Allergic to Stairs. I can remember watching the Tour in the years before being a part of the race.
I was always completely gutted that just when things got interesting and they’d had a few mountain stages, there would be a rest day.
Now, the rest day is like a shining light off in the distance that you can see, and know everything will be better for it.
You get more sleep, you can catch up on emails and blog entries (heh), call your family, take stock of how much equipment you’ve used (we’re still ok for strapping tape), go for a run, take it easy… It’s a great day! And completely essential to finishing the race in a semi-human state.
The riders feel similarly.
They all talk about “making it to the rest day”, and things will be “better on the rest day” and so on.
The vast majority barely leave their beds for the day, only getting up for a short easy ride, a massage and food. When under stress, our bodies develop allergies and intolerances to certain, otherwise innocuous insults.
Upon close examination of their behavioural patterns, our riders have become allergic to stairs, and intolerant of walking.
It shows how tough this race is, not only from the physical racing itself, but more through to the stress and emotional weight that is put into every day.
You’ve got to respect all of the riders for dealing with it. It’s a tough – although very cool – gig.