It is well known that when it comes to calorie intake, pro-cyclists are very much in the same boat as jockeys and boxers. Behaving obsessively and feeling hungry are just part of the job.
Cast your mind back to photos of Bradley Wiggins during his Tour de France win of 2012. He started the race as essentially a bag of skin and bones with some very specific and well placed muscle in all the right areas. As the race went on he, somewhat implausibly, managed to get skinnier and skinnier, until he finished the race resembling a badly drawn stick man.
Albeit a very stylish one.
But now, in preparation for the Rio Olympics in 2016, Bradley finds himself in cycling nirvana. Not only does he still get to ride his bike for a living but is under orders from the boffins at British Cycling to and eat and drink to his heart’s content. It seems he’s quickly managed to hit that magic 80 kilo mark that many of us rank amateurs operate at:
I imagine there have been one or two epic café stops, as he attempts to take on board more calories than he’s burning, but if he’s going to bulk up and turn himself into a track cyclist then those are the kind of sacrifices he’s going to have to make.
Incidentally, I’ve been making similar sacrifices for many years – and keeping afloat many a local café here in Lancashire by putting regular business their way – but still the invite to the Olympics mysteriously eludes me.
Of course, judging by this recent video clip of a training ride from American team Optum Pro Cycling, if you get your on-board fuelling right it’s possible to achieve the necessary calorie intake without even breaking your pedal stroke:
Let’s just hope that, post Olympics, he doesn’t decide to follow the footsteps of fellow British cycling Olympian Vicky Pendleton and become a jockey. Or a boxer, for that matter.
He’d be back to square one.