What is Pro Cycling?
The Pro Cycling challenge that is being held in the USA is an annual multi say professional road bicycle racing challenge that firstly took place in the Colorado state in 2011. It was originally announced by the governor of Colorado, Bill Litter and Lance Armstrong.
The pro cycling challenge that is being held in the USA is one of the only races out of the three current rated races that has remained in the US and is considered to be one of the imperative and major pro cycling races held in the whole of US.
What is the structure to get a Pro team?
Have you ever thought about how does the entire structure of getting a Pro teamwork? The UCI puts divides the road teams into three major categories namely, Pro Tour, Pro Continental, and Continental. The first two teams are officially managed by the UCI, and the latter one is managed by the national federations. If you are planning to have a race professionally, you should go with the one that UCI manages.
The three categories of the road teams are as described below:
1. Pro Tour
This category of road team is the formerly divided first trade team. Some of the details about this category are as mentioned below:
- Size of the Roster: Minimum 25 riders and maximum 30 riders
- Minimum pay: The pro athletes get a minimum pay of $47000
- UCI registration fee: The UCI registration fee comes to be about $68000 and along with that $34000 for the license
Presently, there are about 18 teams that are registered in the Pro Tour category of road teams. Some of them are Quickstep, Astana, and Columbia High Road.
2. Pro Continental
This category of road team is the formerly divided second trade team. Some of the important details about this category are as mentioned below:
About this category are as mentioned below:
- Size of the Roster: Minimum 16 riders and maximum of 25 riders
- Minimum pay: The pro athletes get a minimum pay of $39000 and about $33750000 for neo-pro athletes
- UCI registration fee: The UCI registration fee comes to be about $16300
- Contribution to the Biological Passport Program: The teams that have a wildcard label contribute about $8100 and the teams without a wildcard have their contribution about $10000
Presently, there are about 21 teams that are registered in the Pro Continental category of road teams. Though in 2009 there was only registered a team in this category which was BMC but presently, some of the 21 teams are Barloworld, Agritubel, and Cervelo.
This category of the road teams is the formerly divided third trade team. Some of the many important and must be known details about this category are as described below:
- Size of the Roster: Minimum 8 riders and maximum number of about 16 riders
- Minimum pay: The pro athletes do not get pay in this category. Many of the athletes volunteer the bike racers in hope that they would be able to make it a big one.
- UCI registration fee: The UCI registration fee turns to be around $9160
- Bank guarantee: The athletes get a minimum of $5500 or about 10% of the total team’s rider contracts.
Presently, the teams under this category in the US are likely to be, Rock Racing, OUCH-Maxxis, Colavita Sutter and many more teams.
One of the majorly important reasons that lead the cyclists to go with the Pro Continental or the Continental team is that with these categories they are able to take part in the bigger races like Pro Tour events and also the Grand Tours.
How to Prepare for Pro Cycling Challenge?
Pro cycling challenge is one of the most difficult bicycling challenges that are being held in the US. It is not easy for the people to reach there. It takes a lot of hard work, passion and practice to become a member of the pro cycling challenge.
The tips and methods that the people should adopt in order to be a part of pro cycling challenge are categorized in four different ways. The four different categories for the same are as mentioned below:
1. Preparing your Body
- Cycle daily:
Usually training and experience are the two things that are considered to be the foundation of any kind of sport, and when it comes to being become a professional cyclist, these two things mean making dozens of miles on the road. On an average, you should cycle each and every day for at least about two hours for six days a week. If the weather is not in your favor, then you should probably try on a stationary bike at a gym or at home.
- Building your strength:
You should daily work for 60 minutes on training workout for a couple of times in a week. This helps you in building up your muscles, to be more specific leg and core muscles. You have to be in a perfectly amazing shape with many lean muscles in order to take part in the cycling challenge. You can also try for squats, leg curls, and lunges.
- Eating properly:
You should plan your nutritional cycling diet in such a manner that it is quite rich in fruits, veggies, carbs, and proteins. You should catch up on all nutrients that your body requires, both at home as well as while cycling.
- Increasing your power:
The athletes should work in such a manner that they are able to chug up a hill even when the end of the race appears to be quite near, and your body is too tired.
2. Participating in the Community
- Starting as early as possible:
As it is stated that there is no formal age to learn things, you should start as young as you can. By doing this, you not only help yourselves in developing all the skills but also help yourselves in getting yourself a name in the whole of the community. For this, you will have to start in general, though, because of the US rules for cyclists.
