Why are UK riders now more successful?

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Mambo95 said:
They also use different sized chainrings and sporckets.

A typical 80s bike used 54/44 and 12-21
A typical modern bike has 53/39 and 11-26

44/21 = 2.09
53/26 = 2.03

So a lower ratio is achievable with a modern big ring than an 80s small ring.

If you consider doping the only explanation for anything, you miss so much.

Ah, but using a 53/26 spells disaster. Andy can tell you a story about that...:D
 
Jul 2, 2009
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Until recently, it was hard for a British rider to get the opportunities to make it as a pro. They had to use every contact just to get a ride on a continental amateur team and rely on charities such as the Braveheart Fund to finance it.

There was no academy, there were no teams riding decent races abroad, there was no progression. Millar made it, but a good rider like Downing didn't.

Now, there's a proper, well financed progression for a young cyclist. Look at Luke Rowe. As a kid he had a local velodrome and joined Maindy Flyers, a youth club which produced Thomas and Cooke, then on to GB youth events, GB youth teams, GB Academy and then Sky. All with top class coaching at every step.

That system has only been there for less than a decade. Even then, only eight GB riders scored WT points last season (Australia had 19). They're not dominating just yet.

As others have noted, GB's rise is mostly meteoric because they started so low. Less than 10 years ago Brits were claiming Backstedt, McEwen and Cioni as their own for someone to cheer at the Tour.
 
Polish said:
Ok, I will take your word for it.
Anyway, here is a list of Top 20 all-time greats from cyclingweekly.


1 ROBERT MILLAR 2,900 points
Pro: 1980-95

2 Tom Simpson 2,545 points
Pro: 1958-1967

3 Mark Cavendish 2,435 points
Pro: 2007-present

4 Chris Boardman 1,965 points
Pro: 1993-2000

5 David Millar 1,505 points*
Pro: 1997-present


Thanks for this. I had completely missed it.

In a bizarre twist of true Brit fairness and all that, I particularly liked:

*David Millar: Points for results that were stripped after admitting he had doped are not included (for example world time trial championship 2003).


And yet we all know that Uncle Tom was cleaner than snow and Robert even tested positive for Testosterone;)
 
Jul 24, 2010
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Or, why did UK riders find it so hard to find successful previously?

There is now funding, development, and opportunity where previously there was very little.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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hatcher said:
Or, why did UK riders find it so hard to find successful previously?

There is now funding, development, and opportunity where previously there was very little.

see Cav at Thuringer Energie, and Blythe at Konica plus on to a Belge squad.

They CAN make it and did.

Here is the difference: they reached a critical threshold, bigger pool, larger catchment. Some like Andy Tennant, might not squeeze throuhg like Manning and Tennant and Ed Clancy, to be pros on the road.

NB. Ed Clancy won a field sprint at Thuringen Rundfahrt and was Cav's pilot when they were at Energie. He put out better numbers than Wiggins on the boards. He is perhaps the best ever racer for the omnium. Not sure his numbers compared to G, for the IP, and unlike G, he could not ride at 54kg and climb for classification on the road.

Bascially it comes down to, a whole new bloc of young talented riders, cos the sport now have profile and preeminence in the UK, = more riders > larger catchment, more coming thru to be pros.

Fact is that UK with Germany most economically healthy economy, that there will be potential for a second sponsor, even when Sky jumps ship, to have two pro teams, within the decade. There is certainly enough talent. So have guys like Manning, Hayles, Tennant, Clancy, carving out careers on the road. Or, being supported to do both outside the Olympic period.

Cycling was always a niche sport. Can safely say, now it is not, it has broken thru to msm, and accepted as a pro sport like the continent appreciates it.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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ferryman said:
Froome had a solid if not spectacular debut. I think you may be mixing him up with John-Lee Augustyn who did have a fairly spectacular debut. Same team, similar age and also an African background and straight to Sky afterwards;)
no, not confusing them. John Lee did have a record ascent up Mt Fuji in Tour of JApan, I know his results and palmares. I know the colombian and other former grimpeurs who went up Fuji, and a 19 yo Augustyn had his time sorted! A top 10 guy in the Giro, from Kelme. I cannot be bothered check. But I remember those details.

