When is the smackdown on Chris Horner?

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lstomsl said:
In the running world there is certainly data on age vs. performance. The laymens version is discussed in the book "Born to Run". The cliff notes version is that performances increase from 18 to peak at 27 and then begins a decline. The decline is incredibly shallow however and doesn't reach the same level as an 18 hear old until they are something in the neighborhood of 70 years. I forget the exact year but it's somewhat stunning. So Horners age related physiological limits should theoretically be the same as they were when he was 25 or 26.

The running world is full of incredible performances by older athletes. In 1995 a 55 year old Tarahumara Indian won the Leadville 100. The course record (by 30 minutes) is held by Matt Carpenter and was set 9 years ago when he was 41. Last year at the Run Rabbit Run 100 in Steamboat Springs, Karl Meltzer won at age 44. This was at a race that had the largest cash prize ever offered at an American Ultramarathon by a long shot so the competition was fierce. This very morning Metzler, age 45 took second and beat his time from last year by almost an hour.

In ultra-running racers don't need to be on a team and get a contract to keep racing at the highest level. All they need to do is enter a race so there is much more data on older runners there, many of whom continue running into their 70s. Also they don't generally get paid. Many, most in fact, top races have no cash prizes at all and not runners make a living at it so any doping that occurs has got to be minimal and of negligible effect.

Also the effect of aerodynamics is non-existent in ultra running. Sometimes the difference between 1st and second can be hours. you never see 200 guys running for 6 hours and all arriving at the same time or sprinting it out at the top of a mt for seconds. That also makes for a better data set to look at physiological decline with age.

And of course we can see some examples like Ned Overend and Jeanie Longo in the cycling world who continued performing at a high level into their 50s.

Bottom line, there are many reasons to doubt Horners performance in my opinion but age has got to be pretty low on the list. The advantage he has in freshness certainly must far exceed any miniscule disadvantage he has due to his age.
You're not talking about elite racers, the very best in the world. E.g., if you scan through the best times for the marathon or 10,000 meters, they are invariably by runners in their 20s or 30s. No doubt there are older runners who can do very well, but the point is, they are past their prime. Whatever they may be capable of now, they were capable of even more when they were younger.

When you get past the anecdotal observations about someone this age or that age who performed well and actually look at the scientific data available, you will find that the decline with age is not miniscule. It's not so great that a supremely talented individual can't get into his 40s or 50s and beat most of the competition, but when you race at the highest levels, the races are dominated by younger competitors. It becomes more and more difficult to compete at that level with age, and even when the rare individual does, he is not going to perform as well as he would have when younger.

You might ask yourself why, if cyclists experience little decline in performance with age, Horner is about to become by far the oldest GT winner. You really think it's all about freshness? If that were the case, some of these multiple GT winners who retired in their early 30s could have come back after taking some years off and been as good as ever. Or someone could come into the sport late and have a career well into his 40s.

Jeannie Longo has long been exposed as a serious doper, so does nothing at all to bolster your argument. There is evidence that much of the decline in V02 max with age is the result of less muscle mass, which certainly opens up other doping avenues to reducing this decline. Not to mention that even jacked up, she hasn't been the best in the world since her early 40s. I would say she is a good example of someone who through unusual talent and doping, was good enough to still be world class after a significant performance decline, but even she couldn't maintain it indefinitely.
 
May 27, 2012
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Hugh Januss said:
Did I just imagine something in the forum rules about not posting personal or family comments or insults?
It's okay, I can handle myself. It took me .0345 seconds to garner an appropriate response to that.
 
Samson777 said:
No we are back with this age stuff again. How did you forget Horner already?
Younger is not better....!!:D
Completely unrelated but I sat through the first hour of Assasin's Creed III today and spoke to an NPC that went on for 10 minutes about how older women are better. ( can't believe they actually recorded so much dialog just for that! )
 
May 27, 2012
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Hugh Januss said:
Since Netserk is apparently under the age of 25, I'd probably go with his wife......if I thought he had one.;)
You obviously don't remember the level of skill possessed by those under 25...plus my wife is fu*king awesome.
 
Jun 15, 2009
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Merckx index said:
You're not talking about elite racers, the very best in the world. E.g., if you scan through the best times for the marathon or 10,000 meters, they are invariably by runners in their 20s or 30s. No doubt there are older runners who can do very well, but the point is, they are past their prime. Whatever they may be capable of now, they were capable of even more when they were younger.

