– I’ve come to Spain to
find out what happens in a typical day in the life
of a professional cyclist. How much do they train? What do they do when they train? What do they eat? When do they eat it? Well, thanks to our friends at Mavic, they’ve given us exclusive access to the AG2R La Mondiale team,
and we’re going to find out. Mavic has an enviable
heritage in pro cycling. You may remember Si getting access into one of their service cars last year, where he witnessed Chris
Froome taking a spare wheel. It was amazing! I think this is going to be really good and we’re shadowing Classic
specialist Oliver Naesen because, of all the riders at AG2R, he’s the one with the best name. He’s also come second in Milan-San Remo and is the former Belgian
National Champion, so he’s quite good too. (lullaby music) (snoring) (alarm beeping) (screams) – What are you doing in my room? – I’m going to be
following you around today. – What, from right now? I only got a T-shirt on. (chill music) – It’s 7:00 a.m. and the
rider’s day usually starts with a strength and conditioning session, whether you do some light
bodyweight exercises or stretching, maybe some
yoga moves and some core work, to set them up for the day ahead. However, today is a Saturday,
which means I have a day off from this strength and conditioning work. But being a GCN presenter,
never take a day off. 1001, 1002, 1003. After the 7:00 a.m. strength wake-up call, at 8:00am it’s time for breakfast. The riders do so in the buffet
restaurant area of the hotel. There’s plenty of options
available, including pastries and cooked breakfasts with black pudding, but the riders aren’t
typically going for that. Oh no, they’re going
for healthier options. So things like porridge and muesli topped with yogurt, seeds, and dry fruit. Omelets are a really popular choice to get the protein in, too. There’s also coffee, as you might expect, and plenty of fruit. But the interesting thing
for me is that the riders are consuming lots of variety
and lots of healthy food, as you would probably expect, but there’s no real fad diets on show, so there’s plenty of
gluten being consumed, plenty of dairy being consumed,
and lots of carbs as well, which is essential for the big
training they’ve got ahead. Anyhow, I better crack on
and eat this ’cause I’ve got the rider briefing next, which is 9:30, and I’ve got to be there ready in kit. Just heading over to
the rider briefing now. This is where the riders
get the instructions on what the day’s training is going to be and they’re split up
into different groups. So I’m going to find out who
I’m going to be going with. I’m going to be joining Oliver
Naesen and the Classics group from AG2R on their training ride today. Apparently it’s going to
be like five hours long and they’re doing efforts. I mean, pray for Ollie. (laughs) Let’s see how long I can survive on a full-gas protein
training ride. (laughs) Place your bets now. To help me try and fit in
a bit better with the team, Mavic kindly lent me this pair of wheels. How awesome do these
look on the Pinarello? So these are Mavic’s top-end wheel set, the Cosmic Ultimates. They’re 40 millimeters
deep and they’re tubulars. They’ve got carbon spokes
on them and these amazing carbon phalanges and
carbon-wrapped on the hub. And they’re said to be incredibly
stiff, and being tubular, they’re very light. They’re only about 1200 grams a pair. I can’t wait to ride
these, they look amazing. I’m going to do a free-up
soundcheck as well, actually. Ooh! Ooh! That does sound good. So these are the wheels that
the AG2R La Mondiale team ride like 90% of the time when they’re racing. They do have the deeper
Comète 60-mil wheel, but they tend to use that
on really flat stages. Can’t wait! Question, how do you spot
a British cyclist amongst a load of European professional cyclists? It’s 18 degrees and I’m
the only one in shorts! (laughs) Oh, man. They’re all in tights. Today’s training ride is 160 kilometers with over 4000 meters of climbing. A big day. It begins in Altea on the Spanish coast and heads inland to the Coll de Rates, a favorite training climb
for the pros in this region. It’s around 20 minutes long. Today the riders are
doing some low cadence strength efforts in zone three. However, their training
varies from day to day. (energetic music) These guys! They’re strong! How come you, like, only
film me when I’m on the back, while I’m clearly on the
front most of the time, but you never film those bits! You making me look rubbish. Aw, savage. The guys were riding up there and their tempo pace at zone three, and for me to keep up with
them on the Coll de Rates doing tempo, sitting in,
was like me doing PB power, going full gas. I’m wrecked. God, I hope the ride’s over now. Only like, three more hours to go. (energetic music) What is this climb? Killing me! It’s like 20%. I’m getting gapped. So I’m going to go in the Mavic car now, it’s three and a half hours
into the ride but I’m just going to go back to the
hotel in the car because, I mean, like, Oliver and the
other guys, they were just saying I was riding too fast,
so I’m just going to go, you know, it makes it easier for them. So, it’s not ’cause I was getting dropped. That’s not the reason. Anyway, back to the hotel. In all seriousness, it
was an amazing experience to ride with these guys. For a mortal like myself, riding next to world-class athletes gives you an incredible insight
into how strong they are in a way that you can’t
normally appreciate. It really is inspiring. (calm music) Tell you what, I can’t
wait for lunch after that, I’m absolutely starving. You may be interested to
find out what the guys are having for lunch. Well, there’s a massive buffet
selection again for lunch here at the hotel and they’re typically going for a good source of protein, so there’s a variety of
meats and fish on offer, and then loads of carbs. Rice is the most popular, so, big, big pile of rice,
