Cyclists Vs. World Class athletes

Apr 2, 2010
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I have always wondered if cyclists are really THAT strong/fast compared to other world class athletes, if they had the time to learn to handle and ride a bike with the same intensity that a pro cyclist does.

What if Usain Bolt, or one of the faster running backs in the NFL lets say Adrian Peterson came down to a 500 meter end of race sprint with Mark Cavendish,
Andre Greipel or Tom Boonen etc....(insert your favorite sprinter)

And I'm posing the scenario that all the non-cyclists would be on a level playing field with the cyclists, so no drafting or race tactics just a shoulder to shoulder flat 500 meter sprint to the finish.

Who do you think would be the strongest finisher?
 
Apr 29, 2009
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Mark Cavendish, obviously.

You get good at what you train for. They are all world class athletes, but in totally different ways.
 
Apr 2, 2010
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Ibanez said:
You get good at what you train for.

That is true, but I am questioning the raw power these athletes in other sports could put out.
It would seem like the pure size of some of the big time running backs and track runners would make you think they could put out crazy watts as compared to the lighter cyclists that also need to get up hills in various races.
 
Jul 29, 2009
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A pro cyclist would always beat a pro from a different sport at cycling.

However there will be athletes from other sports who could have become better cyclists than current pros if they had chosen cycling when young.

for example take your pick from the various Kenyan, Ethiopian runners from the last decade!
 
Jun 9, 2009
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There was some old show on US television that used to put athletes from different pro sports up against each other in neutral sports. I think I remember seeing Kareem Abdul Jabaar (7'2") on a track bike sprinting against a female gymnast. It made for some pretty entertaining television.

There is more to sprinting that raw power output and tactics. Having a fluid cycling motion is something that takes literally millions of pedal strokes to refine. The same is true for sprint running.

To say Bolt could outsprint Cav on a bike is as silly as saying Cav could take Bolt in a footrace.
 
in a 500 meter sprint you'd have to take someone like Chris Hoy not Cav who excels in riding for 150+ km and then sprint.

Norwegian biathlete Ole Einar Bjoerndalen rode Alpe d'Huez in about 45 min, that's slower than the climbers but beats a lot of the heavier pros.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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I think it was Brailsford that said Hoy would beat Cavendish hands down in a straight up 500m sprint, but after riding 170+kms, Hoy would be useless.

It'll be the same for Bolt and any of the NFL roid boys
 
May 13, 2009
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It'll be the same for Bolt and any of the NFL roid boys
I would love to see Bolt take on Chris Johnson (titans) in a 60 or 65 meter race. They need to make that happen for the halftime show next year (I don't see the titans making it to the SB).
 
Mar 13, 2009
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amp300 said:
I would love to see Bolt take on Chris Johnson (titans) in a 60 or 65 meter race. They need to make that happen for the halftime show next year (I don't see the titans making it to the SB).
Wouldn't need to be 60m Bolt would win over 40m. Chris Johnson's time is 40 yards, not metres, and the clock starts from when he moves, not when a gun goes. When correcting for these bolt was quicker to 40yards, while he was aiming to run another 70 yards.
 
May 13, 2009
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karlboss said:
Wouldn't need to be 60m Bolt would win over 40m. Chris Johnson's time is 40 yards, not metres, and the clock starts from when he moves, not when a gun goes. When correcting for these bolt was quicker to 40yards, while he was aiming to run another 70 yards.
Wow thanks for sucking the fun out of that one! ;)
While this is all purely hypothetical, I doubt Bolt would agree to anything shorter then 60 (and yes I am well aware it is 40 yards in football not meters).
Even though he has the WR, I think the 100 is Bolt's 'weakest' event, hence why a shorter distance would put him at a disadvantage. Bolt doesn't race indoors, and I would guess it would have to be because of the shorter distances (or hitting up the Jamaican clubs during the winter). I think he is destined for the 200/400 double in London.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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amp300 said:
Wow thanks for sucking the fun out of that one! ;)
While this is all purely hypothetical, I doubt Bolt would agree to anything shorter then 60 (and yes I am well aware it is 40 yards in football not meters).
Even though he has the WR, I think the 100 is Bolt's 'weakest' event, hence why a shorter distance would put him at a disadvantage. Bolt doesn't race indoors, and I would guess it would have to be because of the shorter distances (or hitting up the Jamaican clubs during the winter). I think he is destined for the 200/400 double in London.
sorry:p
he doesn't enjoy the 400, but was groomed for it due to his height. Not sure he could be convinced to go back to it.
 
