YEL­LOW PERIL

Tas­ma­nian pro Richie Porte will be a gen­uine con­tender for the mail­lot jaune at this year’s Tour. Here’s how he plans to sur­vive the most bru­tal phys­i­cal test in world sport

Mens Health (Australia) - - State Of Mind -

The ideal prepa­ra­tion for the Tour de France is all about...

Con­sis­tency. In the Tour, your main goal is to race hard for three weeks – con­sis­tent and var­ied train­ing is what al­lows you to do this. Sure, some ses­sions can be harder than oth­ers, but just be­cause a ses­sion lasts seven hours doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily mean it’ll be harder than a ses­sion that lasts two hours. Same with rac­ing: a 110km stage can be much harder than a 250km stage. It all de­pends on the in­ten­sity.

The stage I’m least look­ing for­ward to in the Tour...

It would have to be stage 9, from Nan­tua to Cham­bery. Over the 181km we have about 4500m of climb­ing. And be­cause it’s the fi­nal stage be­fore the first rest day I reckon ev­ery­one will be go­ing full gas. Stage 17, the Queen Stage, will be an­other tough one with the 18km climb up the Col du Gal­i­bier.

Each day dur­ing the Tour I’ll eat...

Be­tween 17,000 and 25,000kj. For break­fast I’ll nor­mally have some por­ridge and an omelette. Dur­ing the race I try to eat 2-3 times an hour, es­pe­cially on the tough stages. When the rac­ing is gen­tler, I pre­fer to eat “nor­mal” food – rice bars pre­pared by the team chef are my favourite. When the in­ten­sity of the rac­ing picks up, I get into the Power­bar gels – they’re a great way of get­ting en­ergy in quickly.

Each night dur­ing the Tour I’ll sleep...

At least eight hours – hope­fully closer to 10. Of course it al­ways de­pends on how late the stages start and fin­ish but dur­ing the Tour they’re pretty con­sis­tent, which is great be­cause you can get into a good sleep­ing rhythm. Sleep is cru­cial. It’s the most im­por­tant part of re­cov­ery – es­pe­cially when you’re rac­ing over three weeks.

On the rest days dur­ing the Tour...

Trust me, a rest day is not a rest day! We like to keep them struc­tured so that it feels nor­mal to re­turn to rac­ing the next day. Nor­mally, we would do a two-hour “cof­fee” ride, then get stuck into some me­dia and spon­sor com­mit­ments. The rest days are also pretty much the only chance you get to see your fam­ily dur­ing the race.

Af­ter the fi­nal stage in Paris I’ll eat...

A bur­rito and a Boag’s beer are at the top of my list. We also have a team din­ner that evening – that’s the first time I can eat what­ever I want with­out feel­ing guilty.

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