Cyclists go through intense training for Tour de France. Since its first edition held in 1903, the famous multiple stage road bicycle race has been held annually, with the exception of the two World Wars. Polish cyclist Pawel Poljanski shared a photo that some might find a little freaky of his legs on social media with the caption, "After 16 stages, I think my legs look a little tired".
That's easy to believe, as Hincapie completed the Tour de France 17 times during his impressive 19-year professional career, though he was later disqualified for his results between May of 2004 and July of 2006 after admitting to using banned substances.
The body's process of creating new blood vessels and dilating existing ones in order to maximize the oxygen getting to the muscles is called neovascularization, Dr. Benjamin Domb, an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in sports medicine, said in an email on Wednesday. And expect more shocking comments from folks who don't know what to expect after a pair of legs cycles for such a long period of time.
"People write and think different things, 'that is impossible', 'that is not normal', 'it is unhealthy', refer to doping, etc". This photo he shared is downright frightening.
And get this: Poljanski's legs look like this and he isn't even winning.
While a number of commenters apparently found the photo alarming, experts say that legs like Poljanski's aren't uncommon among elite athletes - in fact, they're expected. Check out the leg veins on American cyclist George Hincapie back in 2010. "For an untrained athlete, their maximum exercise will have 20 litres per minute flowing through the muscles", he said.
Pawel Poljanski competes during stage one of the Tour de France. Surely, the race is no joke.
"The blood can pool there and that's what's happening in this extreme case". "His veins are all dilated to maximize blood flow". "It's clearly something that's only going to happen in elite athletes, like these guys riding in massive cycling events".