Social background of pro cyclists

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I think Pozzovivo actually has a PhD.
I think with Pozzovivo it may be something which is lost in translation as the only places specifying him having a PhD are in English with nothing coming up in Italian. Probably, this is because the honorific 'Dottore' is given to anyone who has a degree (it's also used in the South for anyone of higher status, which any fans of Inspector Montalbano will be familiar with).


This says that he sat exams to complete his degree which would suggest a bachelors or masters.
 
Eddie Dunbar is also from a very rural farming area but I don't know what his family's background is
This is well worth a read. It doesn't say explicitly that they were not in farming, but a small terraced house on a housing estate makes it seem unlikely. His father died when he was 14. Given a bike by the guy who runs the local club (and flower stall). Talks about not being able to afford to race abroad in prep for the junior World Champs. So a fairly humble background. But probably too skinny to make it in the local hurling team.
 
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.
It only came in after Juul Jensen's time, but one wonders if the TY option in Ireland (essentially a year away from the formal curriculum if you want to take it) will bear fruit in elite sports stars.

EDIT: Transition Year has been around for longer than I thought. CJJ's time at the Danish cycling school was originally to be just a one year thing during his TY.
 
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*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.
That's astonishing. I'm from Brazil and here autoracing is the elite pastime par excellence. Most of those famous drivers are rotten rich...

Carapaz comes from a very rural background but not ultra poor, maybe poor for European standards, but for Latin America better off than a lot of people.

Isn't Lorenzo Fortunato doing a PhD thesis on the biological passport? And Guillaume Martin is also known as le philosophe.
 
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Bernal has an interesting story I think, although for me, as a European, I find it hard to tell how well or bad off his family actually was. So he comes from a poor district of Bogotá, his father worked at the Salt Cathedral, his mother as a flower factory worker. His father liked to cycle as an amateur. He won a training scholarship at nine and at age 13 he joined a team which was also designed to help unprivileged youngsters?
 
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It only came in after Juul Jensen's time, but one wonders if the TY option in Ireland (essentially a year away from the formal curriculum if you want to take it) will bear fruit in elite sports stars.

EDIT: Transition Year has been around for longer than I thought. CJJ's time at the Danish cycling school was originally to be just a one year thing during his TY.
I did TY in the mid 90s. One lad in our year skipped it to finish his LC earlier so he could focus on his tennis. He never made the pro ranks to my knowledge.

It looks like the Danish high school was a pilot program of some sort when CJJ did it, but clearly with the number of Danes in WT squads right now, they’ve been doing something right the past 10+ years or so.
 
It looks like the Danish high school was a pilot program of some sort when CJJ did it, but clearly with the number of Danes in WT squads right now, they’ve been doing something right the past 10+ years or so.
Especially considering it's not just cycling, which means they're able to support a wide variety of young people, with all kinds of different competition programs.
Of course, some of the Danish WT riders might not even have finished HS, for example Mathias Norsgaard didn't, whereas Emma was told by their parents that she had to because back then, the opportunities for a girl to turn pro weren't as great.

Jonas Vingegaard went to an 'efterskole' - so the "level" before HS - with an extensive focus on sport, then he couldn't keep up during training because he was so small...
Cort also went to one, moving to the mainland when he was around 16.

Also, he's retired by now, but former rider Casper von Folsach is actually of very minor Danish nobility, or at least descended from it.
 
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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 is possible on many different gymnasiums. For example, Anne-Marie Rindom, who just one gold in Tokyo, started a year before me but ended up having subjects with my class during her fourth year because she didn't have her own class anymore.

In my first year as a teacher in Kolding, I also had a dancer girl who was on a four-year programme. But I suppose you might be thinking of Marselisborg Gymnasium where there are lots of students who are on that.
 
That is possible on many different gymnasiums. For example, Anne-Marie Rindom, who just one gold in Tokyo, started a year before me but ended up having subjects with my class during her fourth year because she didn't have her own class anymore.

In my first year as a teacher in Kolding, I also had a dancer girl who was on a four-year programme. But I suppose you might be thinking of Marselisborg Gymnasium where there are lots of students who are on that.
I was actually thinking about the one over in/near Copenhagen. Where there was a story a while back - when that was relevant - of that class going to visit Byskov's grave during their graduation drive. Seems like that is a whole class, specifically "designed" to take four years.
But it makes sense that there would be options for people who don't live near Copenhagen.
 
I'm going to guess that Kasper Asgreen has at least a very comfortable background financially, based purely on the prejudice that if a young person does Dressage, their parents probably own half the countryside visible from the nearest hill.
I have no idea about Asgreen's background and that might very well be the case, but I did quite some horseback riding in my youth and while most of us were girls I had a very good male friend who did it as well, whose parents weren't poor but certainly not very well off either. And here, usually, if you do horseback riding, you do some kind of Dressage. If that is similar in Denmark, you don't need to have a family owning a lot of land. ;)
 
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I'm going to guess that Kasper Asgreen has at least a very comfortable background financially, based purely on the prejudice that if a young person does Dressage, their parents probably own half the countryside visible from the nearest hill.
Alternatively, they simply have their assets in the bank!
Pretty sure he grew up in Kolding, so... not a lot of room to be landowners in any major way.
 
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I'm going to guess that Kasper Asgreen has at least a very comfortable background financially, based purely on the prejudice that if a young person does Dressage, their parents probably own half the countryside visible from the nearest hill.
You can do dressage as a kid without being completely stuffed with money. His family looks pretty normal to me - slightly above average income. Nothing more.
 
Quintana: Poor, disabled dad from Northeast Bogota, Columbia had to work from a very young age, had to ride a 16 km 8% to go to school. Lived 3000m above sea level.
We often talk about the longevity of pro riders compared to their breakthrough years. Can this earlier efforts (not competitive, but probably without the right guidance and control) be a factor to explain the early fade by Quintana?
 
We often talk about the longevity of pro riders compared to their breakthrough years. Can this earlier efforts (not competitive, but probably without the right guidance and control) be a factor to explain the early fade by Quintana?
I often think about that, not only in cycling, but in sport as a whole. It looks like there is a moment where all the fatigue takes its toil. Marathonists are a more special case, easier to see, we can't find a marathonist with a long career.
 
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