I know JLA career well, who could forget when he was first over the summit of the highest peak in the tour, what was it, 5 years back, and crashed on the descent and went over the mtn. I think I remember George H, being in the break, but JLA jumped on that ascent kms out, and summeted a bit ahead.

JLA was doing quite well and competitive at that stage in KOM points, was top 5(ish) at that stage. Cant be bothered checking, alas, think I have indicated I KNOW
 
Mar 13, 2009
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richtea said:
Doping isn't going to be factor unless you think Brits are more or less likely to be doping than anyone else. I don't see a compelling reason to lean one way or the other - so you would have to link any increased success (which is still limited) to other factors such as a bigger talent pool, more money, and better co-ordination.
succinct and perfect synopsis. Ta
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Again, Cavendish and Clancy were on Sparkasse, not Thüringer Energie. Thüringer Energie didn't start up until 2006, the season both moved on, Cavendish to T-Mobile as a stagiare, Clancy to Landbouwkrediet likewise.

As for JLA in the Jausiers stage, he did indeed crash descending the Col de la Bonette, after attacking a group with Hincapie in it as recalled, but unfortunately the team car was way back, and as his bike had fallen down the mountainside poor John-Lee had to stand by the side of the road and watch group after group go past him while he waited for a new bike. He finished about 5 minutes down as a result.
 
Polish said:
Ok, I will take your word for it.
Anyway, here is a list of Top 20 all-time greats from cyclingweekly.


1 ROBERT MILLAR 2,900 points
Pro: 1980-95

2 Tom Simpson 2,545 points
Pro: 1958-1967

3 Mark Cavendish 2,435 points
Pro: 2007-present

4 Chris Boardman 1,965 points
Pro: 1993-2000

5 David Millar 1,505 points*
Pro: 1997-present

6 Barry Hoban 1,455 points
Pro: 1962-1981

7 Bradley Wiggins 970 points
Pro: 2002-present

8 Michael Wright 800 points
Pro: 1962-1976

9 Max Sciandri 675 points **
Pro: raced as a British rider 1995-2004

10 Sean Yates 635 points
Pro: 1982-1996

11 Brian Robinson 605 points
Pro: 1952-1963

12 Malcolm Elliott 380 points
Pro: 1984-1997

13= Roger Hammond 235 points
Pro: 1998-present

13= Chris Froome 235 points
Pro: 2007-present

15 Jeremy Hunt 230 points
Pro: 1996-present

16 Vin Denson 155 points
Pro: 1959-1969

17 Alan Ramsbottom 150 points
Pro: 1961-1966

18= Graham Jones 120 points
Pro: 1979-1988

18= Paul Sherwen 120 points
Pro: 1978-1987

http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news...s-all-time-ranking-of-british-pro-riders.html

Obviously this is not an exhaustive list of point scoring riders, but the number of riders on that list listed as - present shows what I mean. There are only two or three co-inciding at any other time.

OK I may be biased but ca nanybody tell me when a single nation controlled a world champs like last year. Obviously it was only worth doing because we had Cav at the end to finish it off, but basically 8 riders managed the rest of the world. If you if anyone wants to say that the UK could ever have achieved this before then they are crazy.
 
Biggut said:
Obviously this is not an exhaustive list of point scoring riders, but the number of riders on that list listed as - present shows what I mean. There are only two or three co-inciding at any other time.

OK I may be biased but ca nanybody tell me when a single nation controlled a world champs like last year. Obviously it was only worth doing because we had Cav at the end to finish it off, but basically 8 riders managed the rest of the world. If you if anyone wants to say that the UK could ever have achieved this before then they are crazy.

