Q: After becoming the Spanish National Champion in Mallorca, talk us through the race and how it feels to wear the Spanish Stripes.
I have very good memories from the race. It was a tough, hot and humid race, but I think I am used to that because of where I live. It was very special after so many years of trying [to become Champion]. In the inferior categories, when I was little, I never accomplished it. So, finally getting it, with the pros and also in the Vuelta – it’s very special. It means a lot to me.
Q: Explain what the Vuelta a Espana means to you and how special it is to compete on home roads.
It’s a very special race. I think for us Spanish riders, if it’s not the most important, it is one of the most important races. It means a lot to us to be in the race that maybe when you were little, you were seeing on the TV or on the road next to your house. So now being in the race is an incredible feeling.
Q: How important is nutrition for you to keep your performance at its peak?
It’s very important. I think it’s a key factor that not many people have in mind. If you don’t have the right amount of energy, carbohydrates or protein, you’re not going to perform at your best level. It is the most important thing for maintaining a good level of energy throughout the whole race.
Q: When it comes to a mountain stage, like stage 20, how does your nutrition change and how do SIS products support your efforts?
In such an important stage like that, the fuelling is very demanding. It’s a very hard stage from the beginning. So, it’s important to keep a high intake of carbohydrates from the start to finish. That is where SIS products become very handy because it’s very easy to intake a very high amount of carbohydrates with the correct products such as the gels, the chewies, the drinks – whatever suits you best. With hydration, the hydro tabs help keep the levels of sodium at an optimum level. SIS is a key factor to our performance, and I think it has helped us be where we are.
Q: If you had to choose your favourite SIS Energy gel, which one would it be and what flavour?
I really like the taste of the strawberry and lime Beta Fuel gel.
Q: What are the most important lessons you have learnt about nutrition and what advice would you give to an amateur cyclist?
I think the most important thing that I’ve learned so far is to fuel correctly, especially while training. We tend to underestimate the importance of eating on the bike, and it’s so important. Always having something in your pocket to keep your glucose levels high, allows you to perform at a good level, not only at the beginning of training ride but also at the end of the ride. I think [nutrition] also helps you recover better for the next day.