Gisteren pakte Nicolas Roche (geb. 1984, 70 kilo) de leiderstrui in de Ronde van Spanje.
Ik moest direct denken aan een interview dat Paul Kimmage een paar jaar geleden met hem had. De Ierse journalist vraagt ook over eten en afvallen: een obsessie die veel atleten hebben. Over dat uithongeren zegt Roche:
I think it’s the hardest (part of it); it’s harder than training. The wife of a friend of mine is a model for IMG and she posted a photo on Instagram the other day of a plate with a fork and a smiley face. It (the caption) said, ‘The easy bit is the hour I spent working out. The hard bit is to keep my plate as empty as possible for the next 23.’ I said, “That’s like being a cyclist.’ And it’s true. Doing five-hour training rides is something we work towards since the age of 12, but the most difficult part is the food, the quality and obviously the quantity.
PK: There wasn’t as much emphasis on weight when you first turned pro. When did that change, this need to be almost skeletal?
NR: I’d say 2009, 2010. I really started to pay attention in 2008. I had an ulcer that year and went down from 72 to 68/69 and just felt healthier than ever at 69 kilos. I did my first good performance in the Vuelta (13th) and thought, ‘What if I was able to hold that weight all year long?’ But somehow my body just doesn’t allow me to do that.
PK: You look pretty thin now.
NR: I’m okay.
PK: What do you weigh?
NR: I’m 71.
PK: What have you eaten today?
NR: This morning I had toast with a bit of butter with some ginger marmalade.
PK: One slice of toast?
NR: Yeah, and a cappuccino.
PK: That’s it?
PK: And that was before you went for a ride?
NR: Yeah, I did two hours.
PK: You didn’t eat during the spin?
NR: Actually, I did. I stopped for a coffee and it came with a little biscotti.
PK: And nothing since?
NR: No, but I’m not hungry. I had a good meal last night.
PK: What’s a good meal?
NR: It was a dinner with Richie (Porte) and Geraint Thomas and some of the lads who live around here. We had tuna tartar and a bit of salad.
PK: Any alcohol?
NR: We had a bottle of red wine. Alcohol, unfortunately, is the worst fat. You can’t burn it. It’s worse than chocolate theoretically.
PK: Trying to annoy me now, are you?
NR: (Smiles) No, I love a glass of wine, it’s one of my treats. I wouldn’t drink every day of course but I’d have three or four glasses a week.
Dat praten alleen al!
Dat weinig eten gaat soms te ver. Over de Tour van 2012 waarin Roche 12e werd zegt hij:
Yeah, I think physically I was capable of much better but I was obsessed with not putting on weight and it caught up with me on the (11th) stage to La Toussuire; I had a complete hunger flat, 6k to the finish and dropped from ninth to 13th. So that was the year I was physically the strongest in the Tour but I was weighing myself five times a day and under-ate. I knew (that stage) was going to be ‘D-Day’ on the Tour and thought, ‘Tomorrow my body weight has to be the lowest ever.’ And instead of ‘carbo’ loading I did the opposite and starved myself.
(…) It was hard. I’m pretty sure that if I had an extra bowl of pasta that night I would have been eight or ninth in the Tour.
Thin is going to win, schijnt een spreuk te zijn onder sporters. Maar niet altijd dus.
Roche wil de leiderstrui zo lang mogelijk dragen, ben wel benieuwd wat hij eet – en drinkt. Over die vetten en calorieën bestaan overigens zeer tegengestelde meningen, zie Kris Verbrugh tegenover Midas Dekkers: