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
















As soon as the riders cross the finish line the soigneur gives them a drink and points them in the direction of the team bus.

Once the riders have reached the hotel in La Plagne they will hand over their bikes to the mechanics.

Firstly, they give the bikes a good wash and then make sure they are mechanically sound.

It takes a while when there are nine bikes to look after so to ensure an earliest possible finish, the mechanics start work immediately.

The riders have a quick shower and change before snacking on the food that the soigneur has laid out in their room, perhaps some muesli, sandwiches or cakes.

Dirty laundry

The dirty clothes will be dropped outside the door for whichever soigneur is doing the washing pick-up.

The clothes will be washed, dried and ready for the riders for the next morning.

Generally, it is time then to relax while waiting for a massage.

It is a time to watch television, perhaps the highlights of the day's stage or take the opportunity for a nap or a quick call home.

The massage is the one part of the day the riders all enjoy.

It is usual to stay with the same masseur for the duration of the tour, if not the year, and is someone the riders know well.

Relaxing time

The tone of the conversation is dictated by how the rider has fared but sometimes a rider may be so tired he will just fall asleep.

It is a very relaxing time - a chance to unwind after a hard day's work.

The doctor will also visit the riders' rooms to make sure no-one has any ailments.

He will discuss the stage and may suggest and administer some vitamins depending on the rider's state of health.

The Directeur Sportif will also do a round of the riders' room to talk to them individually about their day.

Again the tone of this talk will be dictated by how the rider performed.

Copyright BBC ^^ Back to top
© MMII | News Sources | Privacy