What does it take to make it to the Tour de France not just once, but ten times in a nearly 20 year career as a professional cyclist? A great attitude, a sense of humor about what you do, really strong legs, and a perfectly dialed training and nutrition routine. That’s what Laurens ten Dam has, and at 37, he’s still sitting midpack at the halfway point of this year’s Tour.
The Team Sunweb rider isn’t even necessarily there to grab spots for himself in the race: he’s helping team leader Tom Dumoulin, who had some rough luck early on in the race but has clawed his way back to 11th place, 3 minutes and 42 seconds down from race leader Greg Van Avermaet.
But ten Dam isn’t a stranger to being at the front of the race. He’s finished in the top 10 there in 2014, and has top-10 overall finishes at the Tour of California, the Tour Down Under, the Tour de Suisse and the Vuelta a España as well. This year, he was 35th overall in the Giro d’Italia, another classic European race. In his ten years racing the Tour, he’s broken his face in a dramatic, blood-soaked fashion (but finished the stage) and dislocated a shoulder (but finished the stage).
So how does a 37-year-old compete against fellow racers, especially those who are technically young enough to be his children? He’s still focusing on training, but recovery has become much more important over the years. That’s where SP2 comes in, with more antioxidants than strawberries, a full range of necessary amino acids, a full complement of B vitamins, and more iron than spinach.
"For a professional cyclist, eating well is a big part of your job,” he writes. He eats clean—plenty of vegetables and quality meats, but isn’t above enjoying a glass of wine, a beer, or a plate of pancakes. But those indulgences only come after he’s properly recovered from a ride using clean, simple foods rather than relying on chemical-filled powders and supplements.
A coffee connoisseur and a pancake-and-bacon lover, ten Dam uses SP2 to up his nutrient intake on a daily basis—especially important during major stage races like the Tour, with huge caloric and nutritional demands. And when he’s off the bike, the Dutch racer can be found running his Live Slow, Ride Fast Podcast, planning his Gravel Raid ride that’s set to take place in September, or acting as editor for Bicycling Netherlands.