Nov 24, 2009
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karlboss said:
sorry:p
he doesn't enjoy the 400, but was groomed for it due to his height. Not sure he could be convinced to go back to it.
He did do a pretty quick 400 split late late/early this year? like 43.?? in a relay? But yeah, he doesn't like lactic acid burn, so will need convincing
 
Sep 25, 2009
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David Suro said:
There was some old show on US television that used to put athletes from different pro sports up against each other in neutral sports. I think I remember seeing Kareem Abdul Jabaar (7'2") on a track bike sprinting against a female gymnast. It made for some pretty entertaining television.

There is more to sprinting that raw power output and tactics. Having a fluid cycling motion is something that takes literally millions of pedal strokes to refine. The same is true for sprint running.

To say Bolt could outsprint Cav on a bike is as silly as saying Cav could take Bolt in a footrace.
+1

in my personal multi-sport experience, you never get as good doing another sport as if you concentrate on just one discipline.

when i was racing i often trained with some national caliber triathletes. they were very good and fast but i wondered why they seemed lacking power when serious hills began. and im not a real climber being always 'top-heavy' from my x-skiing in the winter.
 
May 13, 2009
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karlboss said:
sorry:p
he doesn't enjoy the 400, but was groomed for it due to his height. Not sure he could be convinced to go back to it.

Haha, its all good! I agree that it might be difficult for him to move up, just because his personal preference. As a fan though I want to see him do it.

He did do a pretty quick 400 split late late/early this year? like 43.?? in a relay? But yeah, he doesn't like lactic acid burn, so will need convincing
He ran a high 45 this year. It was February, so you can't put too much stock into it since it was so early in the season. Not sure if he ran in a 4x4 this year or not. He will be at Penn relays this year, and I can tell you that having raced there myself, the Jamaicans that attend will bring the house down when he takes the track.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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amp300 said:
Haha, its all good! I agree that it might be difficult for him to move up, just because his personal preference. As a fan though I want to see him do it.



He ran a high 45 this year. It was February, so you can't put too much stock into it since it was so early in the season. Not sure if he ran in a 4x4 this year or not. He will be at Penn relays this year, and I can tell you that having raced there myself, the Jamaicans that attend will bring the house down when he takes the track.
I want to see London 2012, Bolt Gold 100, 200, 400, long jump, 4*100, 4*400 impossible, and still requires more diversity than Phelps 8.
 
The entire proposition is rather silly. Bolt could no more become a top cyclist than Contador could transform himself into a world class track sprinter. Let alone an NFL running back become A. Schleck and vice-versa, or Woods a Phelps andsoforth.

Every sport has its special requirements and athletes are not interchangable parts. Some sports may be more congenial to themselves, which is why we have the triathelon. But each discipline has its own masters.

So I don't think we'll be seeing Phelp giving Nadal a run-for-his money at Wimbledon next time, not even if the former droped the swimming pool for ten years to dedicate himeslf entirely to becoming a tennis star.

But to return to to the track and the playing field: being able to run like a gazel or ferocious tiger, is a very different athletic gesture than say riding up Alpe d'Huez at 17mph. So let's leave the track stars and running backs to excel at what they're good at and, at the same time, give the cyclists their due credit.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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rhubroma said:
The entire proposition is rather silly. Bolt could no more become a top cyclist than Contador could transform himself into a world class track sprinter. Let alone an NFL running back become A. Schleck and vice-versa, or Woods a Phelps andsoforth.

