Why do so many cyclists look like skinny wee junkies?

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fair weather cyclist

Well-Known Member
I'm relatively new to cycling so I'm not sure if this topic has already been covered on this forum or anywhere else. Anyways, I just caught up with the MTB race at the Olympics and when I saw Tom Pidcock after the finish line, my only thought was "how can this guy be 21?"

He looked at least twice as old. All frail, weak and emaciated. I felt sorry for the guy, really. I was like "someone fed him a bacon roll, for fu**s sake".

Same goes for a lot of other cyclists: Chris Froome looks like some sort of nuclear disaster survivor, Lachlan Morton wouldn't look out of place under a bridge with other less fortunate and underfed people.

Is this what peak performance in cycling look like?

It feels so good to be a young looking mediocre cyclist :laugh:


Legendary Member
Power to weight ratio. Or perhaps compare a speedboat (Pidcock) and an oil tanker (you, we, us).
Cyclist are often self selecting for avoiding contact sports. A lightweight build is an asset in climbing. Sprinters tend to be more archetypal sporty types


Hello decadence
In answer to the original question about cyclists looking like skinny wee junkies.........I don't.

Big John

Many years ago we had a young, very gifted, rider at our club. We encouraged him to have ago at BC races and after a very short time he'd become an elite rider with a licence to prove it (and a polite youth, if I may say). Off he toddled to Belgium to follow in the footsteps of many hundreds, if not thousands, before him to carve out a career as a pro. He briefly came back to Stafford to visit his parents and I saw him in town one day. He was always thin even before he left Blighty but now he'd achieved a whole new level of thin. I asked him if he'd been given a terminal diagnosis by the doc but he said all the guys he raced against looked like him. Pro cycling is just a different world, eh?

Did he finally make it as a pro? Sadly no. Made us all wonder what you have to have in the tank to make it. We used to watch him race and he was class. It's still a mystery to us.


I've cycled most of my life as day to day transport, nothing insane, never raced or done sport of any kind, 58 now and still 10.5 stone. Never been more and eat a lot but never meat or fish. I figure a mix of being veggie and cycling about kept me slim not skinny. I can still run rings round people half my age.


Quite dreadful
lost somewhere
The was a feature a few years ago (I think in Rouleur magazine) which showed photographs of the faces of riders who had just completed a stage of the TdF, shot against a plain white background. They all had 1000 yard stares and looked haggard and utterly exhausted.
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