Pro riders put down their bikes and go running in the off season

Months and months of cycling takes its toll as pros drop the bike and get their running shoes on, logging their activities on Strava

(Image credit: Giuseppe Milo

It's the off season and for those professional riders who aren't inclined to a bit of mud-filled cyclocross racing, it's the time of year to put the bike down and find a way of switching off without losing every bit of fitness they've got.

In that sense, it seems running is the answer, with a number of pros frequently uploading their runs to Strava.

So if you've ever wanted to beat a professional cyclist, then this might be your best opportunity. Time to get your running shoes on.

Here are five pros who've been pounding the streets this autumn.

Tejay van Garderen


American BMC Racing pro Tejay van Garderen doesn't just like riding his bike up mountains, he apparently likes running up them too. An impressive run with 'Pete from @StrafeOuterwear' posted by van Garderen on October 29 saw him ascend around 850 metres in a 12.9km run – straight up and down a mountain.

The 28-year-old's 2016 Grand Tour campaign may have faltered – he finished 29th in the Tour de France – but he's evidently getting good shape for next season.

Arnaud Démare


Milan-San Remo winner Arnaud Démare was not lounging around on his holiday on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, instead exploring the tropical paradise in his running shoes.

The FDJ Frenchman enjoyed a strong cycling season, not only winning Milan-San Remo but also stages of Paris-Nice, Route du Sud and Tour Méditerranéen.

>>> Which is best – cycling or running?

Lars Petter Nordhaug


Nordhaug likes running so much that he is even listed on Strava as a 'professional runner' rather than cyclist. The Team Sky rider has posted some impressive runs, too, with one of 20km in his native Norway – just short of half marathon distance.

The 2015 Tour de Yorkshire winner will leave Sky at the end of the year after two years with the British team, moving to new Irish Pro Continental outfit Aqua Blue Sport.

Tiesj Benoot


Benoot is one of Belgium's great hopes for the future, with the 22-year-old continuing to impress in his second year as a professional with Lotto-Soudal.

Third in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and the best young rider classification in the Volta ao Algarve show what a versatile rider he is. As Benoot takes a short break before the 2017 season, he's indulging in a few runs to keep himself in shape.

Jan Bakelants


While some of his peloton comrades have been hot-footing it, Jan Bakelants has taken a more leisurely approach to foot-based exercise, posting his dog walk on Strava.

The Belgian pro went on a 7.2km trot with his dog on October 30. Bakelants renewed his contract with French WorldTour team Ag2r La Mondiale for 2017.


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Founded in 1891, Cycling Weekly and its team of expert journalists brings cyclists in-depth reviews, extensive coverage of both professional and domestic racing, as well as fitness advice and 'brew a cuppa and put your feet up' features. Cycling Weekly serves its audience across a range of platforms, from good old-fashioned print to online journalism, and video.