TdF '11 Part 3 Eating Feedzone Style

By Peg Labiuk | 11/02/11
TdF '11 Part 3 Eating Feedzone Style

Casey Serin, “Healthy bars” March 19, 2006 via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution.

We’ve teamed up with Marilyn Trout, certified USA Cycling Elite Coach to answer Voler Newsletter List members’ training questions. You can view her coach profile at Send your cycling inquiries to Marilyn, and for a limited time, if yours is selected to be answered in our Training column, Voler will send you a $20 gift certificate that can be used towards any purchase from the Voler Store at To submit your inquiry, e-mail her at, and type “Voler Training Question” in the subject line of the e-mail.

After viewing Tour de France coverage, our e-mail newsletter reader Bill Grandi posed four curious questions. With each being so different, our coaches have decided to answer them in a series. This is his third question in the series, and was answered by Peg Labiuk (nee Peggy Maass), a colleague of Marilyn Trout, and a certified NCCP level 3 coach with a career in international road and track racing. She is a World Championship medalist, World Record holder, U.S. Olympic Team member, former British national team coach and Kreb's Cycle co-founder (British Columbia, Canada).

'11 Tour de France Part 3: Eating Feedzone Style


What are they eating from the feed zones that is keeping their endurance up? Is it something special or is something that cyclists like me should also have available?



Every rider is going to have their favorites, but I don't think they are ingesting anything that you can't get in today's market. To confirm this, I asked Team H&R Block's Zack Garland:

"All teams have slightly different food that they get in the feed zone. However, it is nothing special. Mainly it is food high in carbohydrates and easy to digest. A lot of the food is "real" food and not processed energy bars. Some teams have things based on rice. Others will have simple sandwiches and pastries. If you trained as much as a pro you would understand the need to stay away from energy bars and want to eat "real" food. There will also be a couple bottles of sports drink, and maybe even a bottle of coke."

I asked Mike Tamayo, Director/Manager of the UnitedHealthcare Team what his riders eat during races, "It really depends on the length of the day. Normally in the feed zone the rider will pick up a feedbag that will have 1 maybe 2 bottles. A couple of paninis. These are bite-sized made the morning of the race with a sweet bread from any grocery store with Nutella and bananas cut up."

Whatever it is in those musette bags, you can be sure that the rider has tested the food and drink prior to using it in an important race.

Coach Peg


Additional notes of interest:

  • Tour de France '85, we had a lovely vegan chiropractor supporting us, and she would pass up dry baguettes stuffed with shredded carrots and tomatoes. She was too nice, and we were too tired to argue - but wow they were horrible!  Janelle Parks-Graham
  • My husband and I have friends, Dominique and Elaine Chavanon, that own perhaps the best restaurant here in town, Marigold Café and Bakery,  While here for the US Pro Challenge, the BMC team heard that Elaine, pastry chef extraordinaire, could fill their pockets with their favorite cookies.  One race with these delectable energy morsels and the riders asked for more. If you would like to have this recipe, please send along a memorable feedzone/race food story to me at
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