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The Ultimate Challenge: Chasing Cancellara

How cool would it be to cycle side by side with Fabian Cancellara? Those who have signed up for a Chasing Cancellara event will have this extraordinary opportunity. With Eurosport nutrition, which will be provided in the feed zones, your ride will be an even bigger success.

What is Chasing Cancellara?

Chasing Cancellara is a yearly sporting concept that is the brain child of Fabian Cancellara. It consists of a range of challenging cycling events held at attractive, international cycling destinations, suitable for cyclists of all levels, from beginners to semi pro’s. “Spartacus” himself will ride as well, which means you can compete against him.

Upcoming events

  • Berne-Andermatt (July 2)
  • Dillier Classic (July 31)
  • Zürich-Zermatt (August 27)
  • Lugano (September 25)


Read More

What to eat and drink?

Most Chasing Cancellara events cover a great distance. Sometimes you will be on your bike for more than half a day. These long rides you will require the greatest possible effort. This takes energy. Nutrition will provide your body with that energy. How much exactly to eat and drink depends, among other things, on the duration of your efforts, the intensity, your physique and how well trained you are. Make sure that energy levels and fluid balance are on point, and are replenished during the ride.

Before the start

You can start preparing your body in the day(s) prior to the start by consuming enough carbohydrates. Stick to the following guideline for an endurance ride of more than four hours: 8 to 12 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of your body weight the day(s) before the start. So if you weigh 75 kilo’s, that would be around 750 grams of carbohydrates. So for example, you could eat four plates of pasta, ten slices of white bread with apple syrup and ten bananas.

The long distance rides in Chasing Cancellara start really early in the day. Eat your last complete meal the evening before. Don’t eat it within the last two hours before the start. This can cause gastrointestinal problems because the food won’t be digested yet. One hour before the start it can be useful to eat fruit (a banana) or a Eurosport nutrition Oat Bar (with a mix of slow and quick release carbohydrates).

Drink two glasses of water in the final two hours before you start. That way you will have a good fluid balance.

During the ride

During an endurance event at Chasing Cancellara it is all about taking in enough carbohydrates. They are the main source of energy during the ride. You can get carbohydrates from regular food like gingerbread and waffles. This does however increase the chance of gastrointestinal problems because these foods often contain above average amounts of fibres, fats and other hard to digest ingredients. It will cost your body more energy to digest these substances when you will be needing all your energy to tackle that one hard climb.

It is better to take sports nutrition like energy bars and gels. These are composed in a way that makes them easy to digest. Also – in the case of Eurosport nutrition – you can get more energy out of it compared to regular foods. The Energy Bars and Energy Gels contain twice as much glucose as fructose. These are both sugars but are absorbed by the body in a different way so they are not in each other’s way. This way the nutrition will provide you with up to 90 grams of carbohydrates per hour, depending on how well trained you are. With regular foods this is normally no more than 60 grams. During Chasing Cancellara that will be nowhere near enough.

Rule of thumb: try to take a gel or a bar regularly after the first hour. These will provide the essential carbohydrates. The Isotonic Sports Drink also contains carbohydrates. During Chasing Cancellara events we recommend you drink around 400 to 800 millilitres per hour. That is the equivalent of one or two drinking bottles. At the feed zones, Eurosport nutrition bars and gels will be available, as well as the isotonic sports drinks. Make sure you take enough to get you through the next stretch.

What if you don’t? Very simple: your body won’t be getting the carbs it needs and will have to get the energy from somewhere else. Your body will switch to an energy intake using proteins and fats as fuel. During such moments you can only perform at around 50% of your maximum capacity. You will start to feel weaker and weaker. Eventually you will hit a wall. You want to avoid this at all costs!

After the ride

Your body has taken a beating from this ride. You will need to replenish your energy reserves (carbohydrates). You will also need to repair muscle damage (proteins).

The first two hours after exercise it is advised to take 1.5 to 2 grams of carbohydrates per kilo of your body weight. So if you weigh 75 kilo’s, that would be 112.5 to 150 grams of carbs. For example, you can eat 250 grams of cooked spaghetti, some meat, a serving of vegetables and two pieces of fruit.

The micro-tears in your muscles will recover with protein. Remember the 20-20 rule: 20 grams of protein in the first 20 minutes after exercise. For example you can choose the Eurosport nutrition Recovery Shake. Taking proteins in combination with carbohydrates right after exercise, can ensure your energy levels are replenished quicker, in time for your next endeavour.

Quick tips

  • Train with sports nutrition. Get your body used to the bars, gels and isotonic sports drinks
  • Put a sticker on your handlebar and write down how many kilometres till the next feed zone
  • While cycling, try to eat solid foods for as long as possible and only then switch to gels
  • Eat before you feel hungry. If you start eating when you already feel hungry, chances are you will hit a wall
  • Take bigger drinking bottles (750 millilitres) with you instead of the smaller ones (500 millilitres). This way you can take more sports drink with you on your bike
  • Taking proteins in combination with carbohydrates right after exercise can ensure your energy levels are replenished quicker and composed better before your next endeavour