Italy the year Cipo won 2002 was it, maybe not as dominant as GB but they controlled the race. Worlds Championship circuits like last year and Zolder are an anomaly and a joke and are to be taken with a pinch of salt. Controlling normal World Championship circuits is not like controlling flat circuits so no comparison.
 
Jul 24, 2010
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Other nations could have done it on that course, but you're right in that it's probably the first time a GB team could have done it. And it was very impressive.
 

Polish

BANNED
Mar 11, 2009
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Biggut said:
Obviously this is not an exhaustive list of point scoring riders, but the number of riders on that list listed as - present shows what I mean. There are only two or three co-inciding at any other time.

OK I may be biased but ca nanybody tell me when a single nation controlled a world champs like last year. Obviously it was only worth doing because we had Cav at the end to finish it off, but basically 8 riders managed the rest of the world. If you if anyone wants to say that the UK could ever have achieved this before then they are crazy.

Except that 3 of the "current" riders have been riding since the 90's. Hardly part of a new generation or rennaisance in UK cycling.

What I want to know is - which up and coming rider will knock Paul Sherwin off the Top 20 list lol. It looks like cyclingweekly is keeping this list updated from time to time, last update last month. Who will accrue 121+ points and knock Paul off the list. That guy will earn a few fans here in the clinic:)
 
hatcher said:
Other nations could have done it on that course, but you're right in that it's probably the first time a GB team could have done it. And it was very impressive.

Yeah but GB had a bigger incentive to do so more than any other nation just like Italy previously, they both had the clear No 1 sprinter in the world. Also GB has quite a few of the right type of riders for such a circuit, stong TT guys with big engines who can drill it on the front i.e lots of former track guys. Would have loved to have seen that GB team on the 89 circuit in Chambery. Most likely zero finishers.

When Italy picked their team for Zolder, there were guys on the team who would never have been anywhere near a normal Italian Worlds team. Even Cipo usually packed in his season before the Worlds but continued on that year. That was actually one of the few times when the Italian team was united behind one leader because they left the rest at home, choice was ride for Cipo or stay at home.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Libertine Seguros said:
Again, Cavendish and Clancy were on Sparkasse, not Thüringer Energie. Thüringer Energie didn't start up until 2006, the season both moved on, Cavendish to T-Mobile as a stagiare, Clancy to Landbouwkrediet likewise.

As for JLA in the Jausiers stage, he did indeed crash descending the Col de la Bonette, after attacking a group with Hincapie in it as recalled, but unfortunately the team car was way back, and as his bike had fallen down the mountainside poor John-Lee had to stand by the side of the road and watch group after group go past him while he waited for a new bike. He finished about 5 minutes down as a result.

well, I have been out of checking news for a while, and forgot it, was trying to remember the german espoirs, I knew there were two teams, and that Martin was on them and so was the other guy Gretsch, and the other sprinter who won some dauphine stages and third in u23s to matthews tying with the french canuck for third, and he came third in the first paris nice stage. Memory needs cofffeee!. . But I do know there is a fat picture of Cav in the Sparkasse uniform. I was getting them conflated. But u do your best for one-upmanship LS as is your wont.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Clancy's win coulda been Tour of Berlin too, not Thuringen. memory playing games. Cant find the pic of cav as a pudgy dude in the sparkasse uniform. It was either on cyclingwesbite.net or wikipedia
 
I get your point that several are others who have been competing for a long period. however this is counter balanced by riders like Thomas, Swift, Blyth and Kennaugh all scoring points last year but not yet being on the list. I would hope that all of them will surpass 120 points, especially Swift who gained 91 last year alone.

In addition JTLs continental performances along with Downings recent victory just add to my feeling that there are more Brit victories than before.
 
