|4. A Day in the Life
by Rebecca Bell
The satisfaction I get from cycling
you cannot get from any other type of work.
Tour de France fans crave a sumptuous feast for the senses. Our
daily table is exquisite, a beguiling bounty of color, pastoral views,
ample commentary, and the TV thrill of the chase.
Not so for the guys in the peloton. Their routine is based on
one thing: good old-fashioned, nose-to-the-grindstone hard work.
Early in July, Alberto told Entre Pinto y Valdemoro what it’s
like to be a cyclist, behind the scenes.
“The life of a cyclist is more or less a routine. When you’re
in the heat of a competition, you get up very early, you eat a big breakfast
of cereal, toast, pasta, three hours before the departure of the stage.
Then you go with the team bus to the departure point and compete.
Upon the finish of the stage, you shower in the bus, and eat
carbohydrates to recover properly. From there you’re taken to the hotel.
Then you have a massage before dinner which is served between 8 and
8:30 PM - the European meal hours take precedence over the Spanish-
and then, from the room, you call your family and friends to remain in
contact, and then you go to sleep.
Every hour of sleep is important. Try to imagine that in a Tour
de France or a Vuelta a España, if you go to sleep one hour before
another rider, at the end of the tour you have rested one day more.
When you have such a demanding level of competition, any moment of rest
Back home, depending on the period of the season, you allow yourself
more or less liberty. Before a Tour de France you have to be
careful with everything. From the moment you get up in
the morning you must select your food. Fortunately, I do not have
problems with my weight, as do other riders.
You go for training, sometimes for many hours, other times for
less. There are days when you must train for 200 kilometers and others
for 60 kilometers, almost a rest! But it’s quite okay.
The days you train less, you have to be careful with what you
eat in order not to put on weight, but the days you train more you must
eat a lot. Also, I think having a nap is very important. Some
riders don’t like it. But the more rest the better, and I like to
take a nap.
In the afternoon I go out with friends or with my girl friend.
This is a kind of life you get accustomed to. Perhaps some people think
it’s impossible not to go to parties, but my life is different and I
really like it this way. The satisfaction I get from cycling you
cannot get from any other type of work.”
(Translation by Christine Kahane.)
Alberto at Compiègne, Stage 3, July 10
Copyright © 2007 Christine
|Race Report, Stage 4
Villers-Cotterêts – Joigny, 193 km
Alberto Contador finished Stage 4 today without any problems.
The stage was not exactly easy.
“It’s been a complicated enough day, because it was windy from
the start, and there was even a moment, at kilometer 70, when the peloton
A crash near the back of the pack caused the split. Discovery
Channel had to scramble to make it up, but all eight riders finished
with the same time as winner Thor Hushovd.
Alberto’s results today
Stage 4 77th
Young rider 15th
Young rider 5th 0:10