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News from the hour_8

We are starting to feel at home here after almost one week. The hotel and the BMC group work in harmony. This means they got used to us and our changes in the daily program 🙂

From now on there won’t be so many changes any more because we are getting close to Sunday and everything is clear. Everything is running smoothly.

The difficulty on those days before a race is sometimes to figure out a right balance between too much and too little, between focused and relaxed, between eating less and still eating enough or vice versa. Food is a good example for this balance too because there are many athletes who cut back too much on the days prior to an event when the training load is small. Then they don’t fill up their glycogen stores for the event because they just don’t et. This happens all the time in all different sports. Others, however, want to start to load on carbohydrates and eat too much high calorie foods because they don’t know how to do it right. So they make wrong choices, i.e. they go quite often for high-fat choices. For Rohan it is a little bit easier because my job is to help him to find this balance and to eat what he needs without cutting back too much or eating more than needed.

During the days here I have also had some interesting chats with the kitchen chefs. I create the menus and need to communicate to them what we need this week. They know how to do their job, how to prepare food but when you talk about athletes and nutrition, there are a few other things that come into play, and that’s when a sports nutritionist or dietitian steps in to help. Certain nutrients have specific roles and importance at different times and an athlete’s needs change with different trainings and vary from athlete to athlete. There are always other athletes here in the hotel because they are training or competing in the velodrome. This said, the chef must be used to cook for athletes and have an idea of a sports menu. I am assuming it but I don’t know the chef that well, and I have made my experiences with many chefs in the past. I spent lots of time in the kitchen here in Grenchen, managing portion sizes, recipes and even preparing the meals myself. As I mentioned already a few days ago, it’s better to double check or do it yourself and this includes cooking as well. Then the athlete gets exactly what you think would be best, plus you know what actually is in the meal s/he is served and you can control how the food is prepared.


Today was an easy day and with only a short training and not much else on the program, days can become pretty boring if you are staying in a hotel. But right before lunch we had a surprise visit from two other BMC Racing Team riders and it was great for Rohan to chat with Danilo Wyss and Silvan Dillier. They did Tour Down Under together a few days ago, now Rohan is getting ready for the hour record attempt while Danilo and Silvan are recovering from their races in Australia. Riders have different race programs…this means they are also in different (nutritional) phases.




Oh, I forgot the media: there’re journalists today as well and wanted to get the latest news from Rohan. This filled the time and made the afternoon seem shorter. Once the interview session was done, it was movie time for us. We are in Switzerland and they play movies on the original version, so we decided to pick a film and have fun in the movie theatre. But the movie wasn’t the last part of a great day. When you are with a team and you plan the food, there’s always two groups. One is the riders, the other one is the staff. As you can imagine, staff has sometimes different preferences and makes different choices at meal times. Today I thought I let them enjoy some food the riders usually don’t have before a race or during a stage race: Swiss burger. It was for sure no fun for Rohan to see the group enjoy a burger while he is eating his well planned meal. But he is professional and focused, and there is chocolate in the food room; I don’t let him live on bread and water, the meals are still tasty and nice. So there was no problem with the staff burger and maybe on Sunday he will get a burger after setting a new hour record (I know he will break the old one).

For now it’s enough from burgers and movies. Rohan is in the process of loading up for Sunday and we’re almost there, at the start ramp. And considering what happened at dinner tonight, the luck should be on our side. We were having dinner when all of a sudden three glasses fell on the floor and the glass was all over. Shards are supposed to bring luck…






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