Graphic image of the legs of a Tour de France rider
Following Tuesday’s stage 16 Bora-hansgrohe rider Pawel Poljanski posted graphic an image of his legs
The second image is from last year during his vacation in Lucca, Tuscany. The second is after finishing the 16th stage of the Tour de France from Le Puy-en-Velay to Romans-sur-Isère, a 165 km stage through France's massive central region before the race hit the Alpes.
His legs reflects the hardness of the stage and the temperature endured. The gruelling exertion undertaken by a pro cyclist expands both the supply of oxygenated blood to the muscles and the extraction of deoxygenated blood, via veins, back to the heart and lungs.
An extremely well trained athlete has far greater blood volume as a whole, referred to as hypervolemia, because of that, their veins are simply fuller. That’s the key difference between your legs or mine and Poljanski’s. An untrained person has around five litres of blood, typically around 50ml per kilo — five per cent — of body mass. A world-class endurance athlete can have two or three litres more in total, and as much as 150ml per kilo — 15 per cent — of body mass.
Quite simply, Poljanski has twice as much blood in his body compared to the average Joe.
Double the blood! No wonder pro riders’ legs occasionally look set to burst!