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gerry12ie

Froome - The Latest Bloomer Of All?

Without getting too heavily in to Froome's much debated attributes I have been wondering is there any sportsperson who has bloomed so well, so late?  I don't think his Barloworld results are quite the stinkers that some do, and he was at a team that found any kind of victory hard to come by.  Nonetheless, his results since the breakout Vuelta are of the very highest level and are made truly staggering by the lack of any meaningful sustained form prior to that watershed.  There are a few who flourished late, so can anyone add to the following?

Mike Hussey (Australian Cricket) - Hussey averaged 51.52 in Tests having made his debut at 30.  However, he was hardly found under a cabbage patch as his first class average (Western Australia, Northants) is even higher at 52.15, and includes a triple century in county cricket.  He might have late sitting down at the very top table but that's only because Langer and Hayden had famous appetites.

Ian Wright - Was 22 when (old) second division Palace signed him from mighty Greenwich Borough.  He was 28 when Arsenal broke the club record for him, but he had already become Palace's leading goalscorer by then so he was hardly invisible beforehand.

Bernard Hopkins (Boxing) - Justifiably considered one of the great pound-for-pound champions he didn't take his first world title until he was 30, two years after his debut in the ring.  However, an 18 year jail sentence when he was 17 both started and delayed his career.  

Can anyone think of others that have had a late start that might be compared to Froome's trajectory?
Bartali

David Bryant - was 35 when he won the first of is bowls world championships. Wink
gerry12ie

I would have thought 35 was prodigal in the world of bowls (I'm toying with the idea of taking bowls up actually...)
mazda

World champion Damon Hill didn't win a race until he was nearly 33.
Fontfroide

Actually, it seemed easy enough to find lists of late bloomers.  Tend to be American lists, but still.  Certainly enough of them to cast aside any deep concerns about Froome on that score.  He certainly is like many of these guys who I think are well known, so I won't go into details.  Anyway Froome was riding his bike a long time, just was not that great at it, like all these guys.  Even if it is rare, it is also no big deal.

Rocky Marciano, Ken Norton, Didier Drogba, Kurt Warner (American football), Steve Nash, Jonah Barrington, Sandy Koufax (baseball).

All of them got really good way later than normal.
Bartali

Well Marciano turned pro at something like 24 or 25 and never lost a fight ... so not at all comparable IMO.  I don't follow the other sports so I can't comment.
gerry12ie

Fair enough but the boxers named all have a reason for a late start - they all started their boxing careers either in the army or prison, so had to wait for discharges to take their sport up professionally.  Both Rocky and Norton won Armed Forces tournaments, so it was evident that there was talent there.  Drogba was signed by Marseille as a teenager, so obviously had evident talent too.

Hill is a good one, I didn't realise he was such a late starter.
Biosphere

Horner didn't start winning races until he was drawing a pension Wink
gerry12ie

Biosphere wrote:
Horner didn't start winning races until he was drawing a pension Wink


Laughing
Boogerd_Fan

Horner's best years are still ahead of him! Lampre just couldn't risk the negative media Very Happy

going by Cycling history since 90s.. Ludo Dierckxens
Nolte

gilbert duclos lasalle won his first paris-roubaix at the age of 37 and doubled it up the following year

although he did show some good results before hand, winning paris-nice also.
Bartali

Biosphere wrote:
Horner didn't start winning races until he was drawing a pension Wink
Very Happy  Very Happy  Very Happy
Biosphere

Bartali wrote:
Biosphere wrote:
Horner didn't start winning races until he was drawing a pension Wink
Very Happy  Very Happy  Very Happy


Somebody on here (think it was Gerry) once commented that the UCI were targeting his bike for a hidden Stannah motor Smile
berck

Biosphere wrote:
Bartali wrote:
Biosphere wrote:
Horner didn't start winning races until he was drawing a pension Wink
Very Happy  Very Happy  Very Happy


Somebody on here (think it was Gerry) once commented that the UCI were targeting his bike for a hidden Stannah motor Smile


Thanks for the humor today Bio! Smile Very Happy

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