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the most competitive juniors(5 posts)

the most competitive juniorsdoog
Mar 9, 2003 3:41 PM
About the 17-18 yr. juniors who win nationals... How many miles do they average a week? About how many, do you think, are there in the US who have TT ten miles at 28 mph (20? 10? 5?)? Are they equivalent to cat 1 or 2? Do they all ride 6 days a week? 5 days a week?
schooling the prosB123
Mar 11, 2003 12:26 AM
A few years back when I was a 17/18 jr I had the pleasure of getting spanked weekly by a handful of super fast juniors. They were the Mercury and Saturn development kids. Most were home-schooled, some even dropouts, and able to travel and race with the team all over the US. Most of these guys could place top 5 in the local Pro/1/2 races anytime, at 16yrs old. At 18 they were unstoppable. Rashan Bahati had an amazing sprint, the Meza brothers could climb like crazy...

All were professionally coached and kitted out in all the gear. Some are in Europe now, others racing pro in the US, some burnt out.

As far as TT's go, I think Creed and Pate were throwing down 24/25min times in the 20k TT's. A respectable local time was 27min.

If you are a junior and want to race seriously, look into a coach. Most give discounts to jr's. $100-300 is a much better investment than a pair of fancy wheels or a snazzy bike. Look for someone who has raced as a junior, raced all the local events and has time to watch you race/train. A great coach will have technical knowledge, access to testing equipment, and connections with local/national/international teams.

Good luck, and remember, school is the much more profitable than racing.
other side of the coinrussw19
Mar 15, 2003 2:48 AM
I seem to remember the field being much more competitve when I race juniors, but maybe it's because I want to think we were faster than what I saw last year...

I live in Gainesville, Fl and last year G'ville hosted the junior nationals. Even the Espoirs race seemed pitifully slow. There were only like 7 kids in the 15-16 boys race. The girls 13-14 race had 4 girls. Meaning your chance of winning were as good as your chances of being dead last in the field.
The Espoirs race had 12 kids. One kid got bored of the pace, broke away, built a great lead, then flatted. Some other kid just outsprinted the field to take the race. But it was weird, his sprint was completely unorganized. It was obvious he didn't have knowledge of sprinting technique, he just was faster. I know that sounds stupid, but it was one of those things you have to see. It was like something was just wrong... but I gotta give the kid credit, he won.

The weird thing at a juniors race is seeing this 14 year old kids pull up to the race with their parents and get out of a Ford Excursion pulling a trailor with their full team issue USPS Trek 5500. I saw a kid on a litespeed vortex that was Campy Record equipped and the kid was like 50 pounds overwieght. Maybe he will turn out some mega stud and I should shut the hell up, but it is just one of the odd things you see at junior races. It was obvious his dad raced, he had shaved cycling tanned legs and was fit, but jr. was another story. I guess I am just jealous that my parents didn't dedicate that kind of time and money into my racing. But then I would like to think that's why I stuck with it after mom stopped paying for it, it was something I worked for on my own, not something mom made me do to occupy my time outside of school.

Don't get me wrong, I am not knocking all juniors, and I have seen some I actually admired. I have seen some that make me smile because I can tell they love the sport, but this particular race, there just weren't enough of those types of kids. It just was an odd race, and I guess you would have had to be there to understand it.

Russ
other side of the coinB123
Mar 17, 2003 9:29 AM
Very true, many jr's are pretty spoiled. I grew so fast my parents refused to buy me bikes. My first few years were spent on $50 police auction bikes.

I've never been to jr natz, but I heard the Fl one was pretty bad, really flat and slow. As far as the Espoirs go, the natz last year (in South Carolina) was huge and fast with guys like Creed and Pate.
other side of the coinrussw19
Mar 23, 2003 6:46 PM
Was that florida race 2 years ago now? God I am getting old!

Russ