CyclingTips noticed and let Kristof de Kegel, performance manager at Alpecin-Fenix, talk about it. “In such a long race in which you have to produce power for more than six hours, your nutrition plan is crucial,” says De Kegel. “The timing and the amount is extremely important. When I explain it to riders, I compare it to sleep. If you miss two hours of sleep, you won’t get it back.”

    “We draw up a schedule of how many carbohydrates a rider should consume per hour,” continues De Kegel. “If you eat or drink too little in the first hour, you will pay for it in the fourth, fifth and/or sixth hour of the race. We have a lot of riders who put the nutrition plan on the sticker and we have been using that for a while.”

    Van der Poel wins De Ronde.

    Van der Poel wins De Ronde.

    Stickers and icons

    What does a rider throw in in such a difficult race? According to De Kegel, Van der Poel took in about 100 to 120 grams of carbohydrates per hour during the Tour of Flanders. That in the form of gels, bars, rice cakes, energy drinks … and after the race a well-deserved hamburger followed.

    There are four different icons on the sticker. The circles are probably rice cakes (three pieces), the rectangles of energy bars (five pieces), the water bottles on the right of the note with different energy drinks and water (eight pieces) and then the gels in the center of the note (seven pieces). Just to be clear: this is how they do it The newspapaer interpret. And the smiley? It is said to represent a caffeine gel.

    According to De Kegel, Van der Poel received a real hunger at the World Cup in 2019 – when he became 41st. Then he probably rode around without a feeding schedule on his stem. “If you saw what happened to Mathieu in Harrogate, he had simply not eaten and drunk enough there. We must avoid such things.”

    Source: CyclingTips/Het Nieuwsblad

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