Half an hour after Tadej Pogačar had crossed the line first at the top of La Super Planche des Belles Filles, the awaiting press pack at the team buses were treated to an intriguing sight: Adam Yates taking a bath.
The Ineos Grenadiers rider had just finished ninth on stage seven of the Tour de France, conceding 29 seconds to the race leader, plus the bonus ten, and after riding 7km back down the mountain, popped on his trunks and settled in for a bath.
Not a shower on the bus, as is usual for riders coming back from a stage finish, not even a quick warm-down spin on a turbo trainer, as is customary (this is what his teammate Geraint Thomas did), but a cold bath.
The answer as to why is pretty straightforward: he likes to cool down as soon as possible. He was the only one of the Ineos team to jump into the inflatable bath, more of a paddling pool than the one you would find in your bathroom. It looked good though, on a day of soaring temperatures in eastern France.
"It's there for any of them, but Adam always sort of likes it, and I think he likes it when it has been quite warm like this," Rod Ellingworth, Ineos' deputy team principal, said as Yates climbed out of the bath, and the contents were poured away.
"He always tries to cool himself down as soon as he can, so he does a pretty good job with it. It's one of the logistical challenges of trying to move these things around. Without having an extra vehicle and so forth.
"We just try to do it any old way we can. It may look a bit daft, but it works. It works to cool someone down. Simple as really."
Yates has said before that he has suffered in the heat at times, partially blaming it for losing time at the Tour in 2018, so it makes sense that it is something that he has kept very much on top of at this year's race. He is still just 1-18 off the yellow jersey in fourth place in the general classification.
It might not have been a luxury affair, but it still looked like it was needed as the temperature went over 24 degrees Celsius on Friday. It remains to be seen if it will help him in the race.
New marginal gain? Ice bath post-race for Adam Yates. #TDF2022 pic.twitter.com/r3RfIxYpDyJuly 8, 2022
Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1