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Where is the U.S.' new generation of GC men?

Armstrong is supposedly responsible for growth in American cycling--or at least the fanboys keep telling us that. With American cycling fans so focused on the Tour and stage racing, you would think that there would be a new generation of young riders poised to win GTs. Where are they? Where is the American Nibali or American Gesink? Instead of new guys we have the same old American GC men hanging in there like grim death, which is not that far off in many of their their cases.
 

Barrus

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issoisso said:
Van Garderen. Give him time.

I call him Dutch :p we annexed him, he speaks Dutch and has lived in the Netherlands ;)

But anyway, is it really that way that only GC men count, isn't it possible for young riders to try to get other roles or that they aren't able to be GC men but instead opt for a different position. For example Phinney is doing some good work at the moment in the Netherlands, alright, it is quite a small race but still he does get some reults
 
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Barrus said:
I call him Dutch :p we annexed him, he speaks Dutch and has lived in the Netherlands ;)

But anyway, is it really that way that only GC men count, isn't it possible for young riders to try to get other roles or that they aren't able to be GC men but instead opt for a different position. For example Phinney is doing some good work at the moment in the Netherlands, alright, it is quite a small race but still he does get some reults
yep to me he's dutch too ;)

to your question...sure not only gc men count but the original post asked a good question given what we know. some american gc jewels shined from young age, some got miraculously transformed from one-day classics proclivity.

if there is a gc talent it should be noticeable already.
 
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BroDeal said:
Armstrong is supposedly responsible for growth in American cycling--or at least the fanboys keep telling us that. With American cycling fans so focused on the Tour and stage racing, you would think that there would be a new generation of young riders poised to win GTs. Where are they? Where is the American Nibali or American Gesink? Instead of new guys we have the same old American GC men hanging in there like grim death, which is not that far off in many of their their cases.

Maybe the young talents out there are all racing clean? Because remember, the real winner of a race finishes outside the top 30 right, and therefore wouldn't be noticed by anyone.. ;)

In all seriousness, what about that guy who joined Radio, was it Busche or something?? Doesn't he have good vibes from the US? And Phinney is a talent who could emulate a Cancellara type race program (sorry, not a GC guy tho).

Other thing, not that i'd really know, but doesn't the US have a huge focus on crit racing? not really going to generate your typical climber, or time triallist is it? I'm asking because I have little to zero knowledge of the amatuer racing scene in the US that would lead to pro contracts...
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Bro...great question...I think a great rider in the making is young Ben King. I have followed him from the junior ranks..and he is making great strides. He can climb and time trial...plus he is from Virginia...the Dutch can't claim him!! :D
 
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Sum_of_Marc said:
Peter Stetina maybe? (given time, of course)

I think Stetina and Van Garderen show the most promise as GC types. Phinney looks promising at a Zabriskie/Hincappie type rider as opposed to a GC guy.
 
Stetina and Phinney don't count. They come from cycling familes and would likely have been racing if there was no rise in cycling popularity. Where are the guys who were inspired over the last ten years? It is like the old guys sucked all the oxygen out of the air, leaving nothing for anyone else.
 
BroDeal said:
Stetina and Phinney don't count. They come from cycling familes and would likely have been racing if there was not rise in cycling popularity. Where are the guys who were inspired over the last ten years? It is like the old guys sucked all the oxygen out of the air, leaving nothing for anyone else.

I've wondered about this many times. I know I've seen a big increase in the number of serious weekend cyclists out the roads these last 10 years, but is that the extent of LA's cycling inspiration?

I certainly thought that he would be inpsiring an increasing number of guys to give a shot at competitive cycling and the sheer number of new participants would have thrown up a bunch of guys that could join at least join the peleton and maybe from them some serious GC contenders would emerge.
 
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Potomac said:
I've wondered about this many times. I know I've seen a big increase in the number of serious weekend cyclists out the roads these last 10 years, but is that the extent of LA's cycling inspiration?

I certainly thought that he would be inpsiring an increasing number of guys to give a shot at competitive cycling and the sheer number of new participants would have thrown up a bunch of guys that could join at least join the peleton and maybe from them some serious GC contenders would emerge.

Well... I'm not sure what time frame it would create more GC contenders in.

I know for many sports in the US, you get slotted at a very young age. I started swimming competitively at 6, and by the age of 13 I had missed enough of the "prep" stages for other sports (little league baseball, AYSO soccer, pee-wee football) that I was almost locked out of really getting into those sports.

I can't complain... I was very successful in swimming. But I don't know that at 21 (my age when Lance won his first TDF) I COULD have switched to cycling even if I had a natural talent. My training had been so developed toward swimming that it would have been very difficult to switch successfully. I'm not sure I could have made that jump at 15... I already had almost 10 years of physical development geared toward strong lats and triceps, along with the wrong sort of strength in the legs.

I would think any effect on creating true top-level talents for cycling that wouldn't have gone into cycling otherwise would be amongst people who were fairly young around Lance's first tour... maybe aged 10 or less. By the time Lance had a few TDF wins under his belt, those kids would be 12-13... still young enough to perhaps not have been drawn completely in to another sport.

