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Hey guys, i know this is a pretty vague question. I understand that none of you have ever met me, seen me, or riden with me, but some answers would be wonderful.
Im 17, (18 in may :thumbsup: ) and it will be 2 years since i got my bike in may. Ive put on a lot of miles, lost 70lbs so far, and started kind of racing last year. I got a coach and what not and still do and am very active in biking, ive already done 12 races but some days were 2 a days (juniors/cat4).

When i race juniors, i see the riders i ride with. Being in northern california, these juniors are strong. Most are cat 1/2 riders. I remember one crit i did, it was in davis and the 70 mile road race i did the day before probably had something to do with it, i got dropped lapped and dropped again. That was an all juniors field.

My question is, is there still a chance for me to become a pro like cavendish or boonen being that there are all these other guys my age that are much much stronger than me. My goal with cycling is to hopefully eventually go pro, but I keep having this mentality that i wont be able to go pro because i started too late in the sport while all these other juniors will.
Thanks for readin
 

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I love to climb!
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I have no way of knowing if you could make it or not. I seriously doubt any of us here could really tell you.

But you'll never know if you never try. Give it your best shot and think positive!
 

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I didn't even own a cat..
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Go for it and do your best. If you don't become a pro rider then at least you tried. If you don't try you will never fail. You will always fail if you don't try. Find some guys who are stronger riders than you and ride your heart out during training. You may be a late bloommer. I'm almost 40 and want just beggining my race career. Don't wait until then.
 

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eminence grease
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You're not too old, go do a web search and read about Svein Tuft.

You need someone who knows what they are looking at to have a gander and you and to assess whether you have the raw material to be a professional. Some of it is about training, some is about dedication. But most of it is about genetics and physiology. It wouldn't have mattered how dedicated I was, I was never going to be even the slightest bit capable in any athletic endeavour. I had friends though who could do anything sports-wise by merely trying. Some are naturals, most are not.

Go make an appointment with a local college cycling coach and see what they say.
 

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Baltic Scum
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I'll disagree.

FatTireFred said:
en-oh, no
The bad news up front: Since I don't know a thing about the boy's talent, my answer is as uneducated as Fred's.
That said, I have seen guys with enough time and dedication get fast as hell in 4 to 5 years. Becoming a professional racer? While not likely, it's certainly possible.

(To the OP, just in case: Remember me if you ever get to sign a yellow jersey or lift up a a piece of cobblestone...:thumbsup: )
 

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Exactly. . .

terry b said:
But most of it is about genetics and physiology.
Terry is right, and a lot of people on these forums get angry when you say it. To the OP go get test by a sports physiologist, and see what all your numbers are. Pro material has almost always incredible high VO2 Max level, and larger than normal lungs among other things.
It's a gift, as is intelligence. A guy I graduated college with (engineering) who studied less than half of the hours I had to to, and had a 3.8 GPA in his curriculum. My experience differed. I also new guy who did nothing all winter and in two months could annihilate all the "real hammerheads" who cross trained and all this other crap. Great genetics.
 

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I think it's admirable that you're aiming high. Far be it from me to discourage you. I work with people your age every day and many of them have aspirations that are quite high. It's part of my job to encourage their dreams as well as inform them of the reality of thhe situation. Some of the students I work with want to be NFL stars, be the next LeBron James, or play in the big leagues. I think that's great, and the odds against that happening are astronomical. My hunch is the odds are better in cycling because there are not as many people involved in the sport. I'm an ex racer who did pretty well. I was categorized higher that I should have been. It was more about the quantity or races I participated in that it was about any talent I might have had. The riders you see that are pros, or cat. 1 & 2 are amazing. IMO they're otherworldly. Mere mortals cannot perform the things that they do. I don't know you nor do I know what you can or can't do. But I would tell you this: follow your dreams and your heart, work harder than anyone else, get help from pros who've been in the business awhile. Hopefully we'll see your name in Velonews as the next rising star. Best of luck to you.
 

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I ride in circles..
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If you're able to support yourself and still train the amount of time you'll need to train there is only one reason you couldn't turn pro. Not genetically up to that level. With a steady financial backing... a coach.. and all the time needed you could be in with the pros in no time. (MAYBE)
 

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Has the cycling world changed since I left it 4 years ago? If the US domestic pros couldn't even earn a good living racing bike 4 years ago, I am pretty sure it has gotten worst now, after all the doping scandals and teams folding up. Go earn a degree. Get a good job and have enough spare time left over for training and racing. You would definitely need capitals for gears, racing fees, traveling, and coaching. Maybe if you are good enough you can be accepted into a U23 development squad. And maybe you can actually race for "free" with full sponsorship.
 

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Matnlely Dregaend
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You should be realistic about your age and what you can do... I mean, I'm going to be 38, I'm not going to get back on my bike and try to win the Tour de France am I? :7:

Apparently 1971 is an exception year for the age rule of cyclists! Either that or with drugs you can overcome any age handicap.
 

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Best advice yet. . .

Orbea_Carbon_Force said:
Get a good job and have enough spare time left over for training and racing.
For sure. Cycling is NOT like other sports at all when it comes to being "in the bottom 20%." A tennis pro tennis player who is ranked 150 in the world most likley has a Rolex he didn't have to buy, a serious German sports car and is making well into six figures comfortably. If you saw the Dave Zabriskie robbery info, the guy has a Scion in his garage! That gives you a real inside on what a US pro makes.
 

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Carbon Fiber = Explode!
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Remember, try your best. And if it still doesn't happen...

You can join Raz and the gang and dope. Wait... I guess they didn't have natural talent after all...
 

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If I was eighteen again and I was riding bike instead of Smoking. (Seemed more important at the time) You bet I'd go for it!!!
 

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Worth giving it a shot. My cousin was a good golfer and just qualified for the Seniors Tour. So he is now a professional golfer after 20 years of being purely recreational.

Walt Disney got fired from his first job because his bosses said he "lacked creativity." Einstein got turned down for teaching jobs and was told his ideas "lacked originality." So don't worry about anyone else, your limitations are your own.
 

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Go to school and get a degree in something that pays well and offers plenty of free time. Spend your free time riding and racing.

You'll have a long and happy cycling life this way. Plenty of guys race into their 50's and beyond. Putting all your eggs in one basket isn't a wise move as I'm sure your parents will tell you.

I agree with many of the others that mentioned genetics. You will know if you have what it takes to be pro, as you will have dropped the others will little effort.

Cycling is a cruel sport if you want to climb the top and yet don't have the engine the top guys have.

Being a domestic pro means lots of crits, fast, dangerous riding, you could end up in a wheel chair for the rest of your life as well. This happened to one of our local racers a few years ago, it was a wake up call for many of us that this is a dangerous sport. This guy still checks us in come race day, seeing his wheelchair makes me reflect on what could happen.
 
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