Serge Hutte’s journal, episode 2: “Our meals are customized to meet runners’ nutritional needs and to help them confront the difficult stages of the race”
What were the nutritional challenges of stages 7, 8 and 9 of the race?
Serge Hutte Because these three stages all took place in high mountain ranges, we had to work with our nutritionist to develop particularly suitable menus to optimize the runners’ performance during these races over rough terrain. To help them accomplish such a feat, their meals were very low in fiber and we increased the proportion of starch, in order to optimize the energy, they had to expend during these races.
Because these three stages all took place in high mountain ranges, we had to work with our nutritionist to develop particularly suitable menus to optimize the runners’ performance
Serge Hutte - Chef Elior
How did you help the runners recover after completing these stages?
SH Recovery after expending such an enormous amount of energy is indeed essential. During the trial run last May, the runners told us that they would like a hot snack after the race. So that’s what we gave them, and this has been particularly popular the last few days because the weather has been really bad. At the end of stage 9, in Tignes, it was 7 degrees: the riders were delighted when we served them a hot broth with rice noodles, mushrooms and soy sauce. Fortunately, the sun came back the next day and warmed us all up!
How do you organize yourselves in the kitchen so as to meet the cyclists’ expectations?
SH The three of us in the kitchen have adopted a round-the-clock, customized and flexible approach! Optimizing time in a day, for example, is very important. As Jean-René Bernaudeau, manager of Team TotalEnergies, explains, "one hour saved today can make all the difference at the end of the race". After each race, the runners receive a massage before dinner. To adapt to their busy schedule, after the stage between Albertville and Valence, for example, we served dinner directly on the bus, rather than in the food truck, so that the riders could save time.
The three of us in the kitchen have adopted a round-the-clock, customized and flexible approach!