To the OP... got a power meter? Probably a better investment than full-on testing at this point in time.

Power meter at 15 years old ? Oh no no no no no
Ride your bike and learn to race.

Maybe you mean jump on a wattbike and do a one off test? But that means nothing at 15. My son did one at 15 and was knocked back from the local Academy of Sport. Hes now at 18 almost off scratch in State Opens.


Yes, a PM is a luxury - but it's a great training aid and you can get a rough idea of how you compare to others and you can see how you progress. Obviously, it won't turn a crap rider into a great rider, but how many of the good coaches will work with an athlete without one? Then again... I know a paralympian who hardly uses hers except in time trials.

I'm always impressed that people are prepared to blow $2k+ on a set of wheels that give them almost no benefit, but won't buy a cheap PM to aid their training and racing.
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Re: Is it too late for me to become a professional cyclist.

Postby twizzle » Mon May 13, 2013 1:07 pm

Nobody wrote:
twizzle wrote:The TDF is the cream of the world cycling ranks, yet each year there are only a handful of people who could challenge for the GC or a stage win. That leaves a lot of slots open for people who aren't genetically incredible.
I'd argue that they are all genetically gifted otherwise they wouldn't be there in the first place. The handful are the true freaks among them.

How many pro riders are there in the world that can make a good living out of it? 500? 1000? There are supposed to be 7.5 billion people on earth now. Much easier to earn money doing something mainstream and to leave the cycling for recreation/sport/commuting etc.


:roll:

I'm all for being a realist, but quite frankly you are simply being negative.
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Re: Is it too late for me to become a professional cyclist.

Postby Giantrider1997 » Mon May 13, 2013 2:09 pm

Thx guys. I am going to go with kelly cycling coaching and may start track cycling.
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Re: Is it too late for me to become a professional cyclist.

Postby cyclotaur » Mon May 13, 2013 2:28 pm

twizzle wrote:
Nobody wrote:
twizzle wrote:The TDF is the cream of the world cycling ranks, yet each year there are only a handful of people who could challenge for the GC or a stage win. That leaves a lot of slots open for people who aren't genetically incredible.
I'd argue that they are all genetically gifted otherwise they wouldn't be there in the first place. The handful are the true freaks among them.

How many pro riders are there in the world that can make a good living out of it? 500? 1000? There are supposed to be 7.5 billion people on earth now. Much easier to earn money doing something mainstream and to leave the cycling for recreation/sport/commuting etc.

:roll:
I'm all for being a realist, but quite frankly you are simply being negative.

Hence the username 'Nobody' .... :wink:

If I was 15 again, with the glorious benefit of hindsight, I'd just have a crack and see how far I could go.
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Re: Is it too late for me to become a professional cyclist.

Postby toolonglegs » Mon May 13, 2013 3:21 pm

I agree with concentrating on your education... But if this is your dream then throw everything at it!, if you fail, so be it...at least you tried. Better than regretting it for the rest of your life.
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Re: Is it too late for me to become a professional cyclist.

Postby Nobody » Mon May 13, 2013 3:38 pm

cyclotaur wrote:Hence the username 'Nobody' .... :wink:
Just because I'm realistic doesn't make me unsuccessful in life.
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Re: Is it too late for me to become a professional cyclist.

Postby cyclotaur » Mon May 13, 2013 4:18 pm

Nobody wrote:
cyclotaur wrote:Hence the username 'Nobody' .... :wink:
Just because I'm realistic doesn't make me unsuccessful in life.

Oh, yeah, for sure - many paths to a happy life. Jack of All Trades, Master of None speaking right here ... :)

But at 15 I think Giantrider1997 can look at things with a 'glass half full' perspective and not worry about the ba-zillion things that might stand between himself and a particular aspiration, sporting or otherwise.
Here's my blog - A bit of fun :)
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Re: Is it too late for me to become a professional cyclist.

Postby dalai47 » Mon May 13, 2013 6:21 pm

It will be extremely difficult for someone to make the elite ranks. As already mentioned, it isn't even always the best riders who make it but those that get noticed and know the right people.

Also as already alluded to, please don't neglect your studies. As even if you do make it, careers can easily come any go with injuries and accidents; plus riders retire after a long career usually before 40 (may not seem it now but that is still young... :wink: ) For this reason even Institutes of Sport have career and eduction programs (Victorian Institute of Sport has their ACE program) as they understand the importance of education and career.