So really you're looking at guys who'd be 20 or younger right now. I think it's too early to see if they are really going to be good, but names to look at would be Stetina, Phinney, Van Garderen, East, King, Kuphaldt, Campbell, Selander, Busche, Talansky and Bradshaw.

How many of them will be successful on the higher levels? How many were inspired by Lance in some way? I have no idea.
 
kurtinsc said:
Well... I'm not sure what time frame it would create more GC contenders in.

I know for many sports in the US, you get slotted at a very young age. I started swimming competitively at 6, and by the age of 13 I had missed enough of the "prep" stages for other sports (little league baseball, AYSO soccer, pee-wee football) that I was almost locked out of really getting into those sports.

I can't complain... I was very successful in swimming. But I don't know that at 21 (my age when Lance won his first TDF) I COULD have switched to cycling even if I had a natural talent. My training had been so developed toward swimming that it would have been very difficult to switch successfully. I'm not sure I could have made that jump at 15... I already had almost 10 years of physical development geared toward strong lats and triceps, along with the wrong sort of strength in the legs.

I would think any effect on creating true top-level talents for cycling that wouldn't have gone into cycling otherwise would be amongst people who were fairly young around Lance's first tour... maybe aged 10 or less. By the time Lance had a few TDF wins under his belt, those kids would be 12-13... still young enough to perhaps not have been drawn completely in to another sport.

So really you're looking at guys who'd be 20 or younger right now. I think it's too early to see if they are really going to be good, but names to look at would be Stetina, Phinney, Van Garderen, East, King, Kuphaldt, Campbell, Selander, Busche, Talansky and Bradshaw.

How many of them will be successful on the higher levels? How many were inspired by Lance in some way? I have no idea.

I just had a ChrisH flashback.
 
kurtinsc said:
Well... I'm not sure what time frame it would create more GC contenders in.

I know for many sports in the US, you get slotted at a very young age. I started swimming competitively at 6, and by the age of 13 I had missed enough of the "prep" stages for other sports (little league baseball, AYSO soccer, pee-wee football) that I was almost locked out of really getting into those sports.

I can't complain... I was very successful in swimming. But I don't know that at 21 (my age when Lance won his first TDF) I COULD have switched to cycling even if I had a natural talent. My training had been so developed toward swimming that it would have been very difficult to switch successfully. I'm not sure I could have made that jump at 15... I already had almost 10 years of physical development geared toward strong lats and triceps, along with the wrong sort of strength in the legs.

I would think any effect on creating true top-level talents for cycling that wouldn't have gone into cycling otherwise would be amongst people who were fairly young around Lance's first tour... maybe aged 10 or less. By the time Lance had a few TDF wins under his belt, those kids would be 12-13... still young enough to perhaps not have been drawn completely in to another sport.

So really you're looking at guys who'd be 20 or younger right now. I think it's too early to see if they are really going to be good, but names to look at would be Stetina, Phinney, Van Garderen, East, King, Kuphaldt, Campbell, Selander, Busche, Talansky and Bradshaw.

How many of them will be successful on the higher levels? How many were inspired by Lance in some way? I have no idea.

You make some really good points. As you point it wasn't until Lance started 2002-2003 that he really became a household word.

So possible the answer that is too early for the effects to take place.

Did Lemond inspire LA, Julich, Leipheimer, Landis (all guys that led TdF teams)
 
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Maybe/Hopefully the new american GT hopes will come out the around 70 under 18 kids that have been training around Philly sponsered by local bike shops, that have been growing in their love of cycling over the last 7-8 years. They are having their own race on June 8th when the Pro race is in Philly.
 
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Potomac said:
You make some really good points. As you point it wasn't until Lance started 2002-2003 that he really became a household word.

So possible the answer that is too early for the effects to take place.

Did Lemond inspire LA, Julich, Leipheimer, Landis (all guys that led TdF teams)

I think it's possible Lemond may have brought Lance in... he was a triathelte in 1988 and switched to the bike full time in 1991. With Lemond's key years in popularity being from 86-90... that might fit. But Triathlon (like Mountain Biking) is already on the periphery of the cycling world... I'm not sure it fits.

Julich was already in cycling in 1985... so probably not for him.

Leipheimer was a downhill skiier who took up cycling for training purposes in '87. He didn't turn pro until 1997 though. Not sure if that fits... it doesn't feel right though.

As for Landis... he was raised by a devout mennonite family... I'm not sure if he'd even have a chance to be exposed to who Lemond WAS during the period he was famous.
 
Inner Peace said:
Other thing, not that i'd really know, but doesn't the US have a huge focus on crit racing? not really going to generate your typical climber, or time triallist is it? I'm asking because I have little to zero knowledge of the amatuer racing scene in the US that would lead to pro contracts...

