Frankie's Formulas: Paris-Nice

It’s Not Just Another Race

By Frankie Andreu

INFINIT is excited to announce the launching of our #MyMix series starting with Frankie's Formulas, a series of race formulas specifically for the EU Spring Classics that Frankie raced for over a decade. Over the next couple months, we will be bringing you insider stories about what actually happens in the peloton, the race conditions, terrain and and the custom-blended nutrition solution needed to complete the stage.

Frankie's Paris-Nice Formula at a Glance: Over 3 hour formula, Cycling/Spring Classics, Cramper's Blends, Heavy Sweaty, Low Flavor Blend, Male, Endurance Blend, Pink Lemonade

Paris-Nice Route
http://www.letour.fr/paris-nice/2016/us/overall-route.html

“Paris-Nice is a test of endurance, stamina, and enduring what is thrown at you. The cold eats through calories and because it’s the early season the body is not as efficient compared to during the middle of the season. The increase in race intensity and the increase in the number of race days make it critical to stay ahead of the nutrition curve to stay at a high level.” 

About the Race:

  • Held annually in France since 1933
  • Cycling stage race spanning 8 days
  • Nicknamed "The Race to the Sun" because of the cold weather that generally accompanies the first stages and the gradual warming that occurs as the riders get closer to the sunny Côte d’Azur.1
  • Nine winners on the roll of honour have also won the Tour de France in their careers. All of them won their first or only Paris–Nice before they had won the Tour de France.2


Everyone knows the biggest race in France is the Tour de France. But there is another race that many riders set as their number one goal and program their season to win - this would be Paris-Nice. This early season stage race is as critical a component in setting up a rider’s fitness as the backbone is to the body. Without it everything collapses.

Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico, essentially held at the same time, are critical races in helping a rider reach peak form for the classics. Paris-Nice is not just another race because it provides the bridge from training races to the real races, it’s the first long stage race of the year. The race is eight days long where most of the previous races have all been only four to five days. It’s the first time to really test yourself against the best riders and to test your body in its recovery and level of fitness.

Paris –Nice is known as “The race to the Sun”, but seldom is the sun shining at the start. The riders are met with cold, wet, and sometimes snowy days. The weather has always been a factor in Paris-Nice. It's not so much a factor in who wins or loses but who survives and who doesn't. The coldest I've ever been on a bike have all been during Paris-Nice stages. I remember one year when I was racing we protested at the top of a mountain pass because of the amount of snow that was falling. We sat around for a half-hour, threw some snowballs, and then the organizers made us keep going. It was not one of the smartest moves we did, stopping and cooling down to freezing, to only have to restart the race. I remember Marc Madiot, who worked for the race at the time, yelling at the riders to keep going and that we were all a bunch of pansies. I also remember when Marc Madiot was a rider. He would be the first one off his bike the moment it got cold yelling, "Annule, Annule." How quick someone’s disposition changes from behind the heater of a car.

Frankie's Formulas: Paris-Nice


There were many times on downhill's where I couldn't control my bike because I was shaking so hard from the freezing temperatures. It felt like my top tube was spaghetti and my whole bike was going to fall apart. It would shake side to side so badly that I could barely steer or see where I was going. When I shake that much I can't see, my eyes get so rattled in my head everything becomes fuzzy. At the time I realized what was happening but I couldn't get my eyes to stay still. It really wasn't any fun at that point. This is usually when I said to myself, "They're not paying me enough for this."

Paris-Nice is a test of endurance, stamina, and enduring what is thrown at you. The cold eats through calories and because it’s the early season the body is not as efficient compared to during the middle of the season. The increase in race intensity and the increase in the number of race days make it critical to stay ahead of the nutrition curve to stay at a high level.

 

Get Frankie's Formula: Paris-Nice

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