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First Vegan Cyclist Rides Tour de France

July 2, 2011 brought about another first for the infamous cycling event, the Tour de France. In its 107-year history, cyclists have experimented with a multitude of options to better their chances at taking on the steep mountains and rigorous course. From diets full of red meat and carbs to even using cigarettes as a tactic, nearly everything has been attempted by the athletes. However, American cyclist David Zabriskie tried something no one else ever had. Zabriskie showed up to the starting line, planning on his vegan diet to carry him to victory.

While so many people practice a vegetarian or vegan diet, why was Zabriskie’s diet news? His no meat, dairy, or egg diet seems so radical due to the demands his sport puts on his body. Most cyclists eat plenty of meat and diary to help muscle recovery. The iron in red meat helps the body produce hemoglobin which helps transport oxygen to the muscles.

So why would any athlete of Zabriskie’s caliber do such a thing? Zabriskie has a medical reason, stating that blood tests showed some food sensitivities that meant while most athletes would benefit from red meat, that meat would take too much energy for Zabriskie to digest.

After the discovery of his condition, Zabriskie slowly began phasing out meat and then eventually diary. After a solid nine months on the diet, Zabriskie admits to feeling great. He returned to give some of his strongest career performances, winning more time trials than ever before.

Zabriskie surprised many when his iron level was tested and it was found to have remained stable on his vegan diet.

After consulting with other athletes, Zabriskie began adding a little bit of fish to his diet as a means to effectively help his body absorb particular vitamins and iron. So, he can say he’s mostly vegan, but partakes in a fish dish twice a week.

Even with the small amount of fish, Zabriskie’s diet is busting many former myths about veganism or vegetarianism and athletic performance. His stats don’t lie.

Zabriskie gave a tremendous, vegan-fueled performance at this year’s Tour de France. Unfortunately, he was unable to finish due to a mass crash during stage nine. Multiple riders withdrew due to injury. Zabriskie was reported to have fractured his wrist.

Despite his unfortunate circumstance during the Tour, most expect to see many more great things from this pioneer in vegan athleticism.

Via: The Wall Street Journal


Also Read:

Too Much Red Meat Boost Risk of Death

PETA’s Vegan College Cookbook Offers Easy and Quick Vegan Recipes


July 29th, 2011

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(Page 1 of 1, 9 total comments)

Ray Gilden

The "infamous" Tour de France? Did the writer bother to look up the word in a dictionary? That's why writers should have editors??something obviously missed in this article.

posted Jan 18th, 2012 1:19 pm


If Dave Z eats fish twice a week then he is not even close to being a vegan, I have read previously that he was vegan due to animal welfare concerns so is this article accurate?
On the other hand I am vegan and one of the best age group cyclists in Australia and proof that you don't need meat, fish or dairy to be a successful athlete.

posted Jan 14th, 2012 8:06 am


The INFAMOUS cycling event?? No greater sign of illiteracy than the inappropriate use of words with specific meanings - infamous carries the connotation of nefarious - to replace simpler and more accurate words,

posted Dec 3rd, 2011 12:10 pm


This is a silly article. What it proves is that Dave Z is willing to adjust his diet to be more competitive. ALL cyclists do that. In this case, Dave's body performs better on a diet that is almost vegan. Problem is that "almost vegan" does appear in the headline.

posted Dec 2nd, 2011 11:55 am


Just appreciate and be thankful of the article Vegans. It puts your lifestyle in the limelight. It seems many of you are not happy people. Reply by writing or adding that true vegans eat only that grows on the ground, not swim, fly or walk. Don't denigrate one who helps your cause. Just sayin...xteufelhunden

posted Oct 20th, 2011 5:03 pm


I think most cyclists don't do a lot of dairy products as they take a long time to digest. They certainly do not eat diaries!

posted Oct 5th, 2011 10:34 am


Zabriskie is not the first - dutch rider maarten tjalingie completed the tour in 2010 & 2011 and is a vegan - as far as i know for his whole career, and not for medical reasons like zabriskie. all in all, not done your homework when writing this article appearanaly, or is it that it only counts when your american or english?

posted Sep 28th, 2011 5:26 pm


If a person eats fish they are not a vegan or a vegetarian for that matter. Veganism is a lifestyle where one uses no animal derived products. If you do not know the basic facts about what you are writing about - don't publish them.

posted Sep 27th, 2011 8:17 am


Comments. The picture you have is over 6 years old and the tour is not infamous but famous. Dave Z's efforts are important but clearly your author doesn't understand cycling.

posted Aug 27th, 2011 2:39 am


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