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How to Coach A Tour de France Champion with Iñigo San Millán

BY TrainingPeaks CoachCast Host Dirk Friel

Learn how Coach Iñigo San Millán identified the talent of Tour de France Winner, Tadej Pogačar and coached him to his 2020 victory.

Winning the Tour de France is no easy feat, and when you dig into the science behind coaching a champion, the task only looks tougher. This week, in a special ‘Sprint’ episode of the CoachCast, Dirk discusses Tadej Pogačar’s recent TDF win with his coach Iñigo San Millán. Listen as they discuss maximizing mitochondrial function, building glycolytic capacity and the dedicated focus that lead to a 30-watt difference from last year to this year.

Stand-Out Quotes

  • “I met him at the end of 2018, like November at the first training camp for the team and that’s when I did the first physiological test and I realized that this guy was from a whole different level.”
  • “Lactate is a very high predictor of performance and I have a huge database out there. So I have a very good cheat sheet…the lactate levels at different power outputs during the test, they only belong to the world class, they don’t belong to the average world tour even.”
  • “One of the things that I’ve been focusing on these years is what I call the mitochondria function. This is key because this is where we oxidize fuels, where we burn the different fuels. We use our carbohydrates, fats and some protein as well, but the key is to utilize more fatty acids for energy purposes.”
  • “Tadej’s nature, he’s a beast. He’s not afraid of anything, right? If he dies, he will die killing someone. And that’s why he said, ‘I’m going for it.'”

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Coachcast Host Dirk Friel
About TrainingPeaks CoachCast Host Dirk Friel

Dirk Friel is the host of the TrainingPeaks CoachCast and Co-Founder of TrainingPeaks. He is a lifelong athlete with a passion for cycling and ski mountaineering and firmly believes in goal setting, dedicated deliberate training and coaching for all. Learn more about his work at TrainingPeaks and follow his adventures on Instagram @dirkfriel.

Visit TrainingPeaks CoachCast Host Dirk Friel's Coach Profile