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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This amazing story is from today's U.K. Guardian:

"In September Zakayo Nderi, a shoe-shiner, and Samwel Myangi, a bicycle taxi rider, competed in a time trial on the Alpe d'Huez, Tour de France stage course. Both are from the Kenyan town of Eldoret, which has provided most of Kenya's recent distance-running champions. Neither had ridden a proper racing bike before arriving in France, and neither had competed in any kind of formal cycling event. Nderi did the Alpe in 42 minutes, Myangi took a minute longer. That would have put Nderi comfortably inside the top 50 in the 2004 Tour de France time-trial. No black African has ever ridden the Tour. Watch out cycling. The Kenyans are coming."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/blog/2008/dec/30/sporting-heroes-2008
 

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I wonder if they are runners? Don't all those Kenyan dudes run everywhere?
If so, I've seen a lot of runners kill our local hill time trials. Running fast and climbing fast seem to be hand in hand.
 

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I can't wait to see more from them. Everyone can get somewhere when they put their mind to it, but those kenyans just seem to be able to get there faster >_<. Hope they get out there and rip it up some more in the near future.
 

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Lusus Naturae
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I'd like to think that a sport like cycling would not come to be a discussion about which country could produce the best, etc.

As it stands now, France can claim the best in MTB racing(Olympics), which to me is equal if not more important than any tour on road. Julian put the smack down on everyone.
 

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NoBalance said:
I'd like to think that a sport like cycling would not come to be a discussion about which country could produce the best, etc..
Sorry if the lack of politcal correctness offends you.:rolleyes:
Pick up a Running Times or Running World magazine. The domination of the distance running world by Kenyans is well known and written about. The running world is not afraid discussing where the best runners come from. Why should cycling hide behind some PC bullsh!t?
Kenyans kick ass with running. I hope to see some get on bikes. I think they could achieve some great things in cycling.:thumbsup:
 

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It would be cool to see what some of the Kenyans could do in the cycling world. It however would very tough for them do to the expense of the sport. Most top roadrunners are not sponsored and get invited to events (Marathons) and if they do not place they don’t get any money. I have run a few Marathons and have been invited into the elite runners meetings (not because I’m fast but because I knew the organizers) more then a few times the Pro runners have asked me for either money or to buy them shoes. They all say the same thing that if they could afford to buy some good shoes they could place high enough to win prize money and continue to attend more races.
I asked one of them a few years ago how much he ran back home and he said about 25-30 miles per day because that’s all he had to do because there were no jobs in his area. I said he must have to eat a lot to keep his energy up and he told me he might have a couple bowls of rice some days.
 

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Looks like the only ones still breaking records in the 21st century are Francis and the Kenyans, even with sub 15 pound climbing bikes.

Ascent times

Sign at Bend 16 on the climb to Alpe d'Huez
Rank Time Name Year Nationality
1 37' 35" Marco Pantani 1997 Italy
2* 37' 36" Lance Armstrong 2004 United States
3 38' 00" Marco Pantani 1994 Italy
4 38' 01" Lance Armstrong 2001 United States
5 38' 04" Marco Pantani 1995 Italy
6 38' 23" Jan Ullrich 1997 Germany
7 38' 34" Floyd Landis 2006 United States
8 38' 35" Andreas Klöden 2006 Germany
9* 38' 37" Jan Ullrich 2004 Germany
10 39' 02" Richard Virenque 1997 France
11 39' 06" Iban Mayo 2003 Spain
12* 39' 17" Andreas Klöden 2004 Germany
13* 39' 21" Jose Azevedo 2004 Portugal
14 39' 28" Miguel Induráin 1995 Spain
15 39' 28" Alex Zülle 1995 Switzerland
16 39' 30" Bjarne Riis 1995 Denmark
17 39' 31" Carlos Sastre 2008 Spain
18 39' 44" Gianni Bugno 1991 Italy
19 39' 45" Miguel Induráin 1991 Spain
20 40' 00" Jan Ullrich 2001 Germany
21 40' 46" Fränk Schleck 2006 Luxembourg
22 40' 51" Alexander Vinokourov 2003 Kazakhstan
23 41' 18" Lance Armstrong 2003 United States
24 41' 50" Laurent Fignon 1989 France
25 41' 50" Luis Herrera 1986 Colombia
26 42' 15" Pedro Delgado 1989 Spain
27 45' 20" Gert-Jan Theunisse 1989 Netherlands
28 45' 22" Fausto Coppi 1952 Italy
29 48' 00" Greg Lemond 1986 United States
30 48' 00" Bernard Hinault 1986 France
* The 2004 stage was an individual time trial.
[edit]
 