When you get past the anecdotal observations about someone this age or that age who performed well and actually look at the scientific data available, you will find that the decline with age is not miniscule. It's not so great that a supremely talented individual can't get into his 40s or 50s and beat most of the competition, but when you race at the highest levels, the races are dominated by younger competitors. It becomes more and more difficult to compete at that level with age, and even when the rare individual does, he is not going to perform as well as he would have when younger.

You might ask yourself why, if cyclists experience little decline in performance with age, Horner is about to become by far the oldest GT winner. You really think it's all about freshness? If that were the case, some of these multiple GT winners who retired in their early 30s could have come back after taking some years off and been as good as ever. Or someone could come into the sport late and have a career well into his 40s.

Jeannie Longo has long been exposed as a serious doper, so does nothing at all to bolster your argument. There is evidence that much of the decline in V02 max with age is the result of less muscle mass, which certainly opens up other doping avenues to reducing this decline. Not to mention that even jacked up, she hasn't been the best in the world since her early 40s. I would say she is a good example of someone who through unusual talent and doping, was good enough to still be world class after a significant performance decline, but even she couldn't maintain it indefinitely.
Always well founded posts, always w/o insults, and ... of course excellent (same as in the NFL thread).
 
Jul 15, 2010
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lstomsl said:
In the running world there is certainly data on age vs. performance. The laymens version is discussed in the book "Born to Run". The cliff notes version is that performances increase from 18 to peak at 27 and then begins a decline. The decline is incredibly shallow however and doesn't reach the same level as an 18 hear old until they are something in the neighborhood of 70 years. I forget the exact year but it's somewhat stunning. So Horners age related physiological limits should theoretically be the same as they were when he was 25 or 26.

The running world is full of incredible performances by older athletes. In 1995 a 55 year old Tarahumara Indian won the Leadville 100. The course record (by 30 minutes) is held by Matt Carpenter and was set 9 years ago when he was 41. Last year at the Run Rabbit Run 100 in Steamboat Springs, Karl Meltzer won at age 44. This was at a race that had the largest cash prize ever offered at an American Ultramarathon by a long shot so the competition was fierce. This very morning Metzler, age 45 took second and beat his time from last year by almost an hour.

In ultra-running racers don't need to be on a team and get a contract to keep racing at the highest level. All they need to do is enter a race so there is much more data on older runners there, many of whom continue running into their 70s. Also they don't generally get paid. Many, most in fact, top races have no cash prizes at all and not runners make a living at it so any doping that occurs has got to be minimal and of negligible effect.

Also the effect of aerodynamics is non-existent in ultra running. Sometimes the difference between 1st and second can be hours. you never see 200 guys running for 6 hours and all arriving at the same time or sprinting it out at the top of a mt for seconds. That also makes for a better data set to look at physiological decline with age.

And of course we can see some examples like Ned Overend and Jeanie Longo in the cycling world who continued performing at a high level into their 50s.

Bottom line, there are many reasons to doubt Horners performance in my opinion but age has got to be pretty low on the list. The advantage he has in freshness certainly must far exceed any miniscule disadvantage he has due to his age.
Pro-cycling is not marathon running or bmx. Pro-cycling requires a lot of hard accelerations not a constant hard effort. Old guys can ride hard, they just can't accelerate like the younger guys anymore. In pro cycling, it amounts to not being able to win a sprint, quickly bridge gaps, or dumping people on climbs. Also, old people don't recover as quickly. Hence, why a lot of people think Evan should start shooting for 1 day races rather than 3 weeks tours. Ned has put in respectable times on climbs because it is a one day thing and bmx'ing is a lot more of a constant effort thing than pro cycling.

It doesn't matter how you spin this. People decline as they age unless they were never really fully trained. All pro-cyclist are near to fully trained as you can get. A rider in their 40s who all of a sudden sees a 10-15 percent improvement is very very very odd.

Also, don't use Jeanie Longo for any comparison on how an old rider can ride. She is a walking pharmaceutical.
 
May 27, 2012
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Samson777 said:
No we are back with this age stuff again. How did you forget Horner already?
Younger is not better....!!:D
Yea, most have not really learned how to use their hands too well, and they are still hung-up about things older women just can't be bothered to care about...but I digress...

Man, that Horner is a doping fool, right....
 
May 27, 2012
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del1962 said:
Really, I said the obvious and you call me a troll, the mods should deal with you calling me a troll
He didn't call you anything, he just revealed the truth. There's a difference, but I wouldn't expect a Froome fan to understand it.
 

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