Riders, teams, and staff at the Tour de France have now fallen into their routines as they near the end of the first week. The days are filled with transfers between start and finish locations, meals, packing and other preparations for the following day of battle. inCycle takes us behind-the-scenes with several teams and riders at this year’s race to see some of their rituals, good luck charms and the things they miss while being in the bubble of the Tour.
British time trial Champion Alex Dowsett (Movistar) was pleasantly surprised at being selected to support Nairo Quintana in his fight for yellow. Dowsett had hoped to do better in the opening time trial, his specialty, but was unable to match the blistering speed of Rohan Dennis. "Unless you had the average speed or more at the turn you weren't going to get it," he said.
As the team travels from one hotel to the next, Dowsett explains he misses a favourite food chain from back home while on the road. "I keep pressuring them to deliver to the team bus or home deliveries but they're just not listening to me," he joked.
While on Tour, several teams are fortunate to have their own team chef to cook healthy meals for the riders, while most rely on kitchen staff at the various hotels to refuel. Meals often include chicken and pasta, given how many calories riders burn each day.
"Whenever we change hotels, you get to a new hotel and the hotel staff and kitchens must be like, 'Oh they're cyclists, they'll want rice and pasta and chicken.' So I said to my girlfriend it's great having something different," Dowsett said. What did they have for dinner that night? "Chicken and pasta."
Watch the video below to also meet Trek Factory Racing's 10th teammate and discover André Greipel's musical side project.
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