This Is How Much a Tour de France Rider Eats, as Seen in Baguettes

updated May 30, 2019
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(Image credit: Susanna Hopler)

With the Tour de France zipping through the countryside this month, I’ve been thinking about what one would have to eat in preparation for a 2,200-mile, 23-day bike race. A person’s typical daily meal plan probably isn’t enough to power the trip, right? So how many calories would you have to consume? I asked Nigel Mitchell, head of nutrition for Cannondale Drapac, an American professional cycling team competing in the race, to break down the diet of the average cyclist for his team.

The menu is actually quite involved, which got me thinking even more: Wouldn’t it be easier if everyone just ate baguettes instead? The competition is in France, after all. Based on Mitchell’s description of an average meal plan (and the calories in an average two-ounce French baguette), here’s what that would actually look like.

(Image credit: Susanna Hopler)
(Image credit: Susanna Hopler)


  • Medium bowl of oatmeal with water (300 calories)
  • 2 to 3 eggs, either scrambled or in an omelet (230 calories)
  • Half an avocado (160 calories)
  • Milled flax seed (60 calories)
  • Juice, orange or vegetable (110 calories)
  • 1 to 2 cups of tea or coffee (5 calories)
  • Water (0 calories)

Total calories: 865

Total baguettes: 5.8

(Image credit: Susanna Hopler)


  • Medium potato, sweet or regular (165 calories)
  • 150 grams of chicken (250 calories)
  • Salad with leaves, tomatoes, and peppers (25 calories)
  • Olive oil (120 calories)
  • Yogurt (100 calories)
  • Water (0 calories)

Total calories: 660

Total baguettes: 4.4

(Image credit: Susanna Hopler)


  • 200 grams of steak (540 calories)
  • 1 cup of quinoa (225 calories)
  • Olive oil (120 calories)
  • Simple salad (25 calories)
  • Water (0 calories)

Total calories: 910

Total baguettes: 6

(Image credit: Susanna Hopler)


  • 5 to 6 paninis — yes, this is considered a “snack” (900 calories)
  • 5 to 6 energy bars (1,200 calories)
  • 5 to 6 energy gels (480 calories)
  • 1 ounce of pistachios (160 calories)
  • Yogurt with honey (165 calories)
  • 5 to 6 rice cakes (600 calories)
  • 5 to 6 Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration drinks (480 calories )

Total calories: 3,985

Total baguettes: 25.6

Total calories for the day: 6,420

Total number of baguettes: 42.8

(Image credit: Susanna Hopler)

Calorie estimates based on the USDA Database.

Cheer on Cannondale-Drapac and the rest of the racers during the 104th edition of the Tour de France, which runs from July 1 through July 23.