Every sport has its special requirements and athletes are not interchangable parts. Some sports may be more congenial to themselves, which is why we have the triathelon. But each discipline has its own masters.

So I don't think we'll be seeing Phelp giving Nadal a run-for-his money at Wimbledon next time, not even if the former droped the swimming pool for ten years to dedicate himeslf to becoming a tennis star.
I disagree, I think a number of 100m track sprinters, weightlifters, and NFL running backs could swap to cycling sprinters...track not road. The physical requirements are very similar, just as a number of top middle distance runners could become top climbers, granted it would take a number of years training, 5-8? but they could.
 
May 13, 2009
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karlboss said:
I want to see London 2012, Bolt Gold 100, 200, 400, long jump, 4*100, 4*400 impossible, and still requires more diversity than Phelps 8.
haha! Totally agree.
 
Sep 9, 2009
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Cycling is a slow twitch muscle activity - Bolt would be useless, even if he tried to specialise.

Utterly stupid, and frankly pretty insulting thread - if you're going to use the word athlete, cyclists are just about as good as it gets in sport, up there with cross country skiers and the odd exceptional rower.
 
This is actually a pretty interesting topic! People saying pros from other sports would do bad in cycling doesn't know their history. And by that I don't mean Bolt would beat Cav because that's insanse and would never happend. But do none of you guys remember the Austrian ski racer Hermann Maier doing the prolog in le Tour de France back in -03 or something? If I am not misstaken he was just off pace with a minut or so and that's pretty well done for a ski racer, isn't it?

Someone earlier stated that Ole-Einar rode upp Alpe D'Huez in 45 minutes, wich is a rather decent time. Imagine if someone like the swedish skier Gunde Svan (vo2 max at 91 and a lung capacity og 7.08 liters) or Björn Dæhlie (vo2 max at 96 ml/kg/min) compared to Indurains 88ml/kg/min, would do some serious training. How good would they be?
 
karlboss said:
I disagree, I think a number of 100m track sprinters, weightlifters, and NFL running backs could swap to cycling sprinters...track not road. The physical requirements are very similar, just as a number of top middle distance runners could become top climbers, granted it would take a number of years training, 5-8? but they could.
Demonstrate it. What an insult to the sport. As if track sprinters could become NFL running backs, or simply because one is in the NFL he must be an athletic god. What's riding a bike anyway? And middle distance runners becoming world class climbers? Against the best at the Tour?

Do you even realize how ridiculous what you say is?
 
Mar 13, 2009
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rhubroma said:
Demonstrate it. What an insult to the sport. As if track sprinters could become NFL running backs, or simply because one is in the NFL he must be an athletic god. What's riding a bike anyway? And middle distance runners becoming world class climbers? Against the best at the Tour?

Do you even realize how ridiculous what you say is?
Why is it an insult to the sport? Heaven forbid someone from another sport excel at cycling also, Rebecca Romero.

Where did I say anyone in the NFL was an athletic God, some just happen to run fast and jump high, also performance indicators for sprint cyclists.

Middle distance runners...long femurs, high Vo2, high sustainable power to weight, yep there's a stretch at finding compatability with a climber.

Or did you mistake my post and think I said any sprinter in athletics could sit a bike and wipe the floor with Chris Hoy straight up, or that the top 10 Kenyans would beat Contador up a hill?

It would take time to adapt I said 5-8 years as that is the time its been quoted to me from entering a sport to making it to the top. Some would make the adaption and compete with the best others would pedal squares and go nowhere.

Plug for Kenenisa Bekele here, would love to see what he can do on a bike, after learning how to not fall off and not much more, the guy is amazing, after only a year I wouldn't put anything past him.
 

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