Courtesy of Red Bull Media Service
Equivalent of 50 cheeseburgers eaten a day by riders for calorie consumption.
With 9,200 kilometres to cover across eight time zones and five climate changes, the Red Bull Trans-Siberian Extreme lives up to its name.
But it’s also a lesson in extreme eating as the cyclists in the field from seven countries eat as much as six times the daily recommended calorie intake of an adult male.
While it is suggested an average male should ingest 2,500 calories a day, those on the Trans-Siberian Extreme taking on stages of up to 1,400 kilometres will take on board between 10,000 and 15,000 calories a day.
At the top end, that’s the equivalent of 50 cheeseburgers, although the riders in this small peloton get their calories in notably more healthy fashion.
Twice a day, they will stop for hot food, with meals such as pasta and rice for their carbohydrate intake, and chicken and fish for their required protein.
The event’s chef Heiko Appenrodt explains: “Every athlete has his personal food which he likes, which can change on any day. So that can be anything they suddenly want from meat to veggies to nuts, anything at all.”
It often means an early-morning supermarket run for Appenrodt and his team before travelling to the first break point and ensuring a feast for all the riders and event organisers is ready within two hours.
Three people sent up the tents and get the power working, while three to four people cook and prepare the food.
The aim of the end product, says Appenrodt is “trying to make this like a hotel restaurant service”.
This buffet on wheels gets the thumbs up from the riders.
Danish rider Peter Sandholt explains: “It [the food stop] is always something you look forward to, moving towards the proper food stops and get some real food rather than sugar products you normally eat.”
The sugary products are, though, also key to keeping the athletes in the saddle. They have on average two energy bars or gels per hour, so on a 12-hour stage that equates to 24 hours. They are also fuelled by fruit and nuts along the way.
Fluid wise, they will take on board seven to 12 litres of fluid. At the top end, that’s the equivalent of 21 pints, and eight times what a normal person is recommended to take on board in any given day.
So, in essence, it’s extreme eating and drinking for an extreme event.