Do you need an off-season break?

Should you follow the pros and take an end-of-season break from cycling? Rob Kemp tackles the tricky business of scheduling downtime for busy amateurs

Image shows a rider training.
(Image credit: Future)

It’s over for me now; I’m going on the piss for the next two months,” Geraint Thomas joked at the end of this year’s Giro d’Italia. OK, that wasn’t really the Welshman’s plan for the rest of the summer, but there was a kernel of truth underlying his comment: once the last big race is out of the way, many elite riders have a lay-off period, when they let cut loose and catch up on the rest and leisure they’ve missed out on.

“These guys have been under a huge amount of stress, both physiological and psychological during the whole season,” explains Vasilis Anastopoulos, team coach with Soudal-Quick Step who works with the likes of Remco Evenepoel and Julian Alaphilippe. “Many have been away from their families for close to 200 days of the year, so they definitely need the break.”

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Rob Kemp
Freelance Writer

Rob Kemp is a London-based freelance journalist with 30 years of experience covering health and fitness, nutrition and sports sciences for a range of cycling, running, football and fitness publications and websites. His work also appears in the national press and he's the author of six non-fiction books. His favourite cycling routes include anything along the Dorset coast, Wye Valley or the Thames, with a pub at the finish.