More from Mel about her TDF experiences.
A day in the life….
I can’t tell you what it’s like to ride the Tour as a pro, but I can provide an insight into the daily routine we followed whilst tackling the same distances as the professional riders.
5:30am alarm goes off
Check messages and emails; collect washing that is strewn about the hotel room drying from the previous day; get dressed and ready for breakfast.
6:00am breakfast, usually museli, chocolate curls (marginal gains) and scrambled eggs for me. French hotels don’t tend to provide porridge.
Send out daily Twitter and FB updates.
7:00am on the coach.
Circa 8:00am/8:30am roll out from start of the stage. This involves waiting for some tired legs to regain consciousness and trying not to sit on any saddle sores.
Water/toilet stop after circa 50km. French team cajoling us to move on, calling ‘2 minutes’ (until departure) at regular intervals.
Circa 110km lunch stop. Our team of moto outriders needed a break (legally) and a lunch stop was welcomed by most of the team. Personally I favored continuing, but I was appreciative of the need to meet the requirements of the whole group.
A 3 course meal was provided, including a cheese board on one occasion. Wine too, if desired. I chose to keep my fuelling strategy very simple. At lunch I would have some potatoes or bread. During the ride I drank Secret Training electrolyte energy drinks and ate Soreen, with the occasional Haribo and gel. For me, the categorized climbs after lunch didn’t mix well with duck confit.
Post lunch roll out. Wake up the legs and for some; try and settle the stomach. Readjust saddle position to accommodate saddle sores.
Our average daily distance was 175km (109 miles) and our finish time depended upon the route profile and the weather conditions. We tried to stay together on the flats and the smaller climbs, but we rode the 1,2 and H Category climbs at our own pace.
6:00-8:00pm Finish ride. Onto the coach for hotel transfer.
Massages on the coach or upon arrival at the hotel.
7:30-9:00pm Showers and dinner.
Pack and unpack kit; prepare day-bag for the following stage. Blog/Tweet/Facebook; speak to friends and family.
We rarely got to bed before 11:00pm.
We quickly fell into this familiar routine. The structure of the day enabled us to compartmentalize the challenges of each stage and move from one day to the next, thinking only of the task ahead.
David West @Joolzephoto @lizkreutz
More of Mel’s blogs about the One day Ahead Tour and Lance Armstrong: