After emphatic wins in the Durham and Edinburgh rounds of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series, Jon Mould talks us through how he fuels himself for an evening crit

After a successful season racing the Tour Series crits 
in 2013, the Welshman 
joined debutant Tour Series team NFTO Pro Cycling for 2014.

Mould won the first round and also led the sprint competition coming into round two. However, he was unable to replicate his win from earlier in the week, but did hold on to the sprint leader’s jersey.

We spoke to Mould after the second round, in Barrow, to get the lowdown on how he fuels his way through a long day to be ready for an intense evening race.

Despite not spending particularly long on the bike, with an hour spin in the morning to loosen the legs, a 30-minute warm-up and a hard hour’s racing, Mould still needs to ensure he’s fully fuelled. Getting this right throughout the day is key to being ready to perform in the fast and furious evening race.

Breakfast
At around 8.30am I had two cups of coffee, an orange juice, a bowl of muesli and scrambled eggs on toast. We then went for ride — an hour’s spin — before showering at the hotel and heading to the course for lunch in the Winnebago.

Muesli is high in fibre and wholegrains, this helps with digestion as well as giving a feeling of fullness. Having this for breakfast ensures Mould is well fuelled and by adding eggs to his breakfast menu, he is also making sure that these energy levels are sustained during the day.

In addition to increased energy levels, the high level of protein provided by the eggs will leave him feeling satisfied for longer. Mould doesn’t eat much fruit or take any supplements, so the glass of orange juice he has is very important. This will give him some vitamin C — useful to help ward off the colds that are common among riders with all the intense racing during the Tour Series.

Lunch
We had a bit of a spread laid out on the bus for everyone at around one o’clock. I had a ham and cheese baguette, some rice as well as a big salad with tomatoes and tuna. Throughout the day I drank a lot of water.

It’s always nice to have a choice in what to eat and sometimes when at a venue this isn’t possible. The spread NFTO put on is a good idea as it enables riders to choose from nutritious food that will fuel them properly. Mould sticks to quite simple foods and loads up with carbohydrates in anticipation of the evening’s race.

He also has a tuna salad — this tops up vital mineral and vitamin levels which will help keep him healthy during the series. The tuna is a good choice as the omega-3 fatty acids found in this oily fish regulate metabolism and lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Mould also keeps his hydration in check — this was particularly important at Barrow where it was quite humid and riders lost a lot of fluid through perspiration.

Pre-race
At about four in the afternoon I have another baguette with Nutella or sometimes a bowl of cereal. I try not to eat too much because I prefer to feel a bit lighter — the Tour Series races are always flat out. Just before the race I do a 30-40 minute roller warm-up and have one CNP gel. I race with a bottle of water on the bike, but it hardly gets touched!

As Mould points out you don’t want anything laying heavy in your stomach just before a big race effort. So a good three and a half hours before the race he had another baguette to sustain him until the race; eating it this long before the race means it’ll be properly digested by the time he’s racing so there’s no worry of it causing any stomach issues.

“By eating a good three and a half hours before the race, Mould gives himself plenty of time to fully digest his food”

Just before the race Mould has a gel — this would give him that extra boost of energy ready for a fast start. Taking just water is a good idea as during these intense races riders often find their mouths getting dry. However, due to the relentless pace he doesn’t actually get to drink much. As he has fuelled himself well and kept hydrated throughout the day this isn’t too much of an issue as the race is only an hour long.

Post-race
Straight after the race I have a CNP Elite Recover recovery drink and then a sandwich.
Mould will probably be racing two crits a week, along with any weekend races on his calendar, for a month. This means ensuring after each race he does everything he can to aid a fast and effective recovery ready for the next event.

The first step for doing this is refuelling properly; this includes having a recovery drink as soon as possible and then eating within an hour. Doing this ensures protein and carbohydrate levels are topped up again. Getting protein on board quickly optimises muscle adaptation, vital for a speedy recovery.

CNP recovery drinks contain an optimal amount of multi-source carbohydrate to deliver a solid dose of energy, along with the much-needed protein, when your body is depleted. Having food soon after is needed to top up this refuelling process and ensure riders are ready for the next day’s riding.