Social background of pro cyclists

Hey, I wondered where the pro cyclists of today are coming from. How much money do their families have? Which support do they get during their youth?
So, I guess most European cyclists come from very middle class backgrounds, still often from rural areas, with many families having something to do with farming. I think teachers, nurses are pretty common as parents' jobs as well? The Colombians often come from families with less money, Bernal being such a case.
How many cyclists have parents who raced themselves professionelly? Seems a lot as well?
How many have migrant backgrounds? Who got introduced to the sport by a family member that's heavily involved in the sport?

I thought we could make a kind of survey or list about the current peloton, with infos we have about riders: place of birth, parents' jobs, parent died?, other family members that were important to them, previous jobs / education / studies. Of course all of them are way to many, but maybe there are some that you know a bit about? We could start with the most known ones, like Pogacar, Roglic, van Aert, Bernal, Thomas, Carapaz, Sagan, Valverde, Nibali, Cavendish? Or anyone you know a bit more about. Not to sneak into their privacy, just what's very publically available. :)
 
Stand by for 200 pages of arguments to not seeing Remco's name not mentioned as one of the most known ones. :D
Remco’s an easy one. His dad was a pro cyclist. Just like a few dozen other current pros. (vdPoel, Martin, Roche, Zabel, Bernard, vPoppel, etc). I’d say, probably with one or two exceptions, those guys all lived a fairly comfortable upbringing, though I think Wiggins has always claimed his single (for at least part of his childhood) mum had a hard time raising him.
 
Many of them do have family members who are/has been pro cyclists or have worked in cycling in a different capacity, which has probably both inspired them to become pro cyclists, but also helped them achieve it because they had some good contacts within the sport.
 
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I suspect that a very large majority have a family interest in cycling, even if well below pro-level. I would expect that for most kids in their teens, bikes are a way of moving around town, meeting mates in order to do something else, or their cycling interest is in BMX tricks.
Cycling for its own sake and doing lengthier rides that prepare one for, and in which one discovers competitive potential in, an endurance sport is not part of the typical adolescent psyche, I would inexpertly suggest (this may be different where there is more of a road cycling culture: I can only speak of UK/Ireland experience). Whereas if a significant adult regularly has a long ride that the young person accompanies them on and develops an affinity for the sport, or is introduced to a club with a youth section (and I suspect few members of a youth section do not have a corresponding adult member) such that cycling ceases to be such a solipsistic endeavour, the seed for a cycling career may be sown. Also, because of the costs, I would suspect that parents who are not cyclists would be more likely to direct their sprogs to team sports or athletics to live out their sporting ambitions/vicariously fulfil their parents' dreams/get an out-of-school social grouping.
 
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I think this would an interesting project, especially if we add a component of traditional cycling nations, modern cycling nations (cycling now popular but more recent) and emerging cycling nations. We'd need to define those terms but I'm guessing the backgrounds would be quite different.
 
Tadej’s parents are middle class I suppose. His mother is a french teacher and his father worked in a factory making wooden chairs. His grandparents were farmers and Tadej and his siblings went to help there a lot growing up.

No links to cycling before his brother started cycling. A family friend was leading the KD Rog club where he started. The club also provides the bikes and such. His parents mentioned they would not be able to afford them to so cycling otherwise.
 
In most of the traditional cycling countries cyclists seem to come from rural areas, they are middleclass or farmboys. I feel there is a big gap between the USA, where it's a sport for the (white) upper middle class while cycling on a global level has more of a blue collar/working class background. The only Italian cyclist who isn't 2nd generation and seems to come from a family that is well off is Aru. His family has tennis court at their house and he was flying around between the mainland and Sardinia on a regular basis so that he could race xc and cx when he was a highschool kid, a normal middleclass family couldn't affort that...
That said, the whole woke american cycling hipster twitter bubble seems to be a totally different thing on it's own.
 
