Christoph is used to having a support team, capable of carrying supplies to deal with any issue or emergency, so it’s interesting to see what he’s prioritised carrying when space is at a premium. His medical kit is more sufficient than the average rider and he carried a healthy supply of spares, with four spokes and two spare cleats. Importantly, however, none of the ‘extras’ he’s carried add significant weight or volume to his pack list, proving how considered his choices are.
Feeling the Heat
Usually, riders in the TCR complain of excessive heat, so it’s interesting to see Christoph packing thermal layers. That said, many riders carry an insulated gilet or jacket and Christoph was frequently photographed wearing his thermal layer unzipped, so it may be that he found the best of both worlds with a layering system that was warm enough for the cold nights, but not so warm that he had to stop and change his layers frequently as it warmed up during the day. Heat management and layering depend heavily on the individual but this is the first time we can recall seeing this approach at the TCR.
It’s not uncommon to see hydration tabs in a rider’s kit list, but Christoph is perhaps the first we’ve seen cross the finish line with a box of salt. Clearly, replenishing salt in the heat is important and Christoph has re-stocked mid-race. Racers often resort to salty foods but it’s not uncommon to sprinkle some salt in your bidon and a packet of salt is often easier to find than some hydration tablets or ‘proper’ sports hydration drink.
A Pacing Masterclass
While Christoph’s kit list offers some insights into how he approached the TCR, coming from a supported background, it was his pacing that really shone through as the driving force behind his fast and efficient finish time. During the early stages of the race, Christoph was one of the few front runners clearly riding to his own pace. While the race leaders were pushing each other to breaking point, Christoph was riding like a metronome and managing his effort. As riders tired and slowed down around him, he continued to pick up pace and gradually reeled in the race leaders before taking the lead himself to catch the decisive ferry and put an entire night of riding between himself and the second finisher.