Michael Matthews feasts on pizza during Pais Vasco stage four

After doing the hard work to get Simon Yates in contention on stage four, Michael Matthews snacked on some pizza as he climbed the final mountain to Arrate

Maintaining a healthy diet is a key part of being a professional cyclist, but that doesn't mean they can't indulge in a little comfort food every now and again; even while riding a race.

Orica-GreenEdge's Michael Matthews, who held the leader's jersey after day one at the Tour of the Basque Country, helped himself to a slice of pizza on stage four's final climb to Arrate on Thursday.

Having worked hard to keep Simon Yates in contention on the mountainous stage - the Brit finished third - Matthews took advantage of the fact that some kind fans were handing out slices of pizza to the riders.

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While many riders would be cautious about taking provisions from roadside spectators, in case they are laced with clenbuterol or other such illicit substances, it's not an uncommon sight.

Matthews' fellow Australian Adam Hansen famously swigged a pint of beer while going through Dutch Corner on Alpe d'Huez.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oh_OA2imdqE

The charismatic Lotto Soudal rider also found time to swag a fan's waterpistol on his way to winning stage 19 of last year's Vuelta a España.

Adam Hansen on stage nineeen of the 2014 Tour of Spain

Adam Hansen on stage nineeen of the 2014 Tour of Spain
(Image credit: Watson)

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Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.