21 Julio 2017 08:59
After 2800 km on a bike, your legs start to show warning signs
Although you might not believe it, the legs in these images belong to the same person, just two weeks apart.
The man who uploaded this comparative image onto his Instagram account was the Bora team cyclist, Pawel Poljanski, and no, he doesn’t suffer from any kind of circulation disorder and this has got nothing to do with doping. These are two quite different moments. In the first image, the Polish cyclist is relaxing in Lucca, Tuscany, during his holidays last year.
The second image, however, shows his lower limbs just after the 16th stage of the Tour de France, in other words, after cycling a whopping 2828 km. The startling transformation may seem a little worrying, but is easier to understand if you consider the amount of peddling cyclists rack up at this level.
No doping, no disorder: this is high-level professional cycling for 3 weeks of riding.
And Pawel is not the first cyclist to upload a photo like this. In 2014, another Pole, Bartosz Huzarski, showed the world the state his veins were in after completing 18 stages of the Tour, and explained that this process was quite normal: when subjected to such extreme exercise for so many days without a decent break, your muscles undergo stress and their blood supply needs a boost, the arteries dilating to allow the blood-flow to increase the flow.
Huzarski’s photo made such a strong impact that fans thought his legs were like that from drug use. He didn't take long to deny this in a post.
‘I did not expect that picture of my legs would cause the confusion it did. For me it’s totally not a revelation, because I can see this view – maybe not everyday – but still often, especially after a hard race at high temperature,’ said the Bora-Argon cyclist.
'Of course I will not have legs like Victoria’s Secret models, or Mary from a nearby vegetable shop, or anyone working in an office who does a 10km bike ride or an hour run three times a week. Unfortunately it does not work like that and this is what you see in the picture. It is not unhealthy.
On the other hand I would say this:
1) Professional approach to what we do
2) Sacrifice, regular diet
3) Body building
4) Minimal fat
5) For 12 years I’ve been doing 35,000 kilometres a year on my bike
6) Knowledge of my body, because such a photo can only be taken under certain circumstances’ the Pole clarified. Such radical changes in appearance reflect just how tough the Tour de France really is. And Poljanski, having already pushed his body way beyond most people's limits, still has the Alps to come.