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Early peakers

A place to discuss all things related to current professional road races. Here, you can also touch on the latest news relating to professional road racing. A doping discussion free forum.

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Re:

08 May 2018 20:01

Armchair cyclist wrote:Moreno Moser deserves a mention as having has an extraordinary first full season as a pro (and up to the beginning of March), followed by 6 years of mainly indifferent performances, with just occasional hints of what we thought had been revealed.

I fear Alberto Bettiol is lining to follow the same trajectory.


Moreno Moser issues are mental/motivational. There's a perennial sense that he's going to announce retirement. He's simply not anymore in the mentality of a professional athlete.

Bettiol was nowhere this spring and now he's injured however the later hasn't showed not even a fraction of what Moser did in his first years. Bettiol has a top ten in S. Sebastian, top 25 in Flanders and a lot of other placements (like 5th in a stage at the tour) all achieved last year. Moser won Tour of Poland, Strade Bianche, GP Frankfurt plus 3rd on the Alpe d'Huez before turning 23

Bettiol doesn't come from a rich family so he probably needs to do the job, and has not even won a sigle race among the pros yet. He was never anything more than a little promise.
EroicaStradeBianche
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Re: Early peakers

08 May 2018 20:11

I think we should keep the sprinters out of the discussion. They simply need a completely different skillset.
I don't know whether you can call this issue "peaking too early". I'd say they are simply peaking at a different age, otherwise you could as well say guys like Nibali are peaking too late. I think bernal, just like schleck, Quintana and others won't improve after getting 23. His level at that point might still be enough to become a tdf winner though.
I generally find it interesting though that climbers peak at completely different ages. I mean who on earth would have thought Nibali ends his career more successful than schleck in 2007 or even in 2011. For the same reason I still think Mas has a chance to become an elite gc rider as he has shown great potential but is hopefully just nowhere close to being fully developed. Ofc it's unlikely but it's possible and who knows, maybe in ten years I'll ask "who on earth thought Mas would end his career more successful than Bernal in 2018?" :D
User avatar Gigs_98
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08 May 2018 20:20

Gigs_98, Mas very well could reach his peak a bit later. However, I'd say that is likely for this current generation of Spanish cyclists. This would be do to the fact that after the economic collapse cycling in Spain was hurting at all levels. So as this group starts to turn pro they are a bit behind on development to begin with. Soler just started to really show some glimpses of how good he can be last year and has carried that to this year.
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Re:

08 May 2018 20:32

staubsauger wrote:Talking about early peakers, Eugeni Berzin is the obvious one!


May be early peaker of EPO :). Victim of 50% rule ... .
lartiste
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08 May 2018 20:51

Well some were early peakers because there was not much to gain anymore.Others because they had horrible crashes and injuries to set them back. Others because fof clinical reasons.
User avatar Dekker_Tifosi
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08 May 2018 21:04

In Berzin's case because he married a filthy rich italian woman who loved to party.
After that he couldn't care less about training ever again. It was all about partying and enjoying her money and company.
User avatar GuyIncognito
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Re:

08 May 2018 22:07

GuyIncognito wrote:In Berzin's case because he married a filthy rich italian woman who loved to party.
After that he couldn't care less about training ever again. It was all about partying and enjoying her money and company.


Any source for that? Interesting I have never heard of it ... .
lartiste
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08 May 2018 22:18

Quite a few to mention here, for various reasons. Obviously I think it best not to include those like Kai Reus for whom there were distinctive and obvious reasons beyond their control why they never fulfilled the promise shown.

Cunego is perhaps the poster boy for this, exploding on to the scene but never quite replicating that emergence, while others were simply overhyped and in retrospect their youthful performances were not quite all that they were made out to be and so it's less of a surprise they were unable to live up to the weight of expectations - Brice Feillu is a good example of this. Plenty of people for whom it was the mental side of the sport that they couldn't adapt to - like Moser mentioned above - but also for someone like Andy Schleck there's a combination of both the mental side and injuries.

There's quite a few who've never quite lived up to their promise as espoirs, but for people who've become established pros, there are even those who've had very strong careers who have never quite managed to fulfil the expectations of them, like Edvald Boasson Hagen.

Come to think of it, digging back into his career there were quite a few 'early peakers' at Bob Stapleton's merry band of boredom-mongers. Löfkvist looked like Sky's second best GC option (and indeed in 2010 turned into their actual best one) at one stage, while Matt Goss fell off a cliff, and Gerald Ciolek might have that anomalous win in Milano-Sanremo but never delivered otherwise on what was a lot of promise early on. Aside from them, all those flaky climbers Patrick Lefèvre signed to be Quick Step's GC option - people like Perdiguero and Rujano - are good examples too. Kevin Seeldraeyers once won the maglia bianca. Remember when Martijn Maaskant was supposed to become a major cobbled contender? And of course there's a perennial forum favourite that needs to be mentioned here: Carlos Betancur.

Plus, of course, probably the all time greatest early peaker: Freddie Maertens.
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Re:

08 May 2018 22:39

GuyIncognito wrote:In Berzin's case because he married a filthy rich italian woman who loved to party.
After that he couldn't care less about training ever again. It was all about partying and enjoying her money and company.