In most of the traditional cycling countries cyclists seem to come from rural areas, they are middleclass or farmboys. I feel there is a big gap between the USA, where it's a sport for the (white) upper middle class while cycling on a global level has more of a blue collar/working class background. The only Italian cyclist who isn't 2nd generation and seems to come from a family that is well off is Aru. His family has tennis court at their house and he was flying around between the mainland and Sardinia on a regular basis so that he could race xc and cx when he was a highschool kid, a normal middleclass family couldn't affort that...
That said, the whole woke american cycling hipster twitter bubble seems to be a totally different thing on it's own.
Visentini was from a well off family, too. So that makes 2.

Cycling was always a traditionally working class sport in Europe, and the obvious barriers to entry (expensive bikes, race fees, travel distance) could be solved by joining a club, and/or saving up odd-job money to buy the bike. Also, a true talent won’t be held back by the bike for long; someone posted Padun’s first race bike, and it could have passed for a bike from 30 years before.

The American middle-class kid probably comes from cycling being a more middle-class hobby here. Working class kids are into basketball, football (the American kind) and car racing*. And the travel distances are greater.

*Car racing, of course, being a rich kid sport in Europe. My wife took a while to understand the contrast in perception between Nascar and F1.
 
Most of the Spanish riders that i know the background of are either middle class or working class. Valverde is from a working class family. Granted his father and grandfather raced as amateurs as does his oldest brother (who also helps with his team).

Where I grew up (eastern Ohio near the PA border) and where I've lived (and live) in NC auto racing (dirt and paved short tracks) is mostly a middle class and working class sport with heavy reliance on finding sponsor help once you move past go karts. Most of the time most teams are racing for the prize money to put back into the cars. The driver and crew people aren't being paid. My husband was part of a paved short track team for a couple years when he was in the Air Force with a few friends.
 
In most of the traditional cycling countries cyclists seem to come from rural areas, they are middleclass or farmboys. I feel there is a big gap between the USA, where it's a sport for the (white) upper middle class while cycling on a global level has more of a blue collar/working class background. The only Italian cyclist who isn't 2nd generation and seems to come from a family that is well off is Aru. His family has tennis court at their house and he was flying around between the mainland and Sardinia on a regular basis so that he could race xc and cx when he was a highschool kid, a normal middleclass family couldn't affort that...
That said, the whole woke american cycling hipster twitter bubble seems to be a totally different thing on it's own.
I feel like cycling is really popping off quite a bit among the middle/upper middle class, though it's a growth that I don't think will really translate to differences at the pro levels.
 
Sam Bennetts father was a Div2 pro soccer player in Belgium and moved home to Ireland to be a soccer manager.
I don't know if they were ever a farming family but the area is very rural.

Eddie Dunbar is also from a very rural farming area but I don't know what his family's background is
 
From what I remember Tom Dumoulin's father is a medical doctor that works in a university.

Maybe worth adding in education in with social background - eg. Domenico Pozzovivo has a masters in something related to economics
 
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Maybe worth adding in education in with social background - eg. Domenico Pozzovivo has a masters in something related to economics
Also, which countries have programs making it even possible for riders/students to be away from school for extended periods of time? For example; in Denmark there is a special class (think it might be only at one specific high school), which allows students to use four years to graduate, rather than the usual three. For example; Amalie Dideriksen only graduated in 2017, in other words; she became Elite World Champion before she graduated high school! (I think she might even have used five years.)

I think Pozzovivo actually has a PhD.
 
Also, which countries have programs making it even possible for riders/students to be away from school for extended periods of time? For example; in Denmark there is a special class (think it might be only at one specific high school), which allows students to use four years to graduate, rather than the usual three. For example; Amalie Dideriksen only graduated in 2017, in other words; she became Elite World Champion before she graduated high school! (I think she might even have used five years.)

I think Pozzovivo actually has a PhD.
That high school program might be part of the reason Chris Juul Jensen moved back to Denmark, rather than base himself out of Ireland. Iirc, it was a lot to do with the support athletes get off the bike.

Incidentally, any Irish person who has heard CJJ speak English knows that he is not from a working class family.

Here’s an interview with him from 10 years ago about it;
 
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