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May. 13, 2013
What Do Those Riders Eat? (at the Amgen Tour of California)
While watching a brutally long, and perhaps excruciatingly hot and hilly stage of a major bike race, maybe you’ve thought to yourself, “What do those guys eat the night before they do this stuff?” Well, if you’re a longtime fan of cycling who might have watched movies like Le Course en Tête and Stars and Water Carriers about twenty times each, it’s easy to assume that the riders are packed into a huge cafeteria and fed chewy steaks and a mound of pasta (no sauce) each night.

Team Kitchen

Well, food in the professional peloton has changed pretty dramatically over the years, and it’s most apparent when you stop by the Garmin-Sharp Mobile Kitchen after a race. The team leaves nothing to chance when it comes to their riders’ nutrition, and they bring with them to each stage two team chefs (they actually refer to themselves as Food Mechanics) who lovingly create great meals featuring wholesome organic ingredients, on the spot. So, what did the Garmin riders eat the night before the Amgen Tour of California’s epic first stage that featured 11,000 feet of climbing over 103 miles in 95+ degree heat? Well, this:

Kung Pao chicken
Coconut Rice
Asian slaw
Coconut milk sweet peas
Green salad with Asian dressing

Um, sounds kinda delicious. Certainly better than a severely overcooked steak! As I write, the riders are likely eating some tasty beef stew with almonds along with organic dried fruit and brown rice, as that was the intel I received from the Food Mechanics themselves.

Jacob Rathe

We interviewed Garmin-Sharp rider Jacob Rathe on the Friday evening before the start of the race for an upcoming CLIF video. Jacob is a very calm and quiet Portland kind of dude, and based on that, one would never think that in just a few short days he would be sprinting like a madman at the front of the group in Escondido at the end of an amazingly tough day in the saddle. But, you know, that’s the miracle of Kung Pao chicken.
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Team Clif Bar

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We like getting our heart rates up, taking a big breath of fresh air, savoring delicious food. But we also love telling stories and here's where we type 'em up. (BTW, it works both ways; leave a comment—please and thank you.)

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