How many calories do you burn winning the World Championship road race?

It’s the equivalent of six margherita pizzas, according to Remco Evenepoel's Strava data

Remco evenpoel celebrates in rainbow jersey
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Remco Evenepoel is a remarkable talent. At just 22 years old, the Belgian became the road world champion on Sunday, holding off the peloton as he soloed to victory in Wollongong, Australia

So commanding was his ride, that he finished with over two minutes to spare. Evenepoel averaged 42.2km/h around the 267km course, a speed that becomes even more impressive when you consider he spent an hour out front by himself.  

So, how much energy does it take to pull off such a superhuman effort? 

After the race, the Belgian shared his Garmin file on Strava, concealing his power numbers and heart rate data. Among the figures left, however, was an estimate of his total calories burned.

Over the course of six hours, Evenepoel used up 6,005 calories of energy, more than twice the recommended daily intake of an adult man. 

To the sports nutrition layman, it can be difficult to visualise just how much food 6,000 calories represents. Well, in search of an equivalent comparison, we found the perfect match - pizza.  

Last year, Evenepoel penned a five-year deal with Pizza Hut, becoming an ambassador of the restaurant chain in Belgium.

The 6,005 calories Evenepoel burned in his rainbow jersey-winning ride is the equivalent of six of the restaurant's individual-sized margherita pizzas. If he’s a stuffed crust guy, he could eat two and a half large ones to regain his energy deficit.

Residents in Belgium might also be aware that Evenepoel has his own ‘Remco Edition’ pizza, which is plant-based and topped with Beyond Meat. If, as we are led to believe, this is his dish of choice, then the new world champion could tuck into two large ones to take on 6,200 calories. 

When the 22-year-old signed with the restaurant chain last March, he said in a statement: “Of course I have to pay attention to what I eat, but I also need relaxation and good food. Then I dare to order a pizza from Pizza Hut.”

After his effort on Sunday, Evenepoel certainly deserved to call in a feast. 

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Tom Davidson
News and Features Writer

Tom joined Cycling Weekly as a news and features writer in the summer of 2022, having previously contributed as a freelancer. He is the host of The TT Podcast, which covers both the men's and women's pelotons and has featured a number of prominent British riders. 

An enthusiastic cyclist himself, Tom likes it most when the road goes uphill and actively seeks out double-figure gradients on his rides. 

He's also fluent in French and Spanish and holds a master's degree in International Journalism.