because it’s so important to get the carbs in and refuel
and get the glycogen stores topped up after a training ride like that, where they’re typically
burning 3500, 4000 calories. Also, lots of veg, getting
in the micronutrients, so there’s plenty of veg on offer there. Then, there’s the pudding
zone of the buffet. My favorite part of the buffet. It contains a wide variety
of patisseries and cakes, but the riders are steering
clear of that fun part of the buffet, they’ve got
their own separate pudding zone which contains whey
protein and dried fruit and nuts and seeds and stuff. Anyway, they’re enjoying that. And yogurts are popular
as well, as another way to get in a bit of protein
and lots of fresh fruit. Once lunch is over,
it’s time for downtime. Which means, if you’re a pro,
you go and get a massage. I’ve just got to kind of massage myself ’cause I’m not a pro. While the riders are enjoying
their downtime after their hard training ride, the
mechanics still have to work, so they’re busy sorting
the bikes out for tomorrow, fixing any problems or just cleaning them and maintaining them and making sure that they’re absolutely mint for tomorrow. When I finish a training
ride, I have to clean my bike myself, or just ride
it dirty the next day. Massages are great for loosening
the muscles and helping get rid of waste products,
ask any pro and they will say that, anecdotally, they
just feel really good. Oliver also uses the afternoon
to see an osteopath to help open his legs and back after
a crash he had in December. The riders will also
stretch in the afternoon and generally just focus on recovery. Hey man, thanks for the ride today, and thanks for dragging me around. It might’ve been easy for you, but it was bloomin’ hard for me. (laughs) – Yeah, that’s what we do, right? Whenever there’s a non-pro
there, we always try to kill him. (laughing) But I mean, like, how many hours, is that a typical day for you,
that sort of five, six hour? – It’s a pretty big day. – Yeah? – [Oliver] For me, yeah. The six hours is the most I ever do. I try to have between 20 and
30 hours in a week in winter. Those are the nice weeks for me, yeah. – And today, after the normal
ride with everyone else, you did some motorpacing. – Yeah.
– So, why? What’s the reason for doing
motorpacing in your training? – Just to put in a bit extra, you know. Every day, the team
rented some scooters out and every day there’s two
guys who do a little bit extra and today was my lucky day. – And what does it help you
with, doing the motorpacing? – To get some speed in
the legs, ’cause today we did a lot of climbing,
and also some force work, almost only force work,
which is like lower PM high gear stuff, and
I like to, afterwards, spin the legs a little bit. – Nice, so what other
sort of training sessions are you doing, and what sort of intervals and things like that–
– Oh, there’s so much. There’s so much, I think variation is key. If you say, no answer
can be right, I think. If I would say force only, it’s wrong. If I would say spinning
only, it’s wrong, sprinting. You just have to listen to your body and try to put in as much different stuff. – And you’re a classic specialist. – Sounds nice. (laughing) – Well, you are, but, you
know, the results say so. Is there anything that you do differently from the other riders that’s
specific for the demands of– – I think a good classics rider
needs to be really endurant and also very punchy, so something between a sprinter and a stage racer. So you have to put in the hours and you also have to put in the intensity. Some classic riders are
a bit of a hybrid between climbers and sprinters. – And when you’re doing a typical
day, like, a training camp like this, how many hours
a night sleep are you trying to get afterwards,
’cause it’s a big day? – A lot depends on the roommate. I try to get like nine, 10 hours. – But what do you and the
guys do in your downtime? – When the team’s there, it’s
most of the time meetings, osteo, kine, massage. When I’m alone in a training
camp like past two weeks, it’s actually pretty boring. I open my laptop, put
on GCN, and have a nap. (laughing) Good, well, you’re
watching the right channel but even if it does help
you get to sleep, well, I guess that’s good. It’s now 8:00 p.m. and it’s dinner time. The riders are behind me
enjoying the buffet once more. It’s much the same kind of deal
as what we had at lunch time and the riders are just
getting in fuel and making sure they’re recovered so they
can train again tomorrow. Thankfully, I don’t have to do
a really hard ride tomorrow. I don’t think I could. One observation is that,
culturally, being a French team, they eat quite late, 8:00 p.m. Whereas other teams from other
countries, they sometimes eat a bit earlier, around
6:00 p.m., but it’s just a different way of doing it. Speaking of which, I am
starving, so you’re going to have to excuse me, ’cause I’m
going to have some food myself. The main thing I want to
get across here is that the day of a pro is fun, but
there is a serious amount of dedication and commitment. It’s not a rock-and-roll lifestyle. It’s about getting in the hard
training and then recovering and getting an early night. Well, that’s it for the day. The riders will now go and chill out, and as Oliver says, most likely be getting an early night, as sleep is
so important for recovery. And a massive thanks to
Mavic and AG2R La Mondiale for giving us the access
today, ’cause it’s been amazing and also for Oliver Naeson
for giving up his time and for being such a nice chap! Be sure to keep an eye out
for him in the classics. Now, if you enjoyed this video,
please give it a thumbs up, share it with your friends,
and if you’d like to watch Si in the Mavic service car, well
you can do, by clicking here.

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

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