Polish cyclist Pawel Poljanski has posted on his Instagram a photo showing the intense sacrifice to which top athletes are subjected to major sports competitions.Shortly after completing the 16th stage of the Tour de France, the most traditional cycling event, having ridden 2,829 km in just 18 days, Pawel showed the impressive impact the race had on his legs.
“After 16 steps, my legs are tired,” said the Polish sarcastically.
Rob Hayles, a former British world champion and BBC cycling commentator, acknowledges that at first glance the image is “quite extreme,” but adds that it is not that unusual: “When I was an athlete, I saw a number of cyclists who they had their legs anyway in winter when they’re not training! ”
Hayles explains that, for cyclists, the power / weight ratio is crucial for a Grand Tour, marked by speed and endurance events.
Low body fat is certainly a key factor, but according to experts, these bouncing veins of Pawel’s legs are also the result of the huge amount of blood flowing through the legs of high-performance cyclists.
The blood flow becomes intense to provide more nutrients to the muscles. Vascularization is evident from the low body fat.
Dr. Bradley Launikonis of the University of Queensland’s School of Biomedical Sciences said elite cyclists experience twice the blood flow to their legs compared to “recreational” practitioners. According to him, “the amount of blood that normally goes down to the legs is five liters per minute. For an athlete out of the training phase, the maximum exercise will be 20 liters per minute. These elite cyclists will double, about 40 liters per minute. The blood can also stay there and that’s what’s happening in this extreme case of the photo.