This is the main problem IMHO. I race amateur in NorCal which is one of the USA's biggest and more competitive districts. We have more road races than most districts here (there are usually an average of 2 road races per month) but there are usually 2 crits every weekend. We only have 2 stage races all season in the district. Also in terms of the road races more than half of them are flattish terrain.

I know several talented riders who burnt out on the sport because they got sick of racing crits all the time and dealing with the inevitable crashes.

But the main point is that a crit heavy schedule like this does not really develop European riders. The races are too short compared to what is in Europe. A crit heavy schedule like we have develops a lot of very powerfull sprinters with very good cornering and bike handling skills but they'll be lacking a lot of endurance, climbing, and time trial ability because their races are usually 45 minutes to an hour long.

I would like to blame the problem on USA Cycling because they seem very out-of-touch as a governing body however the main problem here is a social one. There is just not enough popular support for closing roads for bike racing here because the majority of people do not like the hassle and are not fans of the sport. Even here in NorCal where cycling and racing are very popular it is a constant struggle to keep race courses from getting closed due to pressue from the locals.
 
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BikeCentric said:
This is the main problem IMHO. I race amateur in NorCal which is one of the USA's biggest and more competitive districts. We have more road races than most districts here (there are usually an average of 2 road races per month) but there are usually 2 crits every weekend. We only have 2 stage races all season in the district. Also in terms of the road races more than half of them are flattish terrain.

I know several talented riders who burnt out on the sport because they got sick of racing crits all the time and dealing with the inevitable crashes.

But the main point is that a crit heavy schedule like this does not really develop European riders. The races are too short compared to what is in Europe. A crit heavy schedule like we have develops a lot of very powerfull sprinters with very good cornering and bike handling skills but they'll be lacking a lot of endurance, climbing, and time trial ability because their races are usually 45 minutes to an hour long.

I would like to blame the problem on USA Cycling because they seem very out-of-touch as a governing body however the main problem here is a social one. There is just not enough popular support for closing roads for bike racing here because the majority of people do not like the hassle and are not fans of the sport. Even here in NorCal where cycling and racing are very popular it is a constant struggle to keep race courses from getting closed due to pressue from the locals.

Those are all really good points! I too agree that the US does not have the race schedule to develop and nurture young aspiring riders. There is a young kid in my neck of the woods who went to a development camp. He did VERY well...but is on the small side. He can climb like a goat. Anwway, the coaches etc. didn't give him a second notice even thought his power/weight ratio is awsome. He didn't produce enough total wattage for them...I say WTF??? To me, I see USA Cycling looking for Hincapie, Boonen type riders. Classics kind of guys...not stage race fellows. This is disturbing to me...and I have let the organization know. My advice...if you are a 15-16 year old and really really want a career or at least a good chance of a career in cycling...go to your place of choice in Europe and hammer it out with the kids over there. At the very least, you will come back with an expanded cultural outlook.
 
TRDean said:
Those are all really good points! I too agree that the US does not have the race schedule to develop and nurture young aspiring riders. There is a young kid in my neck of the woods who went to a development camp. He did VERY well...but is on the small side. He can climb like a goat. Anwway, the coaches etc. didn't give him a second notice even thought his power/weight ratio is awsome. He didn't produce enough total wattage for them...I say WTF??? To me, I see USA Cycling looking for Hincapie, Boonen type riders. Classics kind of guys...not stage race fellows. This is disturbing to me...and I have let the organization know. My advice...if you are a 15-16 year old and really really want a career or at least a good chance of a career in cycling...go to your place of choice in Europe and hammer it out with the kids over there. At the very least, you will come back with an expanded cultural outlook.

That would make sense considering the reality of the situation is that our two bright young stars are Classics guys in Farrar and Phinney and as Bro rightly points out there is no young GC guy on the horizon except maybe Tejay. Not that I agree with their approach but perhaps they see it as dealing with the reality of the race schedule we have in the US and basically giving up on developing GC riders? Of course my opinion is that they should be working at raising the profile of the sport and developing the race schedule but they leave this to the promotors.

Anywho. On the bright side I think Farrar is going to be one heck of a good Classics guy and that will be cool for Amurrica as it will make more 'Mericans aware of what awesome races they are.
 
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BikeCentric said:
That would make sense considering the reality of the situation is that our two bright young stars are Classics guys in Farrar and Phinney and as Bro rightly points out there is no young GC guy on the horizon except maybe Tejay. Not that I agree with their approach but perhaps they see it as dealing with the reality of the race schedule we have in the US and basically giving up on developing GC riders? Of course my opinion is that they should be working at raising the profile of the sport and developing the race schedule but they leave this to the promotors.

Anywho. On the bright side I think Farrar is going to be one heck of a good Classics guy and that will be cool for Amurrica as it will make more 'Mericans aware of what awesome races they are.

You are definitely correct in what you are saying. I think 19 year old Ben King is going to be a fantastic stage racer in a couple years.

Also, didn't Tejay do most of the heavy lifting on his own-in Europe?
 
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxKSAJWYxcM

not sure ho to ebb here but the vid is cool

Ben King. Alex house ryan baumann are killing it and bring the pain to all others