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The morning routine of Wout van Aert

According to Tom Dumoulin, the biggest innovation in the world of cycling in recent years is Team Jumbo-Visma's nutrition strategy. Sporza paid a visit during the 2023 Tour de France to check how it works.

Image of The Athlete’s FoodCoach
Written by: The Athlete’s FoodCoach, on 25-09-2023
Wout van Aert having fun at the buffet with FoodCoach Ien Vitse

Why does Wout use an app?

According to nutrition expert Monique van de Velde, this is mainly to create peace of mind. "You have to cycle, train, sleep, everyone wants something from you. If you also have to think about whether you're eating the right things at the buffet, whether you're eating enough, or whether you're eating too much, that creates stress, and stress consumes energy. That's why the riders use the FoodCoach app, which allows them to feel confident in nutrition, by knowing what and how much to eat at each moment during the day."

But is it still enjoyable to eat if you use an app?

"Haha, the weighing part isn't necessarily enjoyable," Monique says. "But after that, Wout sits down at a very pleasant table with all his teammates and for sure forgets about this weighing part soon. Additionally, I can imagine that not having ‘buffet choice stress’ ensures them to truly enjoy the food in front of them."

Portait of Monique van de Velde
Monique van de Velde
“As an endurance athlete, you really shouldn't cut back on your carbohydrates. These will help you to perform at your best and achieve your performance goals.”

Is the app exclusively for Wout, or can I also use it?

“No, certainly not. The app is primarily intended for recreational athletes. Suppose you've signed up for a marathon or a cycling grand fondo and you're starting to train more often. Most people are aware that their nutrition needs to change accordingly. But what exactly needs to be changed? What do you need to eat? Because many recreational athletes struggle with this, we primarily assist those who don't have access to world-class performance coaching that they can call at any moment.”

Monique van de Velde having fun with collegue Martijn Redegeld in Team Jumbo-Visma team bus

How does this app work?

"The biggest mistake I often see (amateur) athletes make is that they immediately zoom in on the details. They try to achieve results through specific strategies or supplements, while the biggest victories often come from improving the basics. Looking back at the meals you already eat, what can you do better? By making small adjustments there, you make the biggest difference in your performance. Moreover, it's more sustainable."

What pro tips can you guys share already?

Monique: "As an endurance athlete, you should definitely not cut back on carbohydrates. They are truly your primary and most efficient source of energy, so you need plenty of them to perform at your best in training, events, and races."

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