WATER
07
Emotions
and behind the
scenes of
the Tour de France
↥ KEEP IT GOING

At the Tour de France, each team has two main groups of individuals who keep the riders going- mechanics who keep the bikes singing, and soigneurs who keep the cyclists’ bodies in shape.

Photo: Jered & Ashley Gruber

↥ JACK OF ALL TRADES

Soigneurs are very versatile staff members. Be it massage therapy, food preparation, laundry or even on-the-road bottle hand offs, this crew is always moving. Like an engine without oil, without them, the team would come to a halt.

Photo: Jered & Ashley Gruber

↥ 120

Staff normally eats breakfast at 8am at the team hotel. From there, there is typically an introduction to the day that lies ahead, followed by an essential ritual that takes place every morning- soigneurs filling the day’s water bottles. A normal day requires 120 Elite Corsa bottles, ¾ths of which are filled with energy drink, the rest with water. Other soigneurs prepare lunches for Sport Director’s cars, VIP vehicles while others prepare the riders’ musette.

Photo: Kristof Ramon

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Soigneur’s put together a big cooler in the back of the Sport Director’s car and pull out 10 musettes. Each one usually contains two water bottles, two bars, two pieces of cake, two gels, a sandwich and a baby can of soda.

Photo. Kristof Ramon

↥ CARRY, SUPPORT, REPEAT

On the road and in the feed zones, water carriers take care of their teammates. Water carriers are responsible for shuttling back and forth between team cars to get water. A team’s water carrier can carry a 20 bottle load that is equally distributed on his chest and back so as to not affect his balance. He goes back to the bunch and starts the ‘’service’’ as they scream when catching up to the pack.

Photo: Jered & Ashley Gruber

↥ UNSUNG HERO

The designated water carrier is a key element to the team’s success. It is because of his hard work that his leaders can conserve the extra energy that they need in order to push it until the very end of the stage.

Photo: Jered & Ashley Gruber

↥ IN TOTAL

A 3 week race results in a lot of energy consumption from the riders. To keep them on top during the race, the soigneurs are essentially their lifelines.
In general, a team will consume:

Water Bottles: about 2000
Nutrition: 1000 bars and 1500 gels
Rice cakes and muesli bars: 2500 freshly made
Cans of Soda: 800
Water: 3200 liters

Photo: Jered & Ashley Gruber

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After a week of racing, we focus on some moments that came post finish line.

Photo: Kristof Ramon

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Photo: Kristof Ramon

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Photo: Jered & Ashley Gruber

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Photo: Jered & Ashley Gruber

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One week down- two more to go.

Photo: Jered & Ashley Gruber