sports

OH, HELL NO. This is what a human's legs look like after the Tour de France.

It’s not like we thought the Tour de France was easy. One hundred and ninety eight riders racing over 21 stages (five of which are mountains) for a total distance of 1540km.

It’s clearly a fair bit harder than your average spin class.

But holy pelaton! Would you take a look at what it does to your pins!

After sixteen stages I think my legs look little tired ???? #tourdefrance

A post shared by Paweł Poljański (@p.poljanski) on

The snap, which has since coasted around the world, was posted to Instagram on Wednesday by Polish cyclist Pawel Poljanski.

Aside from an oddly confined knee tan, the Bora-Hansgrohe rider was sporting veins so elevated they looked like they were about to bust through his skin.

“After sixteen stages I think my legs look little tired,” he wrote.

The pic recalls that shared by Poljanski’s fellow countryman Bartosz Huzarski after the 18th stage back in 2014.

After sharing the image, the now-retired rider was forced to defend himself against accusations of doping prompted by the prominent veins.

ADVERTISEMENT

“For me it’s totally not a revelation, because I can see this view — maybe not everyday — but still often, especially after a hard race at high temperature,” Huzarski wrote on his Facebook page at the time.

“People write and think different things, ‘that is impossible’, ‘that is not normal’, ‘it is unhealthy’, refer to doping, etc.

“Of course I will not have legs like Victoria’s Secret models, or Mary from the nearby vegetable shop, or anyone working in an office who does a 10km bike ride or an hour run three times a week.

“This, what you see in the picture … is not unhealthy.”

tour de france cyclist legs
Bartosz Huzarski's legs in 2014. Image: Facebook.

As Dr Bradley Launikonis from the University of Queensland's School of Biomedical Science told the ABC, while most of us would experience 20 litres of blood flowing to our legs per minute during exercise, elite cyclists will have as much as 40 litres.

"There's a high level of blood being pushed into his legs for long periods of time, and it's still in there post-exercise," he told the outlet.

"It's not going to happen to someone who's doing recreational exercise. It's clearly something that's only going to happen in elite athletes, like these guys riding in massive cycling events."

00:00 / ???