This article was first published by CyclingTips.
The first rest day of the 2022 Tour de France is upon us. We did have a day off between stage four in Denmark, but that was more of a travel day than a chance to rest.
After an opening week containing cobbles, punchy finishing climbs and La Super Planche des Belles Filles, the peloton will have 24 hours to catch its breath before a few tough days in the Alps.
The order of the day will be lacking in both physical and mental exertion. An easy ride to keep the legs ticking over and a massage. But what else do the riders get up to? Do they allow themselves to have fun? If so, what do they do?
Lotto Soudal’s Florian Vermeersch confirmed as much: “Going to have a good sleep first,” he told CyclingTips. “It’s a bit of a boring day but I kind of enjoy these days. I’ll watch some Netflix, have a good massage. I was watching Peaky Blinders but I finished it so I’ll have to find a new one, maybe some documentaries.”
Chris Hamilton of Team DSM has also recently finished Peaky Blinders and so is on to Seinfeld. With 180 episodes across nine seasons, he admits he may need a few more grand tours to race before he’s finished with it.
Netflix isn’t for everyone, though, BikeExchange-Jayco’s Chris Juul-Jensen says he doesn’t have an account. Instead, “I may read a few pages of a book”. How wholesome.
“I’ll catch up on Love Island…bit embarrassed to say that,” Fred Wright adds, preferring the British reality show that sees young men and women locked in a house for two and a half months, during which they hopefully find the love of their life amongst the two dozen other contestants. “I’ve been hooked on it for the past few days so have the last episode to watch. Davide is my favourite.”
Luckily, the Bahrain-Victorious rider will be balancing that out with something that will keep his brain active, some media duties. “I’ve got to write a diary entry for Cycling Weekly, so better get on that. Not much else really. It’s nice to just do nothing.”
Family members often visit their loved ones during bike races, and the July location of the Tour de France offers a great chance to tack on a summer holiday.
“My girlfriend is coming to watch the finish today so I’m looking forward to spending some time with her tomorrow,” Connor Swift says. “But I reckon I’ll drag her to the barbers with me.”
Does he not get a pre-Tour haircut from his other half like Geraint Thomas or Tom Pidcock?
“Nah I wouldn’t trust Sian with chopping my hair. In fact she did it in COVID and I ended up with a number 1 all over.”
For Chris Hamilton, it’s a bit harder to get his family over from Australia, so some video calls will be in order.
“Then I’ll try and stare at the back of my eyelids for a bit in the afternoon,” Hamilton adds, the one common denominator of every Tour de France rider who has completed 1,500km so far. Sleep. And lots of it.