Aug 12, 2009
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hmronnow said:
Well, in the case of this guy, I believe part of the speculations was that he might have used dope to become so skinny. I have no information or opinion on this guy, but from what I've read (which includes a few research grant proposals) there are fine dopes available that help you become skinny, including reducing muscle mass.

Name them. Then name the scientific principle that allows one to increase power output whilst losing muscle mass. You cannot and won't be able to. Better yet explain to me how one can specifically target an isolated body group (upper trunk and chest) and only lose weight there. You won't be able to...you cannot just point a finger at a section of your body and go "Alakazaam" and hey presto, instant chango in body whilst increasing your overall power output!

Simple fact is, Wigans goes faster in a chrono with a lower body weight but not because of efficiency, but because he simply increased his power via a good old program ripped from the LA playbook. He never had results at a heavier weight as an ITT specialist, as he does now as a GC rider. That's what doping does for you. BTW, the drug he used, it's called AICAR. That's how he lost the weight. Thanks for the useless fanboy drizzle. Sky are throwing everything they can at winning. In cycling. Seriously, if you think doping isn't involved you are beyond hope. That's where their results have come from. A syringe and a blood bag. Wigans was crap 5-6 years ago on the road. Not through lack of trying...but because he was riding clean(er).
 
Mar 13, 2009
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right Galic.

There should be some inverse relationship.

Like in AFL muscle mass and leanness or bodyfat % should be inverse correlation. But now you get quinten lynch and travis cloke at 108kg and 5% bodyfat. Never happened in the 90's when there was just steroids.
 
Mar 17, 2009
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Mambo95 said:
They also use different sized chainrings and sporckets.

A typical 80s bike used 54/44 and 12-21
A typical modern bike has 53/39 and 11-26

44/21 = 2.09
53/26 = 2.03

So a lower ratio is achievable with a modern big ring than an 80s small ring.

If you consider doping the only explanation for anything, you miss so much.
Problem is your information is wrong.

52/42 or 53/42 were the norm coupled with a 13-21, 13-23, 13-24 or occasionally 12-21, 12-23 or 12-24 freewheel. 44 was and still is a P-R set up.
 
Mar 31, 2009
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Galic Ho said:
Name them. Then name the scientific principle that allows one to increase power output whilst losing muscle mass. You cannot and won't be able to. Better yet explain to me how one can specifically target an isolated body group (upper trunk and chest) and only lose weight there. You won't be able to...you cannot just point a finger at a section of your body and go "Alakazaam" and hey presto, instant chango in body whilst increasing your overall power output!

Simple fact is, Wigans goes faster in a chrono with a lower body weight but not because of efficiency, but because he simply increased his power via a good old program ripped from the LA playbook. He never had results at a heavier weight as an ITT specialist, as he does now as a GC rider. That's what doping does for you. BTW, the drug he used, it's called AICAR. That's how he lost the weight. Thanks for the useless fanboy drizzle. Sky are throwing everything they can at winning. In cycling. Seriously, if you think doping isn't involved you are beyond hope. That's where their results have come from. A syringe and a blood bag. Wigans was crap 5-6 years ago on the road. Not through lack of trying...but because he was riding clean(er).

I will of course not name confidential research proposals. But one of them were aimed at understanding whether and why AICAR in addtion to burn fat also reduce muscle mass. Of course you can't reduce specific muscle groups, but you can cause general reduction, and simultaneously only train wanted muscle groups. If someone were to apply such methods, they have already crossed a line and would be silly to not combine it with blood techniques. Again, I have no information about any riders, simply speculating about what could be possible with existing drugs.
 
Mar 31, 2009
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Biggut said:
Is this drug only available to Wiggins and the other UK riders, if not then this whole avenue is completely irrelevant to his thread.

I don't think it is exclusive in UK, so you are right it is irrelevant to the opening question. The tangent is my fault. The opening question lead to discussion of Wiggins. Someone argued that his success was due to weight loss, not due to drugs. I simply pointed out that weight loss in itself can be achieved with drugs. Thats all.