The TDF can have some high-stress, high-focus moments. When the heat is on, what do riders reach for to stay fueled? Learn how riders use gels during these moments to their benefit and how much they'll need to be consuming.
High velocities demand seamless fueling – you can't afford to remove your hands from the bars much. Gels are the ideal on-the-go fuel, consumable at breakneck speeds of 50 km/h or more.
If you're still haunted by memories of the sticky, unappetizing gels from the past then we've got good news. Gels are making a triumphant return, revamped with innovative technology and formulas that morph their texture to a more 'liquid' form (think SiS, NEVERSECOND, Powerbar, Enervit). Some even have a jelly-like consistency (à la Maurten).
These more fluid or 'isotonic' gels are a game-changer.
They're effortless to consume at high speeds or mid-climb, require no accompanying water for digestion, and offer a genuinely enjoyable taste experience. They’re one of the most reliable forms of quick fuel out there.
Now, let's shed light on the newest Gels making a splash at this year's Tour de France.
Top Gels at The TDF
Enervit has co-created a gel with Tadej Pogacar, named the C2:1PRO Carbo Chewable Gel. Packing an impressive 40g of carbs per Gel, meaning you need to carry fewer gels and aim for one every 30 minutes.
NEVERSECOND has recently introduced a unique Ice Gel that is out of this world! Store it in your freezer, and it emerges tasting like an iced treat. It doesn't solidify, so it's ready to use the moment it leaves the freezer. With a standard 30g of carbs like all NEVERSECOND gels, it doubles as a personal ice vest in your pocket on a hot day – an edible coolant! We expect to see 5 teams using it at the Tour.
Science in Sport has a fresh contender, the Beta Fuel Gel, co-developed with the scientific minds at Team Ineos. Matching the Enervit Gel, it too provides 40g of carbs, aligning with the latest trend. Pidcock will be relying on this gel as he vies for the yellow jersey. At the request of Team Ineos, it's a pure energy source devoid of artificial sweeteners.
How Much Will They Take?
The riders will likely take in 2-3 gels per hour during high-velocity, high-intensity stages like the flat ones. This will give them around 50-80g of carbs in gels alone! They can pair that with more hydration in the bottles (and some more carbs) because the flatter stages often mean hotter stages.
The Ultimate Gel Try-Out Pack: 9 Top Ranked Gels:
- NEVERSECOND Citrus Gel - formulated using 30g increments of carbs
- Maurten Gel 100 - uses hydrogel technology to help carb absorption
- Maurten Gel Caf 100 - offers 100mg of caffeine
- Enervit C2:1PRO Carbo Gel - 40g of carbs in a single 60ml format
- SiS Beta Fuel Gel - Tastes amazing and offers 40g of carbs and 30mg of sodium
- SiS Isotonic Gel - 22g of carbs (compared to 40g in the Beta Fuel) and do not require water to consume
- Endurance Tap - pure maple syrup, sea salt and ginger (100% Natural)
- Precision Fuel PF 30 Gel - 30g of carbs, caffeine free with a nice neutral flavor
- GU Roctane Gel - Calorie dense, thicker consistency need water to consume
The general fueling advice for Gels is to consume one every 20 minutes for the gels that are 25g to 30g of carbs. The new 40g gels can be consumed every 30 minutes.