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NoBalance said:
I'd like to think that a sport like cycling would not come to be a discussion about which country could produce the best, etc.

As it stands now, France can claim the best in MTB racing(Olympics), which to me is equal if not more important than any tour on road. Julian put the smack down on everyone.
This isn't the "San Francisco Liberal" forum, dude.

I am going to talk hella smack about which country produces the best riders. My preference: Belgium.

Kenyans obviously have great endurance athletes, but it is a long way from doing a solo pedal up l'Alpe d'Huez and the years it takes to become a great cyclist.

And forget Absalom. I can't stand hardtail pvssies who can't cut it on the real racing circuit.

When Julien rides the Paris Roubaix or the Megavalanche, then he gets some credit from me.
 

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Lusus Naturae
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Hey quit using the PC card as an aid for your remarks. I was not trying to be PC at all. Just relax and try not to get politics involved, okay?

Simply put, what I mean to say is that the best in this sport can and will continue to come from any number of countries. It would please me little to see that the best of any sport only came from one country. Its not a bandwagon upon which I'd prefer to jump.

Yes, Kenyans are good at marathons and yes, those Kenyans did do well on the hill climb. But would you please put the Kenya-Kool-Aid down for a second and realize there's a long way to go before any of them will win a tour. Speaking of which, there is probably a long way to go before any of them will win much of anything other than long-distance endurance events that require immensely light and toned bodies.

Until something happens, the Kenyans are still a one-trick pony. Deal with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
NoBalance said:
I'd like to think that a sport like cycling would not come to be a discussion about which country could produce the best, etc.
I think I see what you're referring to. For many years I've disliked the Olympics because I think they're a nationalistic and chauvinistic spectacle, in which the athletes themselves are overshadowed by the worst sort of jingoistic breast-beating-"my country is better than yours." Yucch. I would run the Olympics by having the athletes march in by sport, not country, and I would get rid of the garish national-anthem ceremony following each event. As for the irrelevant and taunting medal count by country that appears in the newspaper each day, I try not to look at it.

But commenting on the Kenyans is different. The point here is that people who haven't even ridden a racing bike before achieved remarkable results on l'Alpe d'Huez-and I bet their times weren't enhanced by any pharmaceuticals. It's OK to point out that they're from Kenya because Kenya (1) is poor, (2) is not associated with bike racing, but (3) is associated with remarkable athletic achievements. You could say similar things about New Zealand. The latter is a rich country, but for a country with only 4 or 5 million inhabitants, it far outranks most other rich countries in extraordinarily athletic achievements per capita.
 

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sanjuro said:
Lets see how they do after they hit the deck, suck exhaust for 20 days, and sit on their butts for 1500 miles.
Exactly.
 

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These guys sound like a bunch of jerks. Lets talk crap about them, because, afterall, they're better then we are.

Seriously, these guys are severely limited on funds - I bet they're stoked to be riding nice bikes, traveling to exotic lands, and hell, doing really well at it. Maybe they're not tour riders, maybe they never will be. Who gives a fyck, there's no need to talk crap about them, I know I couldn't do 42 minutes up the alpe d'huez and I think its pretty damn cool they did. Good for them. What have they done to deserve any smack talk?
 
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