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Fuelling the Vuelta a España 2023

Few sporting events are physically as demanding as a Grand Tour. Be it the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France or Vuelta a España, a single stage is enough to separate even the most accomplished cyclists. Over three consecutive weeks, however, most of us can only marvel at a spectacle where machine-like athletes burn monstrous amounts of energy to keep up with their extreme work ethic. 

In the Vuelta, as in the other Grand Tours, riders don’t have the luxury of devouring platefuls of complex carbs when they’re in the saddle – they need convenient high-carb formats that can be carried easily and taken-in quickly with the least amount of gastrointestinal discomfort. Most importantly, their amounts need to be optimised for peak performance output. 


When a team’s ability to perform rests heavily on your shoulders, the greatest challenge for its nutritionist is finding the right fuelling solution to cover the high energy demands from the start to finish. 

The Science in Sport BETA Fuel range is the perfect solution for INEOS Grenadiers’ Performance Nutritionist, Dr Marc Fell, providing a dual source energy with ratio of maltodextrin to fructose of 1:0.8.  

The 1:0.8 ratio of maltodextrin to fructose increases the percentage of ingested carbohydrate that is oxidized (known as efficiency) from 62% to 74% when compared with the original ratio of 2:1.  

SiS Beta Fuel can be used to provide a flexible approach to fuelling to deliver 120 grams of carbohydrate per hour and maintain high carbohydrate availability during prolonged endurance exercise. The previously recommended intake for endurance fuelling was 90g per hour.  

Simply put, this has changed the game for riders in the peloton. 


The BETA Fuel range comes in a variety of feeding formats, from solid (chews), semi-solid (gels) and drink that are all in the correct carbohydrate formulation to optimise cycling performance for riders, making the planning and execution of a race day nutrition strategy for Marc, and the INEOS Grenadiers cyclists, even easier. 



Below Marc outlines his fuelling choices from the BETA Fuel range, showing when the riders will best utilise them, during all the different stage types of the 2023 Vuelta a España Grand Tour: 



  • Number of flat stages: 4 plus 2 flat stages with high-altitude finales. 
  • Stages: 7, 11, 12, 16, 19, and 21 
  • Best suited BETA Fuel product:Powder & Gels 

“They may sound easy, but flat stages are still incredibly demanding, especially those with high altitude finales. Flat stages are mainly when the sprinters come out however the two flat stages with high-altitude finales in this year’s edition of La Vuelta may be more suited to the climbers and GC contenders. Nonetheless, BETA Fuel gels and drinks are a quick and convenient option for riders during these stages to ensure they keep-up their carbohydrate and fluid intakes during these tricky and stressful stages which will no doubt also involve extremely hot temperatures.” 



  • Number of hilly stages: 6 
  • Stages: 2, 4, 5, 9, 15 and 20 
  • Best suited BETA Fuel product:Chews 

“For hilly stages such as the lumpy roads around Barcelona on Stage 3 or the long lumpy Stage 20 to Guadarrama, the new BETA Fuel chews are a great option because they provide 46g of fast carbohydrates in a solid but easy-to-digest format so there’s a regular provision of energy to the working muscles in a tasty format.” 



  • Number of mountain stages: 7 
  • Stages: 3, 6, 8, 13, 14, 17, and 18 
  • Best suited BETA Fuel product:Gel 

“For those mountain stages such as the first summit finale at Arsinal in Andorra on Stage 3 or the Queen Stage which summits at the famous Col Du Tourmalet on Stage 13 or the punishing ascent of Altu de L’Angliru on Stage 17, the Beta Fuel gel is a perfect fuelling option for such stages to ensure riders get a higher amount of energy than the usual gels but still in the same volume, and in one go. Beta Fuel gels deliver rapid fuel and come in a practical format, which is the best formula you need for those critical moments of a race.” 



  • Number of time-trial stages: 2 
  • Stages: 1 and 10 

For time-trials, such as those at Stage 1 (14.8 km around Barcelona) and Stage 10 (25.8 km in Valladolid), and summit finishes, the nootropics gel is a great option as a boost before a big effort. It not only provides the right energy but also a high dose of caffeine and other stimulants such as Citicoline and Taurine that contribute to improving performance and delaying fatigue.” 

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