Team RadioShack’s Chechu Rubiera Shares his Nutrition Secrets
As one of the more experienced stars of Team RadioShack, Jose Luis "Chechu" Rubiera has seen many changes in the world of professional cycling, not least when it comes to nutrition. In this exclusive interview, he tells Simon Burch how refuelling once meant munching on fruit - and why he has to dodge flying bars at feed stations.
Chechu's ability to recover properly will come to the fore in September when he takes part in the highlight of his 2010 season - the Vuelta a Espana.
"I won't be in the Tour de France team, so that it is the one I am most looking forward to," he says. "I am looking forward to riding up in the north of Spain, in the Basque Country, Galicia and in two stages in Asturias, which is my home region."
It is when he is back in Asturias, - or in his home town of Muñó-Siero to be precise, that Chechu indulged himself in his favourite comfort food - fabada, a local stew containing large white beans, shoulder of pork or bacon, black pudding and spicy chorizo sausage.
"It is heavy, strong food," says Chechu, "and typical of my region. People used to eat it before working hard and many times when I go home to my parents' home I will have some.
"But only once in a while, once a month maybe. I do believe that even during a season you need some food that you crave. It is good for the head, because if you are always thinking about food and you can't have it, that's worse than trying a little bit of it."
In fact, Chechu advises that athletes should never be shy of eating - as long as it is the right food - when they've got a training regime to fuel.
"People shouldn't get too stressed about food," says Chechu. "Even if they're exercising to lose weight it is important to have good meals every day, and they need to eat every kind of food such as meat, fish, pasta, rice and fruit.
"Just stopping eating while carrying on training won't work. Instead, they should always eat well, but should train harder and longer as well."