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Old 10-10-2017, 07:38 PM
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Article: professional cyclist talks about leaving the sport

Thought this was an interesting perspective...particularly from one of the guys who made the big leagues, but never really a top contender. Book looks like an interesting read. As someone who finishes regularly in the middle of the pack, I appreciate the peace he's found.


http://www.signature-reads.com/2017/...nt-miss-sport/
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Old 10-10-2017, 08:04 PM
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dang another book I need to put on my list. It looks interesting.
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Old 10-10-2017, 08:28 PM
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I feel like most pro riders who are not winning races are probably a lot like the linemen on a football team. Absolutely necessary, but not a lot of commercial deals. You should probably know that getting into the sport. Especially today, with so many books about it. We shouldn't need every newly retired pro to shed light on this shadowy world anymore.

"draft animals" is a cool title.
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Old 10-10-2017, 08:55 PM
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What Gaimon describes seems familiar to me. There were some heyday times when I managed/owned a bike shop but looking back I feel that, in certain respects, I was extremely naive. My naiveté was the main reason I thought it was fantastic, because I focused on the good.

Now I feel like I'm in a similar environment in terms of "small team working in unity" but in a better structured way, i.e. we get paid enough to make a living.
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Old 10-10-2017, 09:44 PM
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I had the opportunity to talk with Phil a bit at Tour de Big Bear this year. He was there promoting his CookieFondo. He struck me as a really interesting guy, witty and intelligent. And,.. he is still very fast.
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Old 10-10-2017, 11:01 PM
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His YouTube channel has provided some motivation, inspiration and laughs for me over the past few months.

I'll give this a read in the dark days of the coming winter.
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Old 10-10-2017, 11:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTuck View Post
I feel like most pro riders who are not winning races are probably a lot like the linemen on a football team.
You don't know much about football then. Offensive lineman are at a premium along with defensive ends. Hell, from what I've heard in the last few days the guys coaching them are making millions a year.
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Old 10-11-2017, 12:01 AM
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You don't know much about football then. Offensive lineman are at a premium along with defensive ends. Hell, from what I've heard in the last few days the guys coaching them are making millions a year.
It's true, they are at a premium at the moment, but I do think he has a valid point in terms of name recognition and the opportunities that arise as a result of that. Most casual observers can't name a single offensive lineman, whereas many would at least know the stars quarterbacks (Brady, Rodgers, etc.). Phil and riders like him are in a similar situation with regards to cycling.
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Old 10-11-2017, 12:06 AM
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That being said, I like Phil, seems like an all-around good guy. I've enjoyed his Youtube series and look forward to checking this book out. Should be an interesting perspective if nothing else.
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Old 10-11-2017, 09:04 AM
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I was near the bottom of the totem pole, and cycling isn’t quite as glamorous as some sports
About two years ago, I was at a friend's wedding, and the wedding band was this incredible funk/soul band that has been touring the world the past year or two. And I was chatting for a while with a guy I knew in college who had started the band:

"Things started to get pretty surreal. I was at an event sitting at the same table as Sly Stone, and he was telling me 'Man, you got to check out this band...' and he was talking about my band."

But, just a month prior, he left the band. It had been his full time job for 7 years, and they were getting big, and he decided he was done: "I guess I realized that you don't 'make it' and achieve a new level - I realized that 'making it' is a constant process of grinding, living in a van, playing seven shows a week and being on the road for who knows, six months at a time. And I stopped wanting that."

I did a double-take because it was so similar to what I've heard from talented guys who get a pro contract, race for a couple years, and then stop. Just a few months before that wedding I'd been riding and talking with a dude who had, the year before in his debut year on a pro team, gotten a pretty impressive top ten at the national criterium championships. He was given an offer to renew his contract but made the hard decision not to.

And I used to know a dude who raced for the Geox-Fuji Test Team in Belgium, which at the time was an amateur feeder team for a Pro Conti team. He was good - got top tens in some pretty big races - but at the time just looked at his career prospects, thought about the work required to make it, and what "making it" would really look like - and decided to call it.

"Living the dream" often only looks like that from the outside. Mostly, it's a grind. Sometimes it's worth it, sometimes it's not. How it all balances out in the accounting is, I guess, the question that some people have to answer.
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Old 10-11-2017, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuzzer View Post
You don't know much about football then. Offensive lineman are at a premium along with defensive ends. Hell, from what I've heard in the last few days the guys coaching them are making millions a year.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quilts View Post
It's true, they are at a premium at the moment, but I do think he has a valid point in terms of name recognition and the opportunities that arise as a result of that. Most casual observers can't name a single offensive lineman, whereas many would at least know the stars quarterbacks (Brady, Rodgers, etc.). Phil and riders like him are in a similar situation with regards to cycling.
Yes, this is what I was referring to -- name recognition and ability to monetize their personal brand (and I'd say Phil is pretty good at that). By the nature of cycling and broadcasting, sometimes a domestique's job is already done for the day before the first TV images are seen by fans.

I'm trying to remember the last time that a sideline reporter interviewed a lineman after the game.
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Old 10-11-2017, 09:30 AM
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Sounds like it will be a good read.

One of our local guys is on a pro team now, well I call him a kid, because that's what he was when he absolutely tore up the local college racing scene and quickly got drafted on LA's development squad back in the day. But anyway it nearly tore him to bits and he got his act back together. It's interesting to watch his development over the current decade.

I've played every sport just about imaginable except maybe real fringe ones like field hockey for example. But between football, baseball, soccer, hockey and so on in High School and after when I took up bike racing I realize that this is by far the hardest sport ever.

I can't even imagine what it must be like at the top pro level.

If you have not read 'A Dog in a Hat' it's another good perspective on what it's like to be a middle of the road top pro.
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Old 10-11-2017, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTuck View Post
Yes, this is what I was referring to -- name recognition and ability to monetize their personal brand (and I'd say Phil is pretty good at that). By the nature of cycling and broadcasting, sometimes a domestique's job is already done for the day before the first TV images are seen by fans.

I'm trying to remember the last time that a sideline reporter interviewed a lineman after the game.
Well, there's Tony Siragusa, and he actually is/was a sideline reporter, though only because he's part of the joke. Linemen do occasionally get local publicity, but nowhere near the publicity received by "skills players."
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Old 10-11-2017, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by redir View Post
If you have not read 'A Dog in a Hat' it's another good perspective on what it's like to be a middle of the road top pro.
For someone that got into cycling in the 80s and 90s "A Dog in a Hat" was, for me, incredible.

http://sprinterdellacasa.blogspot.co...og-in-hat.html
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  #15  
Old 10-12-2017, 12:43 AM
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I bought "a dog in a hat" at the same time I bought a used copy of "The Yellow Jersey." Funny how similar and yet different those two books are, even though a lot of Yellow Jersey is just fantasy.
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