Fränk Schleck: Nutrition is the central element of a top athlete's lifestyle
The organizer of the Schleck Gran Fondo and other cycling experiences, Fränk Schleck, talks about the importance of good nutrition in the daily life of a top athlete and his plans after the Tour de France.
How important is nutrition in the diet of a top athlete?
It is critical for a high-level athlete, especially during competitions like the Tour de France. A high-calorie intake becomes necessary, along with nutrient-rich foods and healthy fats. Pasta is often mentioned, but foods such as oils and dried fruits also have their place because they are easy to digest and eat on the go when competing. Outside of competitions, professional cyclists can cycle up to 35,000 km for their training, so it’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle throughout the year and receive guidance from a nutrition coach.
"I remain a sportsman above all and try to concentrate as much as possible on cycling"
What is your favourite anecdote from the Tour de France and why?
There are many, but the best one would be sharing the podium with my brother Andy during the Tour de France. Cycling is a family affair for us. My father participated in the Tour de France seven times. For as long as I can remember, sports, especially cycling, have been a big part of my life at home. My older brother raced, I started a cycling career, and then my other brother Andy followed in our footsteps. We shared this passion throughout our careers, though Andy had to stop three years before me because of a knee problem. These choices required a lot of sacrifices from not only us but our families as well. We really grew up with cycling!
What are your professional projects after the Tour de France?
I remain a sportsman above all and try to concentrate as much as possible on the practice of cycling. Aside from that, I am the national cycling coordinator for the Luxembourg Cycling Federation and, as such, I coach and support our future athletes, especially in their nutrition. Through the Federation, I also promote the practice of cycling in Luxembourg according to three main objectives. First, to encourage soft mobility in a country like Luxembourg which is notorious for its difficulties with traffic management. Secondly, to show how cycling as a sports practice can play an important preventive role in the field of health. And finally, how Luxembourg has a great card to play in cycling tourism so we can make this sport a real attraction for tourists from around the world.