Success Lies in the Quads
New York Times article: Thigh-Popping Success on a Bike Lies in the Quads...
To cycling teams and their support staffs, large thighs are less an Olympic oddity and more a necessity specific to their sport.
By GREG BISHOP
Published: August 6, 2012
The image, a try-this-on-for-thighs comparison between one German cyclist nicknamed Gorilla (Andre Greipel) and another nicknamed Mr. Thigh (Robert Förstemann), underscored a more serious notion. Namely that cyclists, particularly track sprinters, rely on quadriceps, in all their massive, veined glory, to power them to success. Förstemann’s thighs, each comparable to a watermelon, measured 34 inches — wider than his waist.
“The picture is definitely real,” said Benjamin Sharp, the high-performance endurance director for USA Cycling. “Cyclists have strange shapes: big quads, small waists and big butts. It’s hard to find pants.”
He paused, then added, “It’s funny we’re talking about this.”
The article also links to a blog post by US track cyclist Beth Newell, describing her as "something of an international quad expert in cycling circles."
So I had to grab a tape measure and check one of mine, and it measured out at a little bit under 24 inches, just clear of the 60 cm circumference that--according to the Times--is the baseline for respectability among track sprinters. But I'm not entirely how that was meant to be read. That might be the baseline for girls.