Whatever happened to his former girlfriend Stella!?
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08 May 2018 23:16

Going back to the first post: Gesink still is an excellent rider and he seems like a great guy. But he never won much at any level. Ulrich was very good, he won two GTs and was on the podium in Paris eight times. He just wasn't better than HWMNBN. Quintana is very good, he won two GTs and has been on the podium in Paris three times. He has just hasn't been better than Chris Froome.

I do think agree that the most cycling prodigies tend to peak relatively early and burn out to a degree. But many of them do manage to accomplish a lot while there on peak form. In fact, I think they have an even better track record than the late bloomers.

I mean, how about two riders from the Brabant, who both won one of the biggest one day races the sport had on offer around the time they turned 21. One had a single major result after turning 30 (two, if we're pushing it) and was basically retired by 31. The other has also had a single major result after turning 27 (two, if we're pushing it). Hint: they both share a nickname and a place in my all-time rankings.
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Re: Early peakers

09 May 2018 08:26

It's also worth considering that a fair number of riders 'punch above their weight' every now and then. I don't mean that harshly, but just that some might get a relatively lucky big win, or they have a period of great form that is way above their usual level and it happens to coincide with a race that suits them...then after their lucky win or period of great form, they regress to their usual standard...

Now, when this happens with an established rider, people tend not to think too much of it and take it for what it is - think of Van Summeren and his PR win for example; nobody expected him to become the next Messeuw; everybody knew it was a somewhat lucky win.
But when it happens with a young rider, there's understandably a lot of hype around them. Then when they regress to their usual standard, it appears that they've peaked early...
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Re:

09 May 2018 09:11

Dekker_Tifosi wrote:Well some were early peakers because there was not much to gain anymore.Others because they had horrible crashes and injuries to set them back. Others because fof clinical reasons.


Would that make it less a case of how early they reached the top, and more a case of how early they fell from the top?
I mean, Eddy Merckx reached the top pretty young, and then he just kinda stayed up there. Which I guess would make it less of a "peak" and more of a "ridge"...
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Re:

09 May 2018 15:20

GuyIncognito wrote:In Berzin's case because he married a filthy rich italian woman who loved to party.
After that he couldn't care less about training ever again. It was all about partying and enjoying her money and company.


As far as I remember the woman Berzin married was twenty years older and owned a used car dealership in the province Pavia. That description looks more accurate for Romans Vainsteins who married the daughter of the Vini Caldirola sponsor and pretty was much was over as a cyclist two years after he was world champ.
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Re: Re:

09 May 2018 16:05

ciranda wrote:
GuyIncognito wrote:In Berzin's case because he married a filthy rich italian woman who loved to party.
After that he couldn't care less about training ever again. It was all about partying and enjoying her money and company.


As far as I remember the woman Berzin married was twenty years older and owned a used car dealership in the province Pavia. That description looks more accurate for Romans Vainsteins who married the daughter of the Vini Caldirola sponsor and pretty was much was over as a cyclist two years after he was world champ.

Eugeni married Helena from a quite wealthy Italian family and indeed owns some Fiat stores nowadays.

Berzin ain't got nothing but training hard in his mind, when he moved over to Italy from Vyborg! Once the success, the marriage and the wealth came, his priorities changed drastically. That's how his former sports director Bombini once phrased it.

http://www.cyclingnews.com/features/evgeni-berzin-russian-roulette/
http://www.cycling4fans.de/index.php?id=1036

These are two quite interesting articles about Berzin. Especially the German summeration of his career is a nice read if you understand the language.
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Re: Re:

09 May 2018 16:12

staubsauger wrote:
ciranda wrote:
GuyIncognito wrote:In Berzin's case because he married a filthy rich italian woman who loved to party.
After that he couldn't care less about training ever again. It was all about partying and enjoying her money and company.


As far as I remember the woman Berzin married was twenty years older and owned a used car dealership in the province Pavia. That description looks more accurate for Romans Vainsteins who married the daughter of the Vini Caldirola sponsor and pretty was much was over as a cyclist two years after he was world champ.

Eugeni married Helena from a quite wealthy Italian family and indeed owns some Fiat stores nowadays.

Berzin ain't got nothing but training hard in his mind, when he moved over to Italy from Vyborg! Once the success, the marriage and the wealth came, his priorities changed drastically. That's how his former sports director Bombini once phrased it.

http://www.cyclingnews.com/features/evgeni-berzin-russian-roulette/
http://www.cycling4fans.de/index.php?id=1036

These are two quite interesting articles about Berzin. Especially the German summeration of his career is a nice read if you understand the language.

If I remember correctly he also hated his old track cycling coach in Leningrad and called him sadistic a few years later, he made them train really hard at a young age.
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Re: Re:

09 May 2018 16:16

Mayomaniac wrote:
staubsauger wrote:
ciranda wrote:
GuyIncognito wrote:In Berzin's case because he married a filthy rich italian woman who loved to party.
After that he couldn't care less about training ever again. It was all about partying and enjoying her money and company.