But having said all that, if you still feel strongly enough about it and can still give your studies the attention required why not have that as your focus? I wanted to be elite in my sport (not cycling) and trained hard whilst in High School and Uni. In the end I did make it to the elite ranks (ranked 2nd in Australia for a couple of years); including competing in a World Cup in the UK, US Nationals (when they still allowed non US citizens to compete) and other lesser International events.

I was forced to retire from my sport at 28 due to reocurring injuries. But can happily look back without that question of 'what if'. Am also happy I didn't neglect my studies and completed my degree, so now have a well paying job which allows me to own some nice bikes and get out and race. Only local races but enjoyable none the less.
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Re: Is it too late for me to become a professional cyclist.

Postby vander » Mon May 13, 2013 8:33 pm

Nobody wrote:I'd argue that they are all genetically gifted otherwise they wouldn't be there in the first place. The handful are the true freaks among them.

How many pro riders are there in the world that can make a good living out of it? 500? 1000? There are supposed to be 7.5 billion people on earth now. Much easier to earn money doing something mainstream and to leave the cycling for recreation/sport/commuting etc.


They actually struggle to find these genetic limits in good studies. There are only a few, one being height and the other being dedication. You would be surprised how plastic the human body is (despite what I hear here all the time) even out of professionals there are very few who hit their genetic limit (if there even is one), dont believe what people say you can be whatever you want to be.
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Re: Is it too late for me to become a professional cyclist.

Postby Nobody » Mon May 13, 2013 8:45 pm

vander wrote:They actually struggle to find these genetic limits in good studies. There are only a few, one being height and the other being dedication. You would be surprised how plastic the human body is (despite what I hear here all the time) even out of professionals there are very few who hit their genetic limit (if there even is one), dont believe what people say you can be whatever you want to be.
I saw a science program a while ago on SBS (I think) where they have developed a genetic test to determine your aerobic training response. They tested the presenter to find he was in the no response group. Subsequent testing proved he could train but didn't get any significant aerobic gain. It might be the one below.
http://www.sbs.com.au/documentary/program/1087

Most people on here would be at least medium level response to training, otherwise we wouldn't enjoy riding much, especially competitively.
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Re: Is it too late for me to become a professional cyclist.

Postby vander » Mon May 13, 2013 9:03 pm

While I cant say I watched the program I do not believe in these aerobic non-responders that people seem to love resorting back to, again no scientific study have mentioned these, even studies with lots of subjects.
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Re: Is it too late for me to become a professional cyclist.

Postby Jono L. » Mon May 13, 2013 9:39 pm

Giantrider1997 wrote:I really want to become a pro cyclist and that is pretty much the only goal i have in life. I don't know have left it too late; I am 15 years of age and am riding c grade crits. If you think it is possible, what will i have to do to achieve my goal?

Do it,

keep studying.

Say hi to bob for me.
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Re: Is it too late for me to become a professional cyclist.

Postby toolonglegs » Mon May 13, 2013 9:51 pm

Jono... how ya feeling mate?... hope all the healing goes well!.
I met a young Moroccan guy at the Tour de Maroc who said he was about two riders behind you when you came down in China!.
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Re: Is it too late for me to become a professional cyclist.

Postby nickobec » Mon May 13, 2013 10:31 pm

To answer your original question - No
Marijn de Vries was twice your age when she
started an experiment in November 2008. I wondered if you can still start a top sports career when you're 30.

currently riding for Lotto-Belisol Ladies Cycling Team

the other posters have given you good advice, particularly jono l
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Re: Is it too late for me to become a professional cyclist.

Postby Giantrider1997 » Mon May 13, 2013 11:32 pm

Fyi, I am 183 cms tall, 63 kgs, bmi of 18.6. Started proper club racing a year and a bit ago. If this helps at all.
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Re: Is it too late for me to become a professional cyclist.

Postby Derny Driver » Mon May 13, 2013 11:35 pm

Where do you live GR1997?
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Re: Is it too late for me to become a professional cyclist.

Postby Giantrider1997 » Mon May 13, 2013 11:41 pm

I live in melbourne, mt waverley
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