What Do Tour de France Riders Eat For Lunch? | How Pro Cyclists Fuel For Bike Races

What Do Tour de France Riders Eat For Lunch? | How Pro Cyclists Fuel For Bike Races

October 25, 2019 100 By William Morgan


– If you’ve been watching
the Tour de France so far,
then you may have seen the riders
taking on bags like this
from people stood at the side
of the road, roughly
halfway through each stage.
They’re called Musettes,
and they’re full of food.
The reason for it is it means the riders
don’t have to start each day stage
with their pockets jam packed full,
bursting with all the food
that they’d need for the day.
In essence, they contain
the riders’ lunch.
In this video, we’re going to go through
exactly what is in a typical musette,
we’re also going to explain why it’s there
and show you how to make
some of the special things
that the pros eat like rice cakes.
But before we do, make
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also click the little bell icon
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Here is our GCN musette, I’m
going to put everything in it.
Starting with the biggest
item, which is bottles.
(relaxed electronic music)
Typically you’ll find
two bottles in a musette,
or bidon, is what they’re
called if you’re French.
And this means that when the
riders take their musette,
they’ll get rid of the
bottles that are on their bike
which means that if you’re
after a pro water bottle
as a souvenir, a good place to go,
is to hang around in or just after
the feed zone at a pro race.
There are loads of different things
that you can put inside bottles,
and these will be tailored
for the individual riders
depending on their personal preference
but also the demands of a stage.
So you can just have
plain old water in there.
And a lot of riders do, but
you can also use energy powders
such as these from our friends
of the channel, Enervit.
They come in either sachets or tubs.
And they allow you to rehydrate
with all the essential minerals
but also get in that fuel as well
and that carbohydrate for the stage.
Something else we’ve
seen as a bit of a trend,
which we noticed at
the Giro is some riders
actually have protein in
some of their bottles.
And this’ll typically be on a flat stage
where for someone who’s
a Grand Tour contender,
this is almost like a
recovery day for them
and so, they’ll have a bit of protein
in one of their bottles at
some part during the stage
just to help that recovery process.
Personally, I like to have
water in one my bottles
and then some energy
powder in the other one.
So that’s what I’ve got,
and they’re going to go in the musette.
Next up is energy bars.
Now one of the great
things about energy bars
is that they contain quite
a lot of carbohydrates
in a relatively small volume, meaning,
well, they don’t take up
a huge amount of space in your pocket.
Now they come in all
sorts of different flavors
and types these days, and generally,
they’re full of easy
to absorb carbohydrates
which is what you want.
But a recent trend we’ve noticed
with pro riders is we’re
increasingly seeing them
go for ones with protein in.
Now, this has the added benefit
of helping the riders
recover and adapt to exercise
while they’re doing it.
Over the course of a three week Grand Tour
like the Tour de France, the small things
like recovering a bit better,
can make all the difference.
I’m going to put a few of these in the bag
I’ll put one of the protein ones in there.
And then a couple of
these lemon cream flavor.
My favorite.
Next up is gels.
Now, gels are probably the most well known
and sort of, well, Family
Fortunes top answer
for what cyclists eat on the bike.
They come in hundreds of different types
and flavors, but if you’re not familiar
with what they are, they’re
essentially a very viscous,
sugary liquid that you
can quickly slurp down,
get it in your system
and it’s rapidly absorbed
and gets into the bloodstream
to supply you with that
glucose, fructose and sucrose
and other sugar molecules
that are in there
to keep you fueled.
Now, there are loads of
different kinds of gels,
there’s isotonic gels to
help keep you hydrated
on really hot days, and
there’s also caffeine gels
which are gels with caffeine in them.
And the pros like to take these
to give them a little bit of a boost,
generally towards the end of a stage.
And gels in general are
something that they take
towards the back end of a race or stage,
they tend to start with
more real solid food,
so the bars and the other
bits we’re going to get on to.
And then when they really
want that quick boost
at the end, gels.
I’m going to put in
this caffeine flavor one
for the end of today’s stage for me.