As far as I remember the woman Berzin married was twenty years older and owned a used car dealership in the province Pavia. That description looks more accurate for Romans Vainsteins who married the daughter of the Vini Caldirola sponsor and pretty was much was over as a cyclist two years after he was world champ.

Eugeni married Helena from a quite wealthy Italian family and indeed owns some Fiat stores nowadays.

Berzin ain't got nothing but training hard in his mind, when he moved over to Italy from Vyborg! Once the success, the marriage and the wealth came, his priorities changed drastically. That's how his former sports director Bombini once phrased it.

http://www.cyclingnews.com/features/evgeni-berzin-russian-roulette/
http://www.cycling4fans.de/index.php?id=1036

These are two quite interesting articles about Berzin. Especially the German summeration of his career is a nice read if you understand the language.

If I remember correctly he also hated his old track cycling coach in Leningrad and called him sadistic a few years later, he made them train really hard at a young age.

Yeah. Aleksandr Kuznetsov, father of tennis player Svetlana Kuznetsova, who also trained Viacheslav Ekimov in the UdSSR!
Last edited by staubsauger on 09 May 2018 16:19, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar staubsauger
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09 May 2018 16:17

Exactly, Berzin hates that guy, according to him he's a sadist.
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Re:

09 May 2018 16:47

Libertine Seguros wrote:There's quite a few who've never quite lived up to their promise as espoirs, but for people who've become established pros, there are even those who've had very strong careers who have never quite managed to fulfil the expectations of them, like Edvald Boasson Hagen.

Come to think of it, digging back into his career there were quite a few 'early peakers' at Bob Stapleton's merry band of boredom-mongers. Löfkvist looked like Sky's second best GC option (and indeed in 2010 turned into their actual best one) at one stage, while Matt Goss fell off a cliff, and Gerald Ciolek might have that anomalous win in Milano-Sanremo but never delivered otherwise on what was a lot of promise early on. Aside from them, all those flaky climbers Patrick Lefèvre signed to be Quick Step's GC option - people like Perdiguero and Rujano - are good examples too. Kevin Seeldraeyers once won the maglia bianca. Remember when Martijn Maaskant was supposed to become a major cobbled contender? And of course there's a perennial forum favourite that needs to be mentioned here: Carlos Betancur.

Plus, of course, probably the all time greatest early peaker: Freddie Maertens.


Goss, the rumour was alcohol. Never been confirmed AFAIK

Seeldraeyers several team members publicly called him lazy

Ciolek I have no clue. He was very good at Wiesenhof long before Columbia

Maaskant had a horror crash with the accompanying severe injury

Maertens, I'll quote the soigneur who worked with him:
A once great champion brought low by overuse of 'magic potion'

ciranda wrote:
GuyIncognito wrote:In Berzin's case because he married a filthy rich italian woman who loved to party.
After that he couldn't care less about training ever again. It was all about partying and enjoying her money and company.


As far as I remember the woman Berzin married was twenty years older and owned a used car dealership in the province Pavia. That description looks more accurate for Romans Vainsteins who married the daughter of the Vini Caldirola sponsor and pretty was much was over as a cyclist two years after he was world champ.


Vainsteins was a different deal. He was described by those who worked with him as the single most hard working bloody minded cyclist they've ever seen. When he won the world championship and signed a big contract, in his mind he'd made it.

If your career was built on exceptional motivation and that motivation disappears, it's easy to see where it's going to lead.

Part of it was his hatred at being shunned in Latvia because "cycling isn't a real sport". Once he was world champion the country started seeing him with new eyes and the seething anger that drove him cooled.

Shame. For a couple of years he was easily one of the world's best and most all-round riders

Mayomaniac wrote:Exactly, Berzin hates that guy, according to him he's a sadist.


Berzin hates everyone, though :lol:

But he's hardly alone in his views of Kuznetsov
User avatar GuyIncognito
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Re:

09 May 2018 19:38

carton wrote:Going back to the first post: Gesink still is an excellent rider and he seems like a great guy. But he never won much at any level. Ulrich was very good, he won two GTs and was on the podium in Paris eight times. He just wasn't better than HWMNBN. Quintana is very good, he won two GTs and has been on the podium in Paris three times. He has just hasn't been better than Chris Froome.

I do think agree that the most cycling prodigies tend to peak relatively early and burn out to a degree. But many of them do manage to accomplish a lot while there on peak form. In fact, I think they have an even better track record than the late bloomers.

I mean, how about two riders from the Brabant, who both won one of the biggest one day races the sport had on offer around the time they turned 21. One had a single major result after turning 30 (two, if we're pushing it) and was basically retired by 31. The other has also had a single major result after turning 27 (two, if we're pushing it). Hint: they both share a nickname and a place in my all-time rankings.


So, who are these guys?
craigmalone
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09 May 2018 21:09

The only names that come to mind are Vanderaerden and Van Hooydonck but they're from inbetween the two Brabants, not either of them.
And I have no idea what his all time rankings are, or what the nicknames are supposed to be.
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