Some like it hot, and some say they like riding a bike because it helps them lose weight.
That’s probably not what’s going through the minds of cyclists in Spain this week, where it feels like an inferno:
Riders can’t seem to get enough water into their bodies — or over their heads:
“Air temperatures are pushing 100F, and it’s even hotter with the sun beating off the asphalt,” Hood reports.
One team, Tinkoff-Saxo, said its riders were getting up to 12 water bottles a day, although some of that water was poured over their heads to counter the oppressive conditions:
Fabian Cancellara, considered one of the toughest pro cyclists, said on Twitter that he lost the equivalent of about 10 pounds after racing Monday’s stage, adding no matter how much he drank he still got cramps:
The Vuelta is one of pro cycling’s three grand tours, or three-week races, the other two being the Giro d’Italia (Tour of Italy) and the Tour de France.
This year’s Vuelta has a stacked field with top riders such as Chris Froome, Alberto Contador, and Nairo Quintana participating.
To help beat the heat, Contador and his team are using a new “bar vest” for carrying water bottles during the race, as first reported by Peloton magazine:
Coincidentally, Contador, who won the Vuelta in 2012 and is hoping to win again this time, just did the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
He picked a good time to do it:
“When it comes to heat-related illnesses, conditions are generally categorized by severity, with heat stroke — a condition where the body’s core temperature reaches 104 degrees or more — being the most severe,” writes Lacie Glover of U.S. News & World Report. “Early symptoms include nausea, vomiting, dizziness and confusion. If you have these symptoms while in the heat, you should seek medical attention.”
Unfortunately for the riders, things will likely get worse before they get better.
The intense heat in Spain is expected to last for several more days.
Spain’s national tour started Saturday and finishes Sept. 14.