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Stage Guide The Bike Sean Yates' guide to a rider's day le tour de france

Introduction

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0800-0830

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Another day, another dollar and as the daunting stage 16 dawns there will probably be some riders who will have to be woken up and dragged from bed kicking and screaming.

This is the job of the soigneur or team assistant.

He will have already been up for a couple of hours preparing food and bidons (water bottles) for the day ahead.

The bottles either contain water or some sort of energy replacement drink made using a powder.

Riders generally stagger down to the breakfast table within five minutes.

Most will save the shower until afterwards. They tend to do their waking up while they are eating.

Breakfast can consist of a number of things. Pasta is compulsory every morning, for its high carbohydrate value.

This is supplemented with fresh croissants and cornflakes, although many riders are now eating muesli with fruit.

This is all washed down with a few cups of coffee. This might not be what the dietian recommends, but at this stage in the race, the riders are mostly beyond caring.

Once breakfast is taken care of, it is time to stagger back to the room.

The legs will be sore, and hopefully there is a lift to avoid the pain of climbing the stairs.

Once they are back on the bike, the body will remember what it has to do.

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