Monday, April 20, 2015

If I Were a Pro Cyclist

One of the more common themes I think about on my solo rides is what type of cyclist would I be if I were a pro.  It’s not that I plan on turning pro at 53 it’s just fun to think about.

Leading my own little peloton.
I start the process with the same key assumption - I might be stronger than I am today but I would not have different skills than I have today.  What I mean by that is I’ve never had a strong sprint so I don’t assume I would have a sprint if I were a pro.  So, what are the skills I have today?

My specialty seems to be endurance.  If I am training well, I can push myself for long periods at a lifted pace (but not a winning pace).  It was the same thing when I was more of a runner.  So, how would this translate to the pros?

Time Trial Specialist - Oh, hell no!!!  These boys and girls can push themselves to a whole different level of pain and it takes a mental discipline I do not possess.  My career wins as a time trialist would be 0.

Riding in the group.
Sprinter - I would not make a good sprinter since, as i mentioned before, I don’t have that explosive power needed to sprint for the line.  As to career wins in a sprinter, that would be another 0.

Climber - When I’m training hard, I can diesel my way up big climbs.  It’s just that I make it up them slowly.  To be honest, I don’t think I could stick to the dietary restrictions necessary for this one.  I mean if I was racing in Italy and my choice was between winning a mountain stage or a double scoop of salted caramel gelato, well the gelato wins that race every time. Of course, this would mean another 0 in terms of career wins.

Domestique - This would be me.  The guy who rides along and keeps the team leader out of the wind.  The guy who drifts back to the team car and stuffs water bottles into every conceivable spot before riding back up to the front.  The guy who makes a decent living but would never be in the spotlight.

I even think I know what my specialty would be as a domestique - breakaway chaser.  I’d be the guy that the team manager would sent to the front of the peloton towards the end of a race to lift the pace and reel in the breakaway.  This is the only real role that takes advantage of my ability to ride hard for long periods.  However, once the break was caught and the other specialist took over I would sit up and finish the race in the back of the bunch.

The end!!!
This is also the only area where I could dream of winning.  It would have to be one of those special circumstances where I managed to get in the breakaway and we stayed clear to the end where I somehow out smarted my fellow riders.  In order to keep things real, I’m going to give myself a grand total of 1 career win.

Of course, this is all pure speculation.  If I had discovered cycling before the age of 42 there’s no guarantees that things would be any different than they are today.  As I said before, it’s just a fun thing to about as I roll along.

The only remaining question is type of cyclist would you be if you were a pro?


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