- Cycling with others:
You should probably join a local cycling club and also participate in the weekly training. By doing, you remain motivated and also get a great opportunity to learn from other people. You can search for the local groups via the internet forums, having a check on your local gym or the recreation department.
- Having friends who like cycling:
The life that the athletes in pro cycling have might prove to be quite lonely. You will have tight schedules and less of free time and hence, in order to maintain both of the cycling life and social life, it would be great if you find out a friend who is there with you always.
- Riding with people who are better than you:
When you ride with people or friends who can ride better than you, you will yourself feel a need to increase your training and practice. The sense of competition helps you to push harder down the road.
3. Improvising the Techniques
- Finding a coach for yourself:
Finding a coach for yourself who coaches you for the better will help you in not only breaking your own time records but also help you in building your endurance and speed. They will also help in improvising the technique of racing against others. Many times it is possible to find a good coach through your own cycling club but if that doesn’t work; you can always have a look through the classifieds in cycling magazines.
- Getting lay of the land:
You should yourself analyze each and every race so that you can come to know about your own techniques, equipment and the physical stamina. Before commencing a race, you should look at the track and see what challenges you are going to face and in order to handle them what all you need. If you know about your component, you can have a look at their cycling videos to know about their techniques and equipment.
- Practicing the key skills:
The major important skills of cycling like descending and cornering mean a lot for the ones practicing for the pro cycling challenge. You should practice these key skills by taking the routes that comprise of these features whenever you go for practice.
4. Going Professional
- Having the perfect job:
The pro cycling event is basically not going to get you a bundle of money and so you should aim at making no mistake at all. The pro teams pay for the supplies and the traveling, but the salary for the athletes is not that good. So basically you should have a side job other than going for the pro cycling challenge, and that job should be quite more than flexible in such a manner that it does not disturb your cycling schedule.
- Entering for the local races:
When you are able to perform quite well at all of the local events, you are one step ahead to win the pro cycling challenge. Also, winning at the local events can help you in building up your techniques, confidence and reputation. If you are participating in the local events with other members of the local club, make sure that you dominate the race course. To look for the local events, you can search on the internet at the official site of cycling of the country.
- Finding a sponsor:
No matter how great and amazing the professional cyclists perform, the financial rewards that are associated with winning the challenge are much lower than those in most of the other sports. Also, sponsorship plays a vital role in becoming a professional cyclist because the amount of the cash that is accessible quite well determines the quality of supplies, coaching and the medical care that you will get. Hence finding a sponsorship is worth every difficulty.
- Entering in huge competitions:
When you feel that you are getting much better as compared to what you were when you had started, you should start entering in all the big contests that are being held in the state. The more attention you receive in such competitions will get you more chances of being selected by a scout who is a member of a professional team. At the official cycling website of cycling of the US you can search for such events and find out for which competition you are enough qualified.
- Hope to meet a scout:
If you are as lucky, then you may get a chance of having a meeting with a scout who is searching for new talent in the new generation. If ever you get called by a scout, you should not miss the chance and grab the opportunity.
- Accept all the offers:
If you offered an offer to ride for a professional team, you should grab hold of the opportunity without any second thought.
Hence to prepare yourself for the pro cycling challenge in the USA, you should follow the above-mentioned steps carefully and with lots of hard work and passion.
Some Mind Blowing Facts about Pro Cycling in the USA:
The Pro Cycling Challenge commences its way from the Northern Colorado landscape. Some of the amazing facts about the Pro Cycling Challenge that Gear Fisher and Dirk Friel, the co-founders at the Training Peaks discovered while they were hanging out with the European pros in Mallorca are as follows:
1. Pressure Free Environment
The riders at the pro cycling challenge have to eat their meals at completely separate tables from the team staff members. This helps the riders to decompress in a pressure free environment and also provides them the necessary break from all the coaches and the directors.
The riders have to take care of many things other than eating, like laundry. The riders can put their clothes in a bag outside their hotel room door from where they are probably picked up by the laundry man and are taken care of.
3. Preparation of the Bikes
The mechanics of the bikes wash them properly and prepare them each and every day. Also, they spend a lot of time of their day, during the camps to build the bikes so that they can be used later in the season.
