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Harry Tanfield's scorecard

British Road Cycling Championships

Sunday 17th October, 2021

Within recommended ranges

Just outside recommended ranges

Significantly outside recommended ranges

  • 109g

    Carb per hour
  • 550mg

    Sodium per hour
  • 506ml

    Fluid per hour
  • 1,088mg/L

    Relative sodium concentration
  • 2.15mg/kg

    Caffeine per bodyweight
  • How Harry hit those numbers

    80g x Porridge oats with raisins and fruit
    1 x Small portion of plain basmati rice
    1 x Coffee
    1 x Caffeine gum (100mg caffeine)
    1 x Energy oat bar (25g carb)
    2L x PF Carb & Electrolyte Drink Mix
    -400ml x Additional fluid in mixed drinks
    4 x Energy gel (22g carb)
    1 x Energy gel with caffeine (22g carb, 75mg caffeine)
    1 x Energy gel (40g carb)
    0.5 x Energy chew packet (46g carb)
    300ml x Energy drink mix (80g carb)
    0.5 x Energy bar (40g carb)
    1 x Team energy gel (30g carb)

    How Harry's hydration and fueling went...

      • Harry Tanfield, professional cyclist who currently rides for Team Qhubeka NextHash, finished 4th at the British National Road Championships on what was a wet and chilly day. The 166km race was made up of 13-laps with ~1,200m total elevation of which the main climb was ridden on cobbles. Harry commented that it was an interesting race!
      • Despite the cool UK conditions, Harry hit impressive fluid and sodium numbers which addressed his high sweat sodium concentration. On top of this, he exceeded the Quick Carb Calculator’s recommendations for his carbohydrate intake (>100g/hr) whilst maintaining good gastrointestinal comfort (nice one Harry!)


      • One challenge of Harry’s across the four hour race was to tread a fine line between staying well enough hydrated that dehydration wasn’t a performance limiter but not so hydrated that he experienced any desire to pee as he commented that “it was not the kind of race where you can (or want to) stop to pee so you need to be careful not to overdrink”
      • On average, he consumed ~506ml/hr (16oz/hr) which mainly came from carb-rich fluids that he was using as a means to hit a high carbohydrate intake. Overall this is an adequate fluid intake given conditions were cool (~12℃/54°F)
      • That said, when asked how he would rate his hydration strategy, Harry said 7 and thinks he did finish “a bit dehydrated and could have maybe taken on some plain water”, but once again mentioned the need to balance his fluid intake with the need to pee
      • Contrary to this, he did comment that some plain water may have helped the gels he took in the final hour to sit better in his stomach
      • Harry’s sodium intake was ~550 milligrams per hour which when we account for his fluid intake was a relative sodium concentration of ~1,088mg/L. We know that Harry is a salty sweater and so a higher than average sodium replacement would be our recommendation. On this occasion, Harry’s intake was optimal as conditions were cold and his sweat losses were unlikely to be too high, even despite his high workrate
      • In line with the above, Harry experienced no cramping, something which has been a problem in the past and would suggest he under-did his sodium, and no strong craving for plain water either; something which would indicate he’d overdone it


    Quick Carb Calculator Recommendation


    carb 30 mins before


    carb per hour during
      • The start of the race was delayed by 20 minutes so Harry decided to have an oat energy bar containing ~25g of carb as well as a piece of caffeine gum, providing him with 100mg caffeine prior to the start. This is in line with our Quick Carb Calculator recommendations and will have provided him with a spike in blood glucose levels at the onset of riding and sparing his glycogen stores for later
      • Harry fueled the Championship with a combination of energy drink mixes, gels, chews as well as half of an energy bar. He started the race with two pre-mixed 600ml bottles containing PF 30 Energy Drink Mix and four energy gels in his pockets, including one containing caffeine
      • As the race progressed, he was given a further two bottles of energy drink mix and took another three gels passed to him by the team
      • On average, Harry consumed a hugely impressive hourly carbohydrate intake of ~109g/hr. This figure does include his carbohydrate intake 30 minutes prior to the start but even excluding his oat bar in the final 25 minutes, Harry’s average intake was still in excess of 100g/hr, which is very commendable and reflects what is being touted more and more frequently as a possible intake for elite athletes (>90g/hr)
      • This is especially true amongst very well-trained cyclists and triathletes on the bike but, runners take note, >100g/hr can be a very different prospect for many reasons, not least the physical jostling of the gut that occurs when pounding the pavements
      • The use of a mixture of carbohydrate sources can help high carbohydrate doses be tolerated better as to some extent it appears to prevent the stomach becoming overwhelmed with too much of one thing (for example if an athlete used solely energy drinks for their fuel). Harry’s high carbohydrate intake is also without a doubt made possible by having a well-trained gastrointestinal system
      • When asked about his level of GI comfort during the race, Harry said it was 8. He said ‘at the back end of the race, I wasn’t feeling sick, but I felt like I’d had a lot of food’. Further to this, Harry said ‘but I’m used to feeling like that, it’s expected, I’ve trained my body to it’
      • Somewhat unsurprisingly with this high carbohydrate intake, Harry also rated his energy levels highly, giving them a 9 out of 10


      • Harry tried to execute a tactical race at the National Road Championships which included a significant climb (~500m at ~10% gradient) each lap. Knowing that he wasn’t the best climber in the field he aimed to lead at the bottom of each climb, allowing some space to drop back as they ascended, knowing he could catch them again on the flat
      • In the end, Harry finished fourth and rated his overall satisfaction with the race a 9 as a result of not getting on the podium where he had hoped to be. He reflected that he could have changed his tactics to secure third place but he went all in to try and get the win
      • As far as his fueling and hydration strategy are concerned, Harry did a fantastic job at meeting his carbohydrate, fluid and sodium needs. He consumed an hourly carbohydrate intake above recommendations without experiencing any major gut issues, which is a testament to how well adapted and accustomed his body is to this intake

    Key info

    Harry Tanfield



    Overall Time
    Normalised power (Bike)

    Event information

    British Road Cycling Championships
    Tealby, Lincolnshire, England
    17th October, 2021
    Total Distance
    166.0km / 103.1mi

    Race conditions

    Weather Conditions
    Min Temp
    11°C / 52°F
    Max Temp
    12°C / 54°F
    Avg Temp
    12°C / 54°F

    Athlete feedback

    Race Satisfaction
    Hydration rating
    Energy levels
    Toilet stops
    GI comfort
    GI comfort was on the limit at times
    No cramping

    Harry's full stats

     Carbohydrate (g)Sodium (mg)Fluid (ml)Caffeine (mg)Relative sodium concentration (mg/L)
    Total intake4082,0661,9001751,088
    Per hour10955050647

    Data Confidence







    There is an adequate level of accuracy in the data collected and the numbers reported. The athlete manages to recall what they ate and drank including most specifics (brands flavours quantities plausible estimations of volumes). However there are estimations made within the data which affect the overall confidence level in the data reported.

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