What It Takes to Race The Tour de France, with Alex Howes and Neal Henderson

We’ve all seen on TV how hard the Tour de France is, but what does it take for these riders to push themselves so far day after day?

FTL 327 with Neal Henderson & Alex Howes

In cycling, there is nothing that compares to the Tour de France in terms of its majesty, scale, danger, and difficulty. For many riders, it doesn’t matter how well or poorly their season went up to July; success or failure comes down to how they ride for three weeks in France.  

Teams and riders invest a lot of time, energy, and money into making sure they’re not only ready for the Tour, but that they show up to the start line each day with the best legs possible. And that’s no easy task. Most of us would brag to our friends if we did a day with 4,000 meters of climbing and a 400 TSS score. At the Tour, that’s just a Tuesday—and you’re going to do it all over again on Wednesday.  

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The biggest factors to surviving the Tour we already know: a ton of training and some fortunate genetics. So in this episode, we ask what goes on behind the scenes during the Tour to keep riders on their best form day-in and day-out.  

Joining us to answer that question are coaches Alex Howes and Neal Hen27derson. Howes now coaches for EF Education and spent many years racing Grand Tours, including two finishes at the Tour de France. Henderson, founder of Apex Coaching (one of the United States’ premier coaching centers) has coached multiple Tour athletes to high results and spent many hours in the cars following the race. Both of these men know firsthand what it takes to race the Tour de France and survive.  

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They’re going to talk to us about what it’s like in the actual race, how riders fuel through the day to keep the body primed, and what happens after the stage ends that none of us see on TV. We also cover what it takes for riders to push past the mental and physical fatigue and get back on their bikes again and again.  

So make sure you hit record on today’s stage of the Tour, and let’s make you fast!