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Even for food coaches of Team Visma | Lease a Bike the Tour de France has months of preparation

Even for food coaches of Team Visma | Lease a Bike the Tour de France has months of preparation

Not only the riders of Team Visma | Lease a Bike have been preparing for the upcoming Tour de France for months. The same goes for the staff, of course. Among them Remco Henkes, one of the team's food coaches. Henkes explains more about the approach to a grand tour in terms of nutrition.

"The preparation for a grand tour is not tender," the food coach tells. "Basically, every grand tour requires the same amount of work in preparation. The Tour de France is the team's absolute main goal. We started the preliminary work months ago."

Henkes elaborates a little. "We are already trying to estimate which riders will go with us to the Tour de France. Every rider has different wishes and needs. We try to anticipate that. In addition, thanks in part to The Athlete's FoodCoach app, our nutrition schedule is tailored to the stages during the Tour. Every stage has a different level of difficulty, and obviously a rider burns more calories on one day than another. It is then up to us to specifically ensure that the riders in question replenish the carbohydrates, fats and proteins exactly," Henkes explains.

Jumbo Supermarkets is the driving force behind the products used by the food coaches. "They provide fresh supplies in a large round every week. The role of fresh food is crucial. We use Jumbo products because we know exactly what the nutritional values are in those. We work with an automated system in which all Jumbo products are already processed. The riders also find it very tasty," Henkes says. 

"We have prepared as many as 131 different meals this year"

Remco Henkes

"During a grand tour, we are always present with two food coaches," the performance chef continues. "In the Tour de France, for example, I am the head chef and also Franka van Hulten is here. Head of Nutrition Martijn Redegeld is also there. Among other things, he is responsible for all the calculations during the race. The riders enter how much they ate and drank on the bike after the stage. Based on that data, another calculation is then done as to what the riders can eat in the evening."

There is no shortage of variety for the riders. "We have prepared as many as 131 different meals this year. Recently we joined the team's altitude training in Tignes. There we experimented with a lot of new recipes. Jumbo provides us with such a diverse range of products that we can go either way. For us the training camp was also a dress rehearsal for the Tour. We asked the riders what they thought of the new meals. Everyone was more than satisfied. No lack of delicious and healthy food in the coming weeks," Henkes smiles.

Curious about the meals of the Team Visma | Lease a Bike riders? We'll be sharing some soon via our website!

Would you like to use The Atlethe's FoodCoach app yourself? Go to this website for more information!

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