You might be surprised at what a Tour de France rider eats on an average race day. If you compare most of what they eat to most of what you ate the last time you had a big ride like a century or a Gran Fondo, you would see that most of the riders eat exactly like you do—just maybe a little healthier and in larger quantities.
“If a healthy cyclist is able to absorb 320-380 calories per hour and burns 5,000+ calories in a stage and another 1,500 the rest of the day, the numbers are against him,” explains Cannondale-Drapac Team Chef Sean Fowler. “So besides being expected to be tremendous athletes, they are also expected to be marathon eaters. They simply become tired of chewing on and off the bike. Probably the most challenging parts of my job are to keep them eating and happy with the food and its variety and to keep it all nutritious!”
“Post-stage, riders have a recovery shake, and on the bus, they have approximately 300g of cooked rice and a 1.5-liter bottle of heavily diluted pineapple juice,” says Cannondale-Drapac’s Head of Nutrition Nigel Mitchell.
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