Fantasy cycling and fantasy eating during the Tour de France
Posted: July 19th, 2009 - 8:04am by Amy Hubbell
I’ve been following the Tour de France since 2002 when I discovered my former classmate (and 4th grade crush) Levi Leipheimer was competing. Last year I boycotted the race when team Astana was not allowed in the Tour, but this year I kicked it into high gear and even started playing fantasy cycling. (Nerdy, I know.) Leipheimer broke his wrist on Thursday, and, unfortunately, had to leave the race. But his teammates race on, and racing requires amazing sustenance.
According to the New York Times article, “Five-star tour cuisine for guys who eat and ride” the men on the tour require 5000 to 8000 calories a day.
Eating that much demands enticement and Team Garmin-Slipstream (the team of my fantasy cyclists Farrar, Wiggins and Zabriskie) has its own chef, American Sean Fowler. Fowler works with the team’s physiologist to keep the guys feeling good and their bowels running smoothly. Juliet Macur writes:
Every day at the Tour, Fowler cooks exclusively for Garmin’s nine riders, to the chagrin of team management. (…)
On a typical morning, they will gather their cooking gear and take it to the motor home in which they follow the race. They make sure to arrive early at the team’s next hotel, to inspect the kitchen.
If it is not up to Sean Fowler’s standards for cleanliness, which has happened a few times at this Tour, he will cook in the motor home. He takes precautions to keep the riders safe from food poisoning or other gastrointestinal problems, which could be devastating to their performance. In his motor home, he wields utensils and pots and pans like a careful samurai because the space is cramped.
Although Leipheimer’s out, as of this morning my fantasy team still has four of the top ten riders. Let’s hope none of the others are injured or downed with foodborne illness.