Following the pros in the Giro d’Italia, Tour of California and the other pro races across the season, it’s obvious that they are light years better than us recreational roadies. But why?
For starters, the pros are almost all in their 20s and 30s, in their physical primes. Moreover, they won the gene pool lottery. Because of their genetics, they have a high VO2 max and a higher percentage of fast-twitch muscles – the ones that provide high power. The pros may also have small body frames and have deliberately gotten as lean as possible – something many of us probably can only remember wistfully as we think back to our youth!
The pros train and recover full-time, putting in thousands more miles annually than you and me. They have full support teams: team director, personal coach, nutritionist, physician, masseuse, etc. They get their top-of-the-line equipment for free and have team mechanics to set up and maintain their bikes.
The pros also have the advantage of decades of experience and tutelage. Almost all of them started racing when they were in their teens. They raced with older teammates who shared the wisdom of the road. The team directors and coaches are all former racers, as well.
You and I can’t possibly match these attributes and benefits.
However, you, too, can benefit from the cumulative expertise in the pro ranks – through Coach John Hughes.
Coach Hughes is finishing an eArticle tentatively titled Learning from the Pros: Tips from 33 Pros on How to Be a Better Rider, which RBR will publish next week. The article will feature tips from the pros on training, nutrition, strategy and tactics, and mental preparation to help you become a stronger rider!
Coach Hughes has been a student of the sport since Eddy Merckx dominated cycling. Hughes is constantly learning the latest about the pros’ strategy and tactics, training, recovery, nutrition and all the other factors that go into successful racing. He applies all of this to coaching his riders.
Coach Hughes coaches riders who are amateurs, not pros, and aficionados, no racers. In other words, regular roadies like you and me. Last year Hughes coached five riders (four were rookies) in the grueling 1200 km Paris-Brest-Paris. 76.4% of the U.S. riders finished. All five of Hughes’ riders finished!
Look for Learning from the Pros: Tips from 33 Pros on How to Be a Better Rider next week.
John Marsh is the former editor and publisher of RBR Newsletter and RoadBikeRider.com. A rider of "less than podium" talent, he brought our readers consistently useful, informative, entertaining info that helps make them better road cyclists. That's what we're all about here—always have been, always will be. Click to read John's full bio.