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do pro racers die younger(9 posts)

do pro racers die youngerjohn de
Apr 16, 2001 6:17 PM
i heard somewhere that all that riding is taxing on there bodies and they die earlier...assuming they dont use drugs how do they fare....
but Joey Ramone was in his 40's!!!rollo tommassi
Apr 16, 2001 6:41 PM
You've probably heard that comment about the Tour, especially of the hours spent in the high mountains on Hors categorie climbs - that it 'takes a year off your life'. I think what is really meant is it takes it off of the life of your career (short enough as they are).

I don't think there has been any scientific study of the effects of extremely high level of competition on the body - increase in ageing or an acceleration of arthritis, osteoporosis or other age-related maladys. Anecdotally, there are certain people whose careers come to mind where you can say "man, he really killed himself on Ventoux that day, and he was never quite the same after that". Stephen Roche didn't seem to get on to well after winning all three Tours in a single year(signing on with a team like Tonton Tapis in later years didn't help either). Eddy Merckx has some physical complaints, mostly a bad back, but he did suffer a couple of horrendous crashes so it's hard to say what did what to him (was it all those wins, or was it the pave?)

There are plenty of 'old' pros out there, not to mention the gent I met years ago who used to race pro in the 'old country' (italy) and decided to take up a new sport (triathlons) at the young age of 68.

Cycling can make an old man feel young again, but it can also turn a young man old in a day.
but Joey Ramone was in his 40's!!!Marty T.
Apr 16, 2001 8:21 PM
Rollo, Rollo, Rollo...

Now you've gone and done it... I've read, if not noticed, many of your postings to this board, but I must tell you this one really gets me.

It's not the body (no pun intended) of your text...but the last line that did it. I must take my hat off to you for one of the most poignant and eloquent lines I've read in a long long time. A line that hits home for me nearly every day that I ride.

And with pleasure I quote Mr. Tommassi (or whoever you are.) "Cycling can make an old man feel young again, but it can also turn a young man old in a day." That is truly wonderful. But most of the "young jocks" will think I'm running off at the mouth and patronizing you---it'll take a bit of time to appreciate it I'm afraid.

However, I could relate many a story about how many times I have seen this happen (though to a very much lesser degree than the "pros" you speak of...) But at ripe old age of 52 I can personally attest to the first part of that wonderful sentence you composed... I'm feeling pretty damned incredible at my age. So if I DO go out early I'm gonna feel great doing it.

A couple of weeks ago I raced a 50+ masters Crit in St. Pete, FL. There was an African American gentlemen in the race that someone told me was 60 years old... He kicked my butt, and most of the other guys too. I had a bad day--got dropped a third of the way in. Tucked my tail between my legs and went home. I think Manny Angular won it with his long gray ponytail flying victoriously in the breeze. But I must tell you, that averaging 28-30 MPH at the age of 52 is something I could only dream of when I was in my 20's and 30's. Mostly because I hadn't learned how to "suffer" enough---both in life and on the bike.

So thanks for a line that will stick with me a long long's so true---AND, I can hardly wait to use it. (with permission?)

That's ms. tomassi, not mr. tomassi-(nm)mike mcmahon
Apr 16, 2001 8:33 PM
Even Better!!Marty T.
Apr 16, 2001 8:38 PM
Even better!!
you're welcomerollo tommassi
Apr 17, 2001 8:33 AM
that's the nicest thing anyone has ever said!
You're more than welcome to "use" it (no intellectual property rights here!)

I hope I'm like you when I'm 52, still riding fast! Keep up the hard work.

"ms. tommassi" (ha ha ha)
but Joey Ramone was in his 40's!!!dustin
Apr 16, 2001 10:39 PM
:( joey's gone. i want my Ramones...i wanna be sedated....
re: do pro racers die youngersteveuk
Apr 20, 2001 6:27 AM
The only way cycling is going to kill you young is if you take performance drugs which then allow you to push your body to an unnatural intensity which the body is not designed to sustain of recover from - then long term damage accumulates. There is no way a healthy eating drug free body which #consistently# performs to a top level can be doing so in an 'unwell' or damaging manner - this doesn't stand to reason as the body would not be consistent if damage was being done. So the answer is yes pros have died young in the past but that's because of drug abuse weakening thier organs etc.

Ofcourse you need to eat well + rest well if you are not going to fall ill but look in the mirror now and again - do you look like the fittest guy on your street? Do you feel almost invincible and god like? Do you look yonger than you are? If yes to all of above then you're not doing anything wrong and expect to live a long, healthy happy life free of 'age related' degenerative disease. These are not actually age relaeted because young, middle aged + old get them - they are environment/lifestyle diseases. All the practicing Martial Arts grandmasters in Japan (very fit) live disease free to their mid eightee/nineties then die of kidney failure - without fail. It is the 'natural' way to die - free from disease and healthy till the very last few weeks.

BTW I suspect S Roche pushed himself too far and used drugs to do it. He doesn't look 'well' in photos of the time even off the bike and the last pick I saw of him he didn't look well. Nothing is worth that especially no fame or glory. Herras also has the same unwell look in his eyes but it may be down to overtraining esp now he has to keep up with Lance.
Look at the mortality figures for ALL pro athletes...Retro
Apr 20, 2001 12:54 PM
Life expectancy of NFL players is 50s or very early 60s, I think. Serious pro basketball hasn't been around long enough for accurate stats, but between the steroids, the stress and the pounding, they probably won't become octogenarians. In track, the runners hang on, but weight men (discus, shot put) don't--they're always keeling over at 48 or something. According to a survey I saw a few years ago, only baseball players approached the national average, and that was before major drug use. Cyclists are under enormous physical stress, and drugs seem to be common, so...