There are quite a few stories about the alcoholic excesses that happen when top bike riders get in the party mood, but it's quite a surprise to hear about one drinking during a race.Ex Pro Vin Densen is currently writing his biography and makes reference to one of the sports biggest names: Rik Van Looy.
" My job on hot stages in the Tour was to fetch bottles of beer for Van Looy, and he could really get through them. A long climb meant six bottle, and once when I'd forgotten the bottle opener, a team-mate showed me how to use the teeth of my chainring to prise it off."
Van Looy admitted liking a beer or two during a race, saying "it didn't have an effect on me. My body was like a furnace, it burned anything when I was riding hard".
Tom Ward, an English pro rider in the Nineties reckoned that a beer was just the job after a hard race. "Your body is acid after a race, beer is alkaline, so it helps redress the balance."
Hmmm sometimes quotes come back to haunt ya.