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What has caused GT contenders to drop in age
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In the past GT contenders were much older than they are today.

Is it just random or has something fundamentally changed in training that has allowed younger riders to compete at a high GT level?
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Re: What has caused GT contenders to drop in age [7401southwick] [ In reply to ]
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7401southwick wrote:
In the past GT contenders were much older than they are today.

Is it just random or has something fundamentally changed in training that has allowed younger riders to compete at a high GT level?

Kids are starting much younger in the sport and the sport is more popular than ever. We have better science around how to train, rest, and eat. Cycling has fallen in line with other sports where the young dominate.

I bet you that triathlon 70.3 will be dominated by youngsters in the next 10 years. 140.6 will take longer because athletes will transition to it after their shorter course careers.

____________________________________________________________________________________________
2021 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship, in St. George, Utah, USA on 17 - 18 September 2021 |--| IRONMAN LAKE PLACID 2021 |--| EAGLEMAN 70.3 2021
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Re: What has caused GT contenders to drop in age [7401southwick] [ In reply to ]
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7401southwick wrote:
In the past GT contenders were much older than they are today.

Is it just random or has something fundamentally changed in training that has allowed younger riders to compete at a high GT level?

all things being equal, drugs are going to provide a larger benefit for older athletes (especially in their 30s). So I would interpret at least part of the explanation could be that the sport is indeed cleaner than its been in the past.
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Re: What has caused GT contenders to drop in age [LifeTri] [ In reply to ]
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LifeTri wrote:
7401southwick wrote:
In the past GT contenders were much older than they are today.

Is it just random or has something fundamentally changed in training that has allowed younger riders to compete at a high GT level?

Kids are starting much younger in the sport and the sport is more popular than ever. We have better science around how to train, rest, and eat. Cycling has fallen in line with other sports where the young dominate.

I bet you that triathlon 70.3 will be dominated by youngsters in the next 10 years. 140.6 will take longer because athletes will transition to it after their shorter course careers.

To add those younger athletes are also going to be more on board with new tech and training, not just doing it how they’ve always done it. I mean tubulars are still a thing, come on.

-----------------------------------------------------------
De Soto Sport Athlete
Formerly Draketriathlon
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Re: What has caused GT contenders to drop in age [tri_yoda] [ In reply to ]
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tri_yoda wrote:
7401southwick wrote:
In the past GT contenders were much older than they are today.

Is it just random or has something fundamentally changed in training that has allowed younger riders to compete at a high GT level?


all things being equal, drugs are going to provide a larger benefit for older athletes (especially in their 30s). So I would interpret at least part of the explanation could be that the sport is indeed cleaner than its been in the past.

In the pre-EPO era, top GT contenders were serious threats basically from their first GT. Merckx won his first TdF; so did Hinault and Fignon. Lemond's first four TdFs were 3rd,2nd,1st,1st.

When really impactful drugs (like EPO) came along, suddenly there was a new variable: how well someone responded to it. As a result, high responders who were mid-career suddenly became contenders. Riis was dropped from Fignon's team and told he lacked the engine to even be a domestique....that's not exactly the pedigree of a future tour winner, but boost your hematocrit to 60 and viola. Likewise, Lance was a classics guy who struggled in GTs before his "transformation."

We are getting back to the place where true talent is evident very early and there are few mid-career revelations. That either means that the sport is cleaner....or that the doping has stabilized enough that the super responders already have that baked into their performances from day1.
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Re: What has caused GT contenders to drop in age [7401southwick] [ In reply to ]
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Jai Hindley is a young Australian. Cadel Evans winning the TDF in 2011 raised the profile of the sport in Australia. It generated a lot of media interest. The first Australian Pro team Orica Green Edge started at the same time. Jai would have benefitted from the increased money and media in the sport in Australia.
Young riders are doing a lot better in the GT's over the last couple of years.





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Re: What has caused GT contenders to drop in age [7401southwick] [ In reply to ]
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One of the recent CyclingTips podcast episodes was talking about this. It think it might have been one of the ones where they interviewed Inigo San Milan who is Tadej Pogacar’s coach.

One of the comments they made was the availability and affordability of power meters. Before riders would have to perform their way up the ranks winning smaller races and serving as domestiques for older riders at larger races. now it’s easier to identify young riders with great watt/kg numbers sign them to the team and then train them and put them in position to be the main guy on the team

Matt
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Re: What has caused GT contenders to drop in age [7401southwick] [ In reply to ]
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The average intensity of the GT's has definitely increased over the past decade or so with a corresponding reduction in total length of stages especially the number of really long transitions stages. In all sports I can think of higher intensity/lower volume events favor youth. I also think modern communications and race control have minimized the value of experience in the GTs.

I suspect drugs are also a massive factor. Drugs not only improve peak performance they significantly reduce the risk of injury in older athletes allowing them to train harder for longer. This allowed the top athletes to stay competitive well beyond the point when naturally their performances should have been decreasing and then their overall experience gave them the edge in GT.

Without pointing fingers I have wondered about track athletes in the same way. I realize some athletes peak later than others and some events like the marathon may favor more mature athletes. At the top levels though even the marathon is being completed at high intensities and intensity only gets higher as the distance decreases. I honestly expect athletes to peak at this level of intensity pretty early and yet over the past few decades we seem to have seen a shift towards older athletes. Things have started to move back in the other direct and its hard to not to point fingers at drugs especially as track and field is not known for being the cleanest sport.
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Re: What has caused GT contenders to drop in age [LifeTri] [ In reply to ]
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LifeTri wrote:
Kids are starting much younger in the sport and the sport is more popular than ever. We have better science around how to train, rest, and eat. Cycling has fallen in line with other sports where the young dominate

DO toy think there's a CX > Classics > GT pathway younger riders are following, as a whole?

Like testing the waters as U23 CX riders, then saying "Hey? I may be pretty good at this?" moving up, and then to the road?

"Isn't RandMart the old punk rock dude who had the crazy ex? Then this post checks out"

Stop-Think-Consider-Do
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Re: What has caused GT contenders to drop in age [RandMart] [ In reply to ]
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Look at baseball before and after steroids. When they weren’t tested in the 90s and early 00s, you had tons of old players leading the leagues in pitching and hitting. Now, the players are dropping off in their early 30s—just like they did in the years before steroids proliferated
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Re: What has caused GT contenders to drop in age [Waingro] [ In reply to ]
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what is interesting is the GT's are really ultra endurance events in my opinion, and if that were the case we are seeing evidence that females are actually on par if not better than males when it comes to that sort of event. So I do wonder if there are some specific sorts of physiological aspects that might be coming into play? Also this year is a bit strange as we all know, could it be that older athletes need longer for their engines to warm up and for that reason the young guys are coming to the fore? Of course I would hope and like to believe that the cleaning up of the sport was the reason but the recent incident at the Giro makes me wonder, young guy popped for PEDs.
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