Recently retired Bobby Julich is writing a column for Cyclingnews.com that’s more introspective than most of their rider diaries. His latest is on why cyclists gain so much weight and what they do to lose it. He skips a couple of subjects, such as why so many cyclists get fat when they retire (though the answer is obvious from his article) and what to do when you need to lose muscle mass. The latter, I suppose, isn’t generally a problem because not many cyclists gain muscle mass in the off-season. But it’s an issue for the recreational athlete or someone coming to cycling from another sport where you may have built up some unwanted muscle. These last two issues should be covered quite well as we follow Lance this year. That cross-trained body isn’t going to help him in the alps and Bruyneel said last week that he needs to lose some muscle, which the above pics of he and rival Ivan Basso confirm. So that should be fun, especially considering Basso says he’s fat and claims his power readings confirm that he’ll improve 25% between now and the Giro.
While this story develops, here’s a good perspective on what cyclists go through to get into racing form.