The 2022 spring Classics season saw Dylan van Baarle finally step on the podium of a Monument as he took the title at the Paris-Roubaix. Having competed in eight previous editions of the race, the win was arguably the biggest of the INEOS Grenadiers’ rider’s nine-year career. It was also the ideal preparation for this year’s Tour de France as the race returns to the cobblestones after a three-year absence. A gruelling 19.4km of pavé awaits riders as organisers hope to trigger time gaps among contenders. We spoke with Dylan recently to get some insight into how he fuelled during the cobbled Classics and discover how he plans to approach the most famous Grand Tour. HOW VAN BAARLE FUELLED DURING THE COBBLED CLASSICS Eating on a bike is not only physically difficult, consuming the same carb source for hours on end becomes monotonous. But when regular, high intake of carbs is vital for maintaining power output and performance, fuelling can be as challenging as any part of a race. For riders, then, variety with energy supplements becomes key. “The nutrition in cobbled classics is quite crucial. We have a lot of variation from gels to chew bars to energy drinks with a lot of carbs in. We call them the eighties or the 80 drinks as one bottle has 80 grams of carbohydrates. The classics are so nervous, so hectic, so it’s good to know that you have a lot of fuel in one bottle. And with the new Beta Fuel gels, you have 40 grams of carbs in one gel and you know you’re getting fuelled for a while if you take them. That makes a massive difference when you chase a breakaway and you don’t have a lot of time to eat.” FUELLING FOR REHAB If it wasn’t also for his steely determination to fight his way back from injury – the Dutchman fractured his pelvis after crashing at the Vuelta last season – his victory at the biggest Classic of them all may not have happened. As with any rehabilitation process, nutrition plays in integral role. Alongside a formidable rehab program designed by the Grenadiers’ medical team, van Baarle optimised his diet. “When you have an injury and you’re riding less, you need to limit your carb intake and make sure your weight is in balance. But it’s super hard to do that because you’re in a bad place of course because you’re disappointed you have the injury. So, it’s a mental game to keep your eyes on the goal. I also took extra calcium tablets from SiS that helped me to recover from the fracture.” ONE KILO OF RICE PER DAY! Fuelling for Grand Tours is often as punishing as the stages themselves. From sun-up to sundown and always a day ahead, riders have to eat a staggering amount of food as well as supplement on and off the bike. As you might imagine, variation adds an extra challenge to an already difficult task. For Dylan van Baarle, he’s gone from one extreme to the other – from limiting carb intake during rehab to eating a kilogram of rice each day! “I would say I almost eat a kilo of rice a day in a Grand Tour, so that’s quite a lot! I mix it up sometimes and have rice pudding. Or I mix up [normal rice] with Alpro yogurt to get a bit of flavour. It almost looks like rice pudding then!” HOW VAN BAARLE WILL FUEL FOR THE TOUR DE FRANCE BREAKFAST “It’s hard to say exactly, but for breakfast I eat a lot of rice. Maybe 300-350grams of rice as well as some toast or bread and an omelette.” ON THE BUS “Before the race I always try to eat a bar or something just to make sure you get the fuel in before the start.” DURING THE RACE “It depends on the stage of course. If it’s a hard mountain stage you have to fuel really well. If it’s a flatter day you can back off the fuelling a bit. But towards the final I eat more gels and chew bars because it’s easier to take.” RECOVERY “For recovery it’s basically the same – a lot of rice, and a protein shake of course.” Interested in the SiS Beta Fuel 80 that Dylan used in the cobbled Classics? You can order yours here. The SiS Beta Fuel range includes the Dual Source Energy Drink, Dual Source Energy Gel, Dual Source Energy Gel + Nootropics, and Dual Source Energy Chew. Read more about SiS Beta Fuel and explore the whole range here. Written By Nick Burt In a previous life Nick played American football professionally before becoming a secondary school teacher. Nowadays he works as a freelance copywriter where amongst other things he gets to write about his first love – sports. In his spare time, he lifts weights, plays and coaches baseball (which he calls his retirement sport), and travels with his wife to as many countries as he can.