100+ grams of carbs per hour: Deciphering Van der Poel’s ‘vitamin sticker’

When Mathieu van der Poel crossed the entire line on the Tour of Flanders on Sunday, he celebrated by rising his arms off of handlebars held in put by a stem bearing some essential info.

As sharp-eyed viewers of the tech gallery that CyclingTips posted from the race might need discovered, a printed desk affixed to van der Poel’s stem laid out his nourishment plan for the Ronde van Vlaanderen.

Although the observe of printing research course particulars on an simple-to-examine guideline on the stem is a time-honored customized, placing a regimented food regimen method there may be a lot much less widespread – and all of the far more intriguing considering how the day carried out out for Van der Poel. Within the wake of his victory, CyclingTips did some digging to get much more specifics on Van der Poel’s nourishment method for Flanders, and we got here absent with some fascinating perception into the Dutchman’s tactic.

As Alpecin-Fenix effectivity supervisor Kristof de Kegel acknowledged to CyclingTips, spelling out all of the particulars of when and what riders will soak up could make a serious change in a race.

“The usual rules about it’s that in these sorts of a chronic race because the Tour of Flanders, over 6 a number of hours of manufacturing electrical energy, the food regimen window is vital. So the timing, the general quantity of vitamin points, energy consumption, is de facto vital,” De Kegel acknowledged. “Once I make clear it to the riders, I study it a bit with relaxation. In the event you skip two hrs of sleep, when you miss out on that window of risk, you’ll be able to under no circumstances seize it again.

“It’s the identical with food regimen for positive, when you’re in these sorts of a higher-depth race. For that motive, we make a timing, centered on the kilometers or the a number of hours of the race or whichever, on the quantity of, more often than not, carbs. Which is the electrical energy, the amount of cash of carbs they should should get in from hour to hour, because of the reality when you overlook a bit of one thing within the 2nd hour of the race, you’ll spend in cash the fourth, the fifth, or the sixth hour of the race. So it’s only a reminder for the riders. We have now a complete lot of riders who observe it positively good on the sticker.”

Mathieu van der Poel wins the 2022 Tour of Flanders.

The good thing about a regimented answer to food regimen has been crystal clear to the crew for a while now. As these sorts of, De Kegel and his colleagues have been inserting tailor-made designs collectively and attaching what they name “vitamin stickers” to riders’ stems heading once more to the Amstel Gold Race that Van der Poel gained in 2019.

“We have now skilled this food regimen system for pretty a when, the sticker, as a result of it’s genuinely important,” De Kegel mentioned. “I consider, when you noticed what occurred to Mathieu van der Poel in Harrogate, within the Worlds, it was only a fueling problem. We have now to forestall people issues as a lot as possible, and for that rationalization we now have the reminder that the idea is genuinely very effectively built-in into the group for the immediate.”

Van der Poel’s nourishment sticker from Flanders presents a glimpse into the way in which Alpecin-Fenix conveys rider food regimen plans by utilizing fundamental symbols, with each picture representing a definite fueling method.

As CyclingTips understands it, the crammed-in circles are rice muffins, the rectangles are electrical energy bars, the gel-like graphics are, very effectively, gels, and the bottles are bottles of energy drink. The smiley face emoji seen on the 200 km mark – shortly upfront of the penultimate ascent of the Oude Kwaremont – represents a caffeine gel. Inside simply every particular person fueling system, totally different colours characterize distinct options.

Utilizing that moderately easy technique, Alpecin-Fenix can advise riders of what and when they are going to be consuming throughout a race. As Van der Poel’s food regimen sticker at Flanders reveals, the fueling technique evolves across the coaching course of a equipped operate.

“Relying on the timing of the race, the form of carbs are remodeling a bit of bit,” De Kegel acknowledged.

“It variations from, on the commencing of the race, you see rice muffins and bars on the stem, and that strikes up a bit much more to gels and issues which can be simpler to seize a bit of bit faster and the uptake [is] a bit faster in the direction of the closing of the race.”

All suggested, it’s fairly a great deal of energy within the form of carbs – and it’s positively fairly an excellent deal for Van der Poel particularly, whose elite precise bodily attributes embrace issues like an elite capability to plan of action gasoline. As De Kegel outlined, Van der Poel consumes in between 100 and 120 grams of carbs for each hour at a race just like the Tour of Flanders.

Using the usual conversion of 4 energy for each gram of carbohydrate, that’s 400 to 480 energy in carbohydrate kind per hour for the Flanders winner, which is pretty a bit of bit much more than your bizarre bike proprietor would eat on a trip.

“You’ll be able to put together your intestine to extend the uptake. In the event you inquire only a vacationer to attempt to eat 90 grams an hour, presumably he’s not made use of to it and his intestine shouldn’t be positively certified to have an uptake like this so an important deal, and he’ll presumably have tummy difficulties,” De Kegel acknowledged.

“We all know a bit the restrictions individually from rider to rider depending on checks we do on teaching camps on the commencing of the time and likewise simply primarily based totally on racing expertise. Many of the riders are amongst 80 and 100 grams on the tolerance of the carb consumption an hour. Mathieu is on that component a bit glorious in that his uptake goes as much as 120 grams – which he additionally genuinely wishes, as a result of all of us see {the electrical} energy that he delivers from hour to hour. So he burns it, and for that motive the fueling is especially important.”

Notably, De Kegel particulars out that the distinctions in a rider’s food regimen put together from 1 race to a unique are primarily pushed by the temperature on the working day.

“The kind of the way you get the carbs in differs whether it is 10 ranges or whether it is 25 levels, just because whether it is 25 ranges you should have the very same kind of carbs much more within the fluid approach, so with much more bottles and fewer rice muffins, as an illustration,” De Kegel reported. “It was a little bit of a colder Flanders, so bottles usually are not the first precedence, you give them a bit much more rice muffins at first for working example. That may alter from race to race.”

Clearly, the method labored properly on Sunday, as Van der Poel rocketed to his second vocation victory within the race. It marked an extra good outcomes for a system that has labored effectively for Alpecin-Fenix for a while now, and given the preserve observe of historical past, it seems to be like a no brainer that the workforce will go on to make use of its “vitamin stickers” for the foreseeable long run.

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