You may believe that a professional cyclist’s diet is a stringent set of regimented requirements, however some days the pro's just need a little nutritional lift like the rest of us.
This is where team chefs earn their keep, by cooking food that will boost their mood whilst still maintaining nutritional discipline.
This gluten free pancake recipe put together by Groupama-FDJ head chef Sean Fowler is perfect for amateurs and pros alike.
“The gluten free pancakes are usually a treat,” explains Fowler.
“If the riders figure that they are good for them, they eat more and that’s less grams of carbohydrates than if they eat a big bowl of oatmeal. So I strategically offer it to them if they need a pick me up or if the start of the race is a little bit later so they have plenty of time to eat and then eat again.”
Makes eight four-inch pancakes
2 large eggs
50g olive oil
75g coconut oil (melted)
275ml rice milk, oat or soy
65g yogurt or kefir
125g buckwheat flour
50g tice flour
50g oat flour
2tsp baking powder
1. Preheat griddle so it is hot enough that water sputters and bounces when dropped on griddle.
2. Use a small amount of olive oil on the griddle to season spreading it evenly with towel.
3. Sift all dry ingredients together and in separated bowl mix well all liquid ingredients. Then add the liquid to dry ingredients not over mixing.
4. Immediately pour onto griddle as this recipe thickens as it sits too long. If need be add little by little more rice milk, not to overdo as ratio will become out of proportion.
This is usually where a healthy pancake goes out the window and the same goes for Fowler and the riders he cooks for.
"Primarily the riders like to eat them with maple syrups," but Fowler also creates a slightly healthier alternative.
"I also make fresh fruit and berry compotes, with agave syrups and lemon juice mixed with the berries over night. So in the morning it’s ready for warming and to pour over fresh cakes."
Pint strawberries, topped and quartered
Half a cup of agave syrup
Juice of 1 lemon
1. Mix berries with syrup and lemon juice and let stand over night in refrigerator.
2. In the morning while preparing pancakes, warm slowly in saucepan.
3. When simmering remove from heat and serve over cakes.
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Paul Knott is a fitness and features writer, who has also presented Cycling Weekly videos as well as contributing to the print magazine as well as online articles. In 2020 he published his first book, The Official Tour de France Road Cycling Training Guide (Welbeck), a guide designed to help readers improve their cycling performance via cherrypicking from the strategies adopted by the pros.
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