How They Pee in The Tour

From Editors at

The cyclists in the Tour de France ride over 100 kilometers almost every day, climb massive mountains, descend at warp speed down twisty pavement, and finish it all off with a furious sprint. With the hours on hours they spend in the saddle every day, we’re curious about one simple thing: How do these riders pee?

If you’ve ever been well hydrated on a ride longer than three hours, nature has probably called—and she doesn’t like to be ignored. So what do you do when you’re riding at around 25 miles per hour in a race with 200 other riders and you’ve got to go?RELATED STORYThe Fastest Bikes of the Tour de France

In the Tour and many other big races, the race leader (in this case, the guy wearing the yellow jersey) is king. If he has to go, he can call a bathroom break whenever he desires, says Stephen Hall, a professional track and criterium cyclist and a stage winner at the 2015 Tour of Thailand. If that happens, a bathroom break is like an oasis in the desert—you take advantage of it when you see it. The peloton will slow up a bit out of respect for the race leader, and you’ll pull over to the side of the road. Once your business is finished, you’ll work together to navigate back to pack.

Retired pro cyclist Ted King, who’s ridden the Tour de France several times, confirms Hall’s account. When the pace is more leisurely, “riders pull to the side of the road, pull their shorts down just like you would underwear—you know, pull front down, do your business,” he says. During a neutral roll out, King says there’s plenty of time to catch back on to the peloton before the race starts in earnest.

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