4. Different Bikes
The riders at the pro cycling challenge in the USA are rendered with three to six bikes per person. The riders use these bikes as, one to two bikes for training, other two bikes for time trials and the remaining two for road racing purpose. Hence, the riders use antithetic bikes for both training and racing.
5. Responsibility of the Riders
The director of the pro cycling challenge team is the racing manager of the team while the coach of the team is usually the training manager. The responsibility of the riders welfare is taken proper care of by both of them.
6. Protection and Supplies
At the pro cycling challenge held, usually the follow vehicles are being used by the riders’ for each and every training ride, even on the recovery days. One of them is the seed for the protection and supplies while the other one is provided so that the riders can know where they have to go, especially on the confusing European rides.
7. When a Rider Flats
The worst of everything that can happen at the pro cycling challenge is when a member of the team flats during a ride. But when a rider flats during the ride, the entire team does not stop. Instead, the wheel is simply replaced, and the rider is also motor paced back up to the team.
While riding, everything is being taken care of. The riders have a choice of what they wish to drink while on the ride, either water or mix, i.e. Gatorade. Both of the drinks are designated with antithetic bottles or the drinking nipples in order to separate them.
9. Efforts during Climbs
During the training rides, each and every rider has to maintain their own efforts during the climbs in order to maximize their individual performance. This is taken into account for fixing the racing schedules of the riders.
10. Groups of the Riders
The riders at the pro cycling challenge are generally divided into two antithetic groups, namely Classics and Stage riders. The riders that are excellent at super hard one day races are put into the Classics riders group. The ones those are excellent at winning or who support the team leader during the 7 to 21 day stage racing season are put into the Stage riders group.
Apart from the above mentioned amazing facts about pro cycling, there are much more fascinating facts about the same. These people are truly blessed with some extra amazing qualities like physiology, motivation, hard work, passion, and commitment. These qualities make them supermen as far as pro cycling is considered.
Words by Some Experienced Athletes
1. Getting Nervous Before the Race
It does not always have to be the biggest race to get your nerves really induced. Amanda Spratt said that she always used to get nervous for the every first race of the season. Lizzie Armistead had repeatedly referenced the pressure one gets up while lining up as the defending champion.
Emma Johnson added that she used to get extremely nervous for Flanders racing against her hometown crowd. Lastly, Nettie Edmondson added that he used to expect extra nervousness whenever she used to pin a number as a pre-race favorite.
2. Taking the Coffee Loving Cyclist Stereotype Seriously
Most of the people in the world choose a coffee place for any kind of meeting. The athletes at the pro cycling challenge do the same. Many of them often pack their personal coffee making equipment while they travel around the world for the challenge.
Most of the world tour teams have their own coffee machines inside their buses, and also, many of the teams have their own coffee sponsors.
3. Not Making Big Bucks
There are a very few odds of the people who make much money out of the pro cycling challenge. Many of the female riders have to either ride down for comparatively quite low salaries or negligible salaries. So their cycling career can even come to haul if they are devoid of the support from friends and family.
Megan Guarnier, who won a bronze medal in one of the road races held in 2015, had said that she found herself to be extra lucky because she that an incredible support from her family as well friends and without them, she would have been nowhere.
4. Chowing Down at a Serious Rate
Are you planning to cook for a pro cyclist? If yes then you should probably double or triple the recipe. The power to weight ratio for the pro cyclists have an important role in their performance, and so you might not expect them to eat more. It is necessary for them to be extra nutrition conscious and hence, it is vital for them to refuel the calories that were burned during training or racing.
Majerus had said that she always felt sorry for the restaurants that they stopped by for dinners. She added that they were the kind of people who are always hungry and require more than that’s being offered to them. Also, she added that always preferred for mix menus, special things and were really fully satisfied.
As per the above-mentioned information, if your primary aim is to earn Monet then you would probably have to find a new sport for yourself to fit in. The pro cycling is a kind of sport in which it demands lots of hard work and passion and in return pays you almost nothing.
The professional cycling at the pro cycling challenge in the USA comprises of the riders from about six antithetic continents, Four disciplines and countless cultures of people who race all over the world. Despite such diversity, the cyclists in many ways find out a way to unite themselves.
Our Suggestions for the Cyclists Out There
We hope the above-provided information was quite beneficiary to you and helped you gain knowledge of the lesser known facts about the pro cycling challenge in the USA. You can write below your valuable and precious suggestions as well as comments in the comment box below. We would be more than happy to assist you.