Health

Tour de France Biker’s Legs Make Us Feel So Much Better About Ours

As we age, our varicose veins might make us a bit self-conscious. However, we should be grateful that our legs — our beautiful legs — will never look as veiny as a bike rider who’s in the middle of the Tour de France.

Polish cyclist Pawel Poljanski, 27, who rides for the German team Bora-Hansgrohe, shared a photo of his legs after sixteen stages and won the understatement of the year when he said, “I think my legs look [a] little tired.”

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A little tired? It looks like Poljanski has only been going to leg day at the gym! Even though his prominent veins might strike you as unhealthy, rest assured that Poljanski is just fine. In fact, this phenomenon is something a lot of other cyclists deal with.

In 2014, another Pole, Bartosz Huzarski, shared a snapshot of his legs after 18 stages at the Tour de France. Talking with the sports website Fiona Outdoors, British vascular surgeon Eddie Chaloner said that for a high-level athlete like Huzarski, this is totally normal.

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“At rest, about one liter of blood goes up in the veins of the leg every minute. During intense exercise in elite athletes, this can increase more than ten-fold, making all the veins in the leg swell to accommodate the increased volume,” said Chaloner. “Plus, of course, these guys have less than five percent body fat, so you can see all their veins even at rest.”

Interesting stuff, right? And that’s not even the craziest case of leg veins we’ve seen on a cyclist. American rider George Hincapie showed off a bulging, winding leg vein that vascular surgeon Dr. Walter M. Whitehouse, Jr. told NBC was actually a varicose vein resulting from long periods of sitting.

“These are the ugliest varicose veins I’ve seen in awhile,” Whitehouse said. “They are more severe than the typical patient. I’ve seen bigger, but these are just a huge mass that are clumped together.”

Who knew a 27-year-old would help make us feel young again?

h/t Huffington Post

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