Cyclist shares photo of his legs after riding Le Tour De France
Sports fanatics are always spoilt in the summer months. It all kicks off at the end of June with Wimbledon, when it suddenly becomes acceptable to eat bizarre amounts of strawberries and cream and wash them down with a pint, or two, of prosecco. Certainly, if you can't find a Brit come lunch-time; they will inevitably be huddled around the nearest television, shouting abuse at Federer, Nadal or Murray. Then, providers, obviously in a quest to avoid riots, cleverly schedule the prestigious Tour de France in July, ensuring that the sporty ones among us can truly make the most of the great British summertime.
This year's Tour de France ended on 23rd July, but all of us cycling fans are pretty much awaiting next year's race with beady-eyed excitement already. However, the race, which has been held annually since 1903 (barring WWI and WWII), is an exercise in willpower and steadfast determination, lasting for three weeks and covering around 3,500 kilometres. So as keen as we all are for the next one, you can see why certain bikers most certainly need a break when it finishes.
Namely, Polish cyclist Pawel Poljanski who posted an unbelievable photo of the toll the competition had taken on his legs in the third week of Tour de France.
The 27-year-old took to social media after the conclusion stage 16 to document his incredibly worn-out legs. The cyclist, who is a domestique for the German team Bora-Hansgrohe, posted a picture of his vascular and sun-ravaged legs which he captioned, "after sixteen stages I think my legs look [a] little tired". You may, however, think that's a major understatement once you see the picture.
Naturally, the picture quickly went viral with many commenters expressing concern that such a thing couldn't "be healthy". Edfryer summed up all viewers' shock by writing: "@jonnywong christ on a bike", while @sasa.draskovic advised Poljanski to stop riding, writing: "Do not do that anymore, my friend."
It's no surprise that the long-distance biker was feeling a bit sore as that Tuesday in Le tour de France was one of the tougher days for Bora-Hansgrohe. Poljanski and his partner, Marcus Burghardt repeatedly attempted to go away in the break but were deterred by the threat of crosswinds later in the stage and so the peloton quickly pulled them back in. He ultimately came in as 65th on the stage, a whole one minute and 43 seconds behind the winner, Australian Michael Matthews who rides for UCI WorldTeam Team Sunweb.
Speaking to ABC News, Dr Bradley Launikonis from the University of Queensland's School of Biomedical Science tells us not to worry too much about Poljanski's legs:
"The amount of blood that we get normally going down to our legs is five litres per minute, for anyone at rest. For an untrained athlete, their maximum exercise will have 20 litres per minute flowing through the muscles."
But the amount of blood in trained athletes is substantially more, he continues:
"One of these elite cyclists will have double that, about 40 litres per minute. They have massive volumes of blood moving through [...] The blood can pool there and that's what's happening in this extreme case. There is blood pooling in his veins which is why you're seeing them (so visibly)."
However, despite how concerned the internet were about his legs, you'll be happy to hear that Poljanski is fine and dandy. A few days later he posted a picture of him and polish racer Maciej Bodnar enjoying a well-earned beer in the pub. I have to say, whilst Pawel's legs certainly show off his all his years of training, I do hope that he takes a very long holiday now the Tour de France is over, where any and every form of exercise is strictly prohibited.