How Do Tour de France Cyclists Pee?

By James O Malley on at

During the Tour de France riders consume a staggering 8,000 calories per day, including 1,500 during the race itself in liquid form. So it perhaps easy to wonder... umm, where does it go? How do cyclists pee during the race?

The answer, it seems, involves an unwritten set of rules.

One popular theory is that the yellow jersey is often in charge of pee breaks, signalling when the entire peloton should pull over at the side of the road and answer nature's call.

But peeing isn't always so easy to schedule. What happens if a rider really needs to go?

It seems that it is just a case of pulling over. Mark Cavendish explained his tactics to GQ: "Some riders maybe take two, three, four pisses during the race. I go right at the beginning of the stage."

"Some guys lift up their shorts and go. Normally, if you’re on a slight downhill, you can kind of just move to the side of the group and continue while you do it on the bike. Or you can get a teammate to push you."

Peeing while riding is fairly common. So much so that camera operators filming the races have to be careful to not get peeing riders in shot. Though they aren't always successful, as this clip shows:

There is honour amongst pissers too. I is apparently very poor form to go on the attack while someone is taking a leak. If you do, you're likely to have all of the other riders gang up on you. It is very unsportsman-like behaviour.

But hey, if you think this is weird, spare a thought to the pros competing in Iron Man Triathlons, which apparently have penalties for public nudity, so competitors will often just wet themselves.

And finally, I know what you're thinking. What if riders need to use the toilet for other business?

According to the Washington Post the best you can do is hope that a spectator along the way has a motorhome with built-in plumbing, as shown in this Vine:

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Perhaps professional cycling isn't as glamorous as we thought?