Paris, France- July 21st, 2013: The peloton riding on the Seine riverside near the Eiffel Tower during the last stage of the 100th edition of Le Tour de France 2013, in Paris
Food - Drink
Cyclists Eat On The Go When Competing In The Tour De France
The Tour de France is perhaps the most grueling cycling race in the world, and riders need to eat, drink, and refuel while still biking — that’s where musettes come in. The original musettes were provision satchels given to French soldiers during WWI, but today, they are used to feed Tour de France participants in the middle of the race.
Modern musettes are small, long-handled bags of goodies that are handed out to bikers at checkpoints throughout the race. Per Cyclist Weekly, these bags typically contain a bottle of water, asports drink, energy bars, isotonic caffeine gel, rice or fruitcakes, and a can of Coke, which gives tired riders a nice mid-race boost.
The task of handing off musettes requires speed and perfect timing; team assistants distribute the bags throughout a mob of hundreds of riders who don't stop their bicycles. This task could end in thousands of bike crashes if executed incorrectly, so assistants must hold out the bags at the perfect height for passing cyclists to catch.