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The Tour de France is the pinnacle moment in the cycling calendar, it is where the best riders at the peak of their condition battle over 21 stages. With a mix of terrains and types of stages, this year’s Tour will once again be a brutal endeavour. For the 110th edition, the riders will take on six flat stages, six rolling stages, eight mountain stages with four summit finishes and one individual time trial. These all have a variance in the energy demands on the riders, so we have broken down what sort of strategy the INEOS Grenadiers might implement on these stages and how you can fuel like a Grenadier for your upcoming rides.  



Stages: 3, 4, 7, 11, 19 & 21 

Length: Range from 115km to 180km 

Optimum nutrition product: BETA Fuel Chew & GO Energy Bake 

The racing will be intense, and the storyline will be that the breakaway is kept on a tight leash as the sprinting teams will be vying for stage honours. Stage 7 looks like a nailed-on sprint stage and one which could see the like of Mark Cavendish taking the record outright from Eddy Merckx. When the sprint teams come to the front there is more time for the General Classification (GC) contenders, which means that riders will opt for more solid-based food like the SiS BETA Fuel Chew or GO Energy Bake. This helps to mix up the taste and format variation and stave off any taste fatigue.  



Stages: 1, 2, 8, 10, 12 & 18 

Length: 160km to over 200km 

Optimum nutrition product: BETA Fuel Chew & Gel 

A breakaway’s favourite, rolling or hilly stages are similar to the parcour that we see from some of the Spring Classics. They are full-on and require careful positioning by the GC contenders to ensure that no gaps occur. Although the intensity is not as high as a one-day classic, this means that riders can mix solid-based and gel formats, which means the SiS Beta Fuel range works perfectly. Stage 1 in Bilbao looks like an iconic hilly stage and no doubt will cause a foray of riders to get into the break with the aim of clinching the first yellow jersey of this year’s Tour.  



Stages: 5, 6, 9, 13, 14, 15, 17 & 20 

Length: 130km to 180km 

Optimum nutrition product: BETA Fuel 80 Drink & BETA Fuel + Nootropics Gel  

When the road climbs, so do the energy demands. The intensity of these stages edges towards the most riders will face over the course of the race. The BETA Fuel 80 Drink provides an efficient format for riders to top up glycogen stores, with up to 80g of dual-source carbohydrates in each bidon. Stage 17 looks like one of the most gruelling days out on the bike, taking on two Category 1 climbs, one Category 2 and the final Haute Category climb up Col de la Loze before a short descent into Courchevel. The terrain of this stage means that not only will fuelling be of critical importance for success, but also cognitive function to safely take on the final descent into the line. This is where SiS BETA Fuel + Nootropics comes into its own offering a unique blend of 40g of dual-source carbohydrates plus the added benefit of 200mg of Caffeine, 1g of Taurine and 250mg of Cognizin Citicoline.  



Stages: 16 

Length: 22km  

Optimum nutrition product: BETA Fuel + Nootropics & GO Energy + Caffeine Gel 

Although only short in duration, riders are subject to completely different fuelling requirements for a time trial stage. The team will be riding the red line throughout the whole 22km, monitoring their power output to ensure a consistent pace from start to finish. As aerodynamics plays a vital part in the outcome of the stage, and the length means that riders will not need to fuel out on the course, the emphasis moves to pre-stage fuelling. Alongside the usual fuelling regime that riders will go through, riders might opt for the cognitive benefits and alertness of Science in Sport products like the BETA Fuel + Nootropics, GO Energy  + Caffeine or the Science in Sport Lab Range Caffeine Shooters. This will ensure that the team are alert and ready for the impending effort.  

This year’s Tour de France looks to be one of the most challenging in recent years. Riders will push harder and ride faster than ever before, so as you are watching the INEOS Grenadiers reach for their bottles, back pockets or dig to the bottom of the Musettes, you now have an idea what they will be fuelling with.  

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