Post-Tour Syndrome is no joke. Us Antipodean spectators may not have it as bad as the riders themselves, but the sudden loss of our nightly cycling fix can come as a shock to the system if you don’t manage it properly. This five-step program will help you readjust to non-Tour life…. well, mostly.
1) Get some sleep
If you’re anything like us, you’ve been operating on between four and six hours of sleep a night. Even with the rest days and the odd tactical nap during sprint stage, that’s a whole lot of sleep debt built up.
So, first and foremost, GO TO BED. Get an early night and sleep for at least ten hours. Everything will look a little brighter in the morning. Just ask the chaps from Etixx-Quickstep:
2) Clean up your diet
Late nights watching skinny pros dancing up climbs goes hand in hand with fatty foods, sugary treats and booze. Just check out this parade of #toursnacks shame (tasty, tasty shame).
It’s time to clean up your diet. Lay off the vino for a couple of weeks. Eat liberal amounts of fruit and vegetables - perhaps even (shock horror) a salad. Why not make use of some of Gabriel Gate’s recipes, like this wholesome chicken and capsicum casserole. Put some good fuel into your body and the jet lag feelings will soon recede.
3) Reconnect with friends and family
Remember your long-suffering partner and/or your kids? The people who’ve been putting up with your grumpy mornings, mid-afternoon energy slumps and overexcited speculation about whether Sagan or Greipel will take the green jersey?
Well it’s payback time. Make a special effort to treat your nearest and dearest, whether that’s taking them out for an alfresco lunch, a trip to the zoo or even just a walk in the bush. It’ll remind them that you’re not just a Tour zombie, as well as reminding you that other things exist than a three-week bike race in France.
4) Ride your bike
It’s been cold, dark and wet for ages. Chances are the inclement weather plus the 2am finishes have meant that your bike has been left abandoned more mornings than not.
It’s time to change that. OK, it’s still chilly in the mornings but sunrise is getting earlier and spring is becoming more than just a distant dream. So, pull out your trusty steed, get your local bike shop to check it over, and get riding - even if it’s just to and from work.
If you need more convincing, just check out this excerpt from upcoming mountain bike movie Unreal for some instant inspiration.
5) Relive the race
If you’ve done all the above and you’re still pining for the sight of Froomey and Quintana in the Alps, as well as Tomo’s dulcet tones. Simply relive the best of the Tour with full stage replays on SBS On Demand or pre-order the SBS highlights DVD.
We recommend watching stages while you’re on the home trainer - that way, you can pass off your Tour addiction as ‘training’… at least for a little while. Here’s the replay of stage 1 to get you started.
Follow these five easy steps, and you’ll soon be cured of Post-Tour Syndrome. After all, the sooner you get over the Tour, the sooner you’ll be able to start preparing for the Vuelta a Espana - when we get to do the whole thing all over again.
The Spanish Grand Tour kicks off on Saturday 22 August - see you on the start line!