What have we got here?
Cola flavor and orange flavor.
I’m a cola man, I’ll have a cola gel.
Next up is something that
you might not expect.
But it is something we see
quite often in pro musettes.
And that is a can of fizzy drink.
Now, I am a normal sized human being,
this isn’t a normal sized can.
Just wanted to clear that up
in case you thought I
was a giant or something.
It’s a little 150 milliliter can
instead of a normal 330 mil one.
Although you wouldn’t
see this particular drink
because I just picked
this off Lloydie’s desk
and it’s beer, put that right over there.
You’re more likely to see Coca-Cola.
And the reason for that is
it’s a sugary cold drink
and the riders, well,
if they like the taste,
it’s good for morale.
But you’re not going to
see a normal sized can
and the reason for that is it’s fizzy
and the bubbles and the gas,
it could cause a bit of bloating,
a bit of indigestion
which isn’t what you want
while you’re riding a bike.
But we’ll put it in the musette.
In many musettes, you’ll
find little sandwiches
called paninis, within the
sport, referring to Italian.
And they’ll often be wrapped like this.
Now, what they are is typically,
little sweet, well
slightly sweet brioche buns
like this, no crusts, and then filled
with different fillings,
it is lunchtime after all.
Now, Dan Lloyd’s favorite
filling he tells me,
was peanut butter with bits of banana in
so that’s what we’ve gone for.
But chocolate spread is also common
if you’re feeling naughty.
But also, more savory things, so, tuna,
ham, cheese, whatever,
anything goes really.
Whatever the riders like.
So we’re going to put a couple
of these in the musette as well.
And while the carbohydrates
in the little sandwich
aren’t as easily absorbed
as something like a
specialist energy powder,
it is nice to have something
that’s a little bit savory
and a little bit more solid
in and amongst all that
easily absorbed food
and it’s a bit nicer for
the digestive system.
Especially over the course of three weeks.
Next up, rice cakes, I’ve got some here.
And rice cakes have become a firm favorite
amongst riders in the pro peloton.
And for good reason, rice is a
great source of carbohydrate,
it’s very easily absorbed and
it places very little stress
on the digestive system
and the gut of most people.
It’s also low residue which means that
for the amount of energy
it actually contains,
it doesn’t leave much
fiber behind in the gut.
So, you’re not carrying the
excess weight of that fiber
that wouldn’t otherwise be doing anything
which is crucial in a sport like cycling
where power to weight is so important.
I’m going to put a couple
of rice cakes in the musette
but before I do, we’re going
to head into the kitchen
and I’m going to show you
exactly how you can make
and wrap your own rice cakes.
(relaxed electronic music)
Now, gels and bars are
a great source of fuel,
but you wouldn’t
necessarily want to eat them
all day everyday for
three weeks at a time.
And, well, neither do the pros.
I’m going to show you how to
make a basic rice cake recipe
which I learnt from Nigel Mitchell
from EF Education First-Drapac.
Now, this is a recipe
that I make quite a lot
and I really like the taste of it
and my friends like it too.
It makes 20 cakes and each
cake has about 23, 24 grams
of carbs in it and is
about 120, 130 calories.
Right, let’s crack on, get ’em made
and then I’ll show you the pro
wrapping technique as well.
I’m going to need the GCN Capron.
(bell ringing)
These are the ingredients for
the recipe, first up, rice.
Now, you should typically
use a pudding style rice
or a risotto type grain, you
can use sushi rice as well.
I’ve got arborio risotto
rice, 500 grams of that.
Some soft cream cheese, 250 grams.
Just as it is in the tub.
Some vanilla extract, some cinnamon,
just ground, normal cinnamon.
Some sugar.
And some agave nectar to sweeten it.
You could also use honey
as well if you wanted to.
I’m first going to wash the rice
and get ride of the starchy residue on it.
And then, what you want to do is put it
in a large saucepan like this
and make sure you’ve got a lid.
To the washed rice, I’m going to
add three tablespoons of sugar
I’m using white caster sugar
but you can use whatever
kind of sugar you want.
