Work hard, play hard? Ineos-Grenadiers rider is certainly enjoying his time off training, according to a recent interview with The Times. He touched on several subjects, including losing the GIro d’Italia, his diet, and how he lets loose with mates back in Wales.
“The last two weeks, honestly, I think I’ve been drunk 12 out of the 14 nights. Since coming back to Cardiff, it’s been mad. That’s the way you meet your mates. Like, ‘Oh, do you want to catch up? Yeah, let’s go for dinner, or just go down the pub’,” the 37-year-old said. “I don’t drink during the season, apart from the odd drink, but in the off-season you let yourself go. For sure, the tolerance is lower at the start, but I feel like I have a good drinking condition now…that sticks with you and that’s the way I socialize. That blowout–thereal normality–is what I need, because now I’m like, ‘Mate, I really need to just get on my bike and get structured.’”
A few pints is par for the course
For him, getting a bit tipsy is a familiar feeling when he’s back home.
“I don’t know if it’s a British, or an Aussie mentality, the culture of just going out and getting drunk when you’re young,” he added. “That sticks with you and that’s the way I socialize. You go to the pub, meet your mates, have a few pints and go home. And it’s a knock-on effect – you have a few drinks, get the munchies and the next day you’re hungover and you want something salty, bacon or something.
He also says that for his generation, it’s more normal to have alcohol.”
Different story with younger riders
More and more he notices the younger generation avoids the hooch, even during their brief breaks of training in the winter.
“I feel like I’ve been able to enjoy my time,” he said. “It’s rare now that a young rider actually has a drink. Not that you’ve got to have a drink to have a good time. It just shows the difference in the mentality—everything is measured, and they’re all on it 12 months of the year. Even in the off-season they still ride their bikes or they’re running marathons.”
The changes in nutrition
As well as his liquid diet, he also spoke of how nutrition in general has changed over the course of his career. Gone are the days of reduced carbohydrate training sessions.
“Having a bit of a crazy diet back then definitely affected your mood, but that’s a big change. We…