Rest days have been part and parcel of Le Tour since the first edition in 1903. Back then they were needed as much to allow the riders and the organization time to plan and prepare for the next stage as they were for recuperation. Today they focus on a routine that largely revolves around eating and sleeping. In between riders will go for a relatively gentle 2 hour spin, get a massage, and fulfil any media duties they may have. Team directors will hold meetings to discuss the team’s tactics in the coming days and the race mechanics have a busy day washing and maintaining both the race and the spare bikes to ensure they’re in top condition. On an ideal rest day riders will be able to relax and remain free of stress.
Charly Gaul resting in a deck chair
Sometimes that isn’t possible, as happened to the Swiss rider…
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