Following the heavy rain in this Giro, culminating in Tuesday’s stage, Hidde van Warmerdam and Thijs Zonneveld discussed in their daily podcast In Het Wiel what influence rain has on the race and riders. Zonneveld pointed out something that others quickly overlooked.
Naturally, riders get cold if they ride in pouring rain for four or five hours and the temperature is low. Zonneveld says that he absolutely couldn’t handle it himself and that it has also been proven that one rider – often the more chunky types – can handle it better than the other – you guessed it: the somewhat thinner built type.
A lot of rain also causes more illness, because the body uses all its energy to try to get / stay warm. Drivers’ resistance is deteriorating, which is why they are more susceptible to viruses, Zonneveld explains.
But they can also get sick for another reason. It rains not only from above, but also from below in a peloton. You drive in the spray all day long, with all the consequences that entails.
“What you get in the rain.. Everything that is on the road. Rubber, dirt, horse and dog poop, sewage. You get that right in your face, you just get that inside. It’s also just really bad for your thunder. It can also make you very ill.”
Especially since your system is already struggling. “In such a round, your intestines are already under pressure because you have to take in so many carbohydrates throughout the day. And then you also get all the dirty water inside. It’s not a party!”