El Pistolero wrote:But is cycling more popular in Europe now then in the 70s?
. . .
Interesting possibility. The US bike boom in the 70's was VERY big. It is possible it was bigger than the one in the late 80's, or the one in the 2-aughts. What has changed, though, is the general public's awareness of cycling as a sport. In the 70's, there WASN'T any public awareness of it. It was all new. The bike booms in the 80's and the 2-aughts benefit from the earlier knowledge gains. They might SEEM bigger, and not actually BE bigger. I couldn't say - maybe somebody has some numbers.
El Pistolero wrote:No, not that. Just saying it's still very much a European sport these days.
Less popular in West-Europe(nowadays), but more popular outside of the traditional European cycling countries. I just don't see this supposed internationality of cycling. It's a European sport down to its core.
Australia and Great Britain have made the greatest leaps since the day of Merckx. USA had great cyclists in the past, but now there's few great American cyclists anymore. . . .
I can't agree here. There are plenty of great US cyclists today. We're just short a GT winner at the moment.
silverrocket wrote:Yes of course more precise training techniques have existed for a long time (eg. Coppi and intervals), but I maintain that there have been a lot of advancements, and a mainstreaming of said advancements. . .
silverrocket wrote:Technology has changed the methods. Nobody had heart rate monitors, nevermind power meters, in Merckx's time, for example.
Also the 60s-70s marked a transition in training techniques. Some still were doing the "ride lots", some only trained by racing lots, while some subscribed to the more precise training programs. De Vlaminck said his training goal was simply to ride more than anybody else, with 400km long training rides.
Absolutely agree. I don't know how anyone can believe it is rational to argue that training was the "same" in Coppi's time as today. Up until the past 20 years or so, sports science barely existed - and what did exist did not have universal following. When Coppi said "this is the best method", you would have somebody else, also a big name, saying, "THIS, over HERE, is the best method". So, it was who you chose to believe, and partisan. A good example is intervals. They started to get attention in the 70's, resulting from the Finn "fartlek" in X-country skiing, compared to the Swedes' LSD training regime. I tell you this from memory, so if somebody comes up with a little more accurate reprise, no skin off my nose. But I don't remember seeing intervals in cycle training until the 80's. Today, with the internet and the advancements in sports science knowledge base, things are a lot different.
It is of great use to the sailor to know the length of his line, though he cannot with it fathom all the depths of the ocean. ~ John Locke