Microsoft Band 2 Blog: Stage 5

Stage 5 presented by Breakaway from Visit California – Thursday, May 20, 2016
By: Ryan Ung

Lodi > South Lake Tahoe

  • Distance: 131.7 racing miles
  • Winning Time: 5:54:45 (22.5 mph)
  • Max Speed: 64.9 mph
  • UV Exposure: 1 hour (cloudy day)

Stage 5 was a long day in the saddle with several hours of continuous climbing traveling from the flat vineyards of Lodi to the high altitude of South Lake Tahoe, peaking at an elevation of 8,580 ft.

At rest, the average sedentary male (age 20-30) burns 100 calories an hour, which is approximately 2,400 calories per day. This calorie intake equates to the amount of needed to sustain current body weight and functionality. As fitness improves, the amount of calories needed increases with the body’s metabolism.

The Microsoft Band 2 uses heart rate to calculate an estimated calorie burn. In the graphic below, you can see UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling rider Daniel Eaton’s calorie expenditure is approximately 100 per hour for most of the day but jumps to the 700-800 calories per hour range during the race.

Daniel Eaton’s Calorie Burn UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling’s Daniel Eaton’s Calorie Burn on Stage 5 from Lodi to South Lake Tahoe

Racing requires a lot of energy to keep the pedals turning but it is impossible to meet the exact caloric needs during the race with compromising performance. A rider can only digest 200-400 calories an hour through bars, gels, and drinks to offset the caloric needs – taking in more than this amount of calories diverts precious blood to the stomach for digestion rather than the legs. It is important for cyclists to eat enough before and after the ride to store up energy in the form of glycogen and fat. At hotel team meals you will find the common breakfast items such as cereal, oatmeal, eggs, and sliced meats but you will also find pasta!

During a stage race a cyclist completely depletes their body of calories day after day – the key to staying strong is consuming a sufficient amount of quality calories. In a longer race such as the Tour de France, it is not uncommon for riders to lose several pounds over the course of three weeks despite eating as much as they can. Teams with large budgets such as Team Sky or BMC Racing Team (both racing this year’s Amgen Tour of California) will often travel with their own chefs to the biggest races of the year to fine tine the nutritional program of their riders.