UAE nutritionist shares one of Tadej Pogacar's shortcuts to success: "When it comes to nutrition, I’d say he’s the most straightforward of all"

Tadej Pogacar grew into an incredibly successful cyclist and this is because of many big and small factors. Within the team some of details were talked through in a recent interview, and a team nutritionist finds Pogacar to be one of a kind when it comes to food within UAE Team Emirates.

“Of all the riders on the team, when it comes to nutrition, I’d say he’s the most straightforward of all,” Gorka Prieto, nutritionist at UAE Team Emirates, shared in words to Cyclingnews. “There are some who are way fussier, the ones who insist on having white pasta all the time and you just can’t convince them otherwise. But Tadej is the complete opposite. You’ll tell him, ‘You’ve got to eat this’ and he’ll eat it. He particularly likes some kinds of sauce that our Italian chef makes with pasta. But in any case, he’s anything but a complainer.”

This ease with all kinds of food means the lack of an obstacle when it comes to performance. The Slovenian seemingly finds pleasure still in eating with the priority in performance more than the regular top rider. “Riders’ carbohydrate consumption is much higher too. Before they would be on a maximum of 90 grams of carbohydrates per hour of exercise, now it’s 120 or 130," Prieto also shares.

This is most likely one of the big changes that has happened within the past few years in racing, which have seen performances rise. Riders are able to consume and digest an amount of food that is significantly superior to that of just a decade ago, which sees the energy levels increase and ultimately performances as well.

Pogacar has not always thrived when it comes to this, the Col du Granon stage at the 2022 Tour de France being pointed out as a prime example; perhaps last year's Col de la Loze stage being another. But the team learns from bad days such as this, and the Slovenian himself is used to racing at the most intense level and not forget about this key detail within racing.

“It’s not a problem, he’s very intelligent and he knows that if he goes off the front at x kilometres from the line, he’s got to eat this much," Prieto assures. "He’s been trained, if you like, to know that if he goes at such-and-such a speed, he has to eat that much more, and if he’s sticking in the bunch, he needs to eat that much less.”

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