I’m then going to add a couple
of teaspoons of cinnamon.
I’m not measuring this,
I’m just winging it.
And finally, a teaspoon
of vanilla extract.
To the rice mixture here,
I’m now going to add 800 mils
of water, now try and be
fairly precise with this.
If you add too much water,
it’ll result in the rice
being too gooey and too sloppy
and it won’t hold its shape very well.
You then bring this mixture to the boil
and then once it’s boiled
reduced it to a simmer.
Should take about 10 minutes to cook.
And it’s important to put the lid on.
If you’ve got a rice cooker,
use one of those ’cause
they’re really good
but, it’s not essential,
you can just use a pan.
But, reason why you’ve
got to have the lid on
is it helps keep the moisture in there
and helps keep the
water volume consistent.
If you didn’t have a lid
the water would evaporate
and you’d actually not have
the right amount of water for the rice.
You can tell when the rice is cooked
because basically, all
the water’s been absorbed
and the rice has gone nice and soft.
So, I’m going to take this
off the heat now, done.
Next step is to put the rice mixture
inside a large tray like this.
To the cooked rice mixture,
we’re now going to add 250 grams
of cream cheese, you can make it vegan
so you could use a vegan alternative
if you wanted to to normal cream cheese.
We’re also going to add the agave nectar
or you could use honey
as I mentioned before.
Couple of tablespoons of that.
Mix it all together.
Now I’ve mixed it all together
I’m using a spatula to spread it out
and just get it as flat
in the tray as possible.
If you’ve got another tray
that you can put on top
to kind of flatten it down
and get it nice and even
that’s quite useful but I
don’t have one at the moment.
All that remains is to
cover it with clingfilm,
or plastic wrap if you’re from the States,
and then leave it in the fridge overnight
so that it kind of sets.
Fortunately, here’s
some I prepared earlier.
Wait, there’s none in
there, I don’t understand.
This is how presenting
is supposed to work.
Wait, let me get this straight,
you’re saying I actually
have to make some earlier
in order for there to be
some here’s I made earlier?
Is that how it works?
Guess we’re just going to have to wait.
(mischievous orchestral music)
(phone alarm ringing)
Guess that means they’re ready.
So I’ve got the rice mixture
out the fridge, it’s now set.
And I’m going to cut it into
roughly 20 equal sized pieces.
I’m just going to wing it
by eye ’cause I back myself.
But, if you want to be really precise,
you could get the tape measure out.
I’m going to show you how to
wrap the individual rice cakes.
And to do that, you need
parchment lined foil.
Now, you can pick this
up from most supermarkets
but you can use standard
foil without the parchment
on the other side of it, I’ve
tried it, it doesn’t work.
So I generally cut a section
that’s about 15, 16 centimeters long,
and then fold that in
two, cut that in half
and each one of these
pieces is the ideal size
for my rice cakes.
(relaxed electronic music)
Take your rice cake, put that
on the middle of the parchment
and then you take the end, and you wrap it
like you’d wrap a present.
So you fold it all the
way to the end like that,
and you take the other end,
and you wrap that back over itself.
And then you should have some excess
and then with that you
fold that over, like this.
To create this lip.
And this lip is really
useful for opening the cake
when it’s in your pocket.
And also you can write on it as well
to say what is in this
particular cake or package.
Then just pinch the ends in like this,
like a present.
Flatten them down.
And fold it back on itself.
As mentioned, that is a basic recipe,
a lot of the pros like salty savory ones
with things like bacon and cheese in.
You make them sweet, you can add nuts,
you can add dried fruit
like dates and raisins,
whatever floats your boat, go crazy.
Now, I hope you’ve enjoyed this video
and if you have, please
give it a thumbs up
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And if you’d like to head
over to the GCN shop,
we’ve got these awesome
Alpe d’Huez T-shirts
complete with Dutch Corner, nice.
And even GCN musettes.
And to watch another video about nutrition
in the Grand Tours and
what pro riders eat,
click on my musette.