"I think my legs look a little tired."
That's what Polish bicyclist Pawel Poljanski, who is currently racing in Tour de France, wrote in an Instagram post alongside a photo of his legs looking way more than a little tired. One commenter on the post said he looks like "a human leaf."
It's not an inaccurate description. The cyclist's legs are so popping with veins that along with the leaf comparison, people have been saying they look like deer legs, like the legs of Bane — a Batman villain known for being extra veiny, and like "a giraffe on meth."
Just take a look for yourself:
Perhaps the worst part is that this is just after the first 16 stages of the race, which means he still has 5 stages (about 440 miles) to go.
Tour de France is a 2,200 mile race that happens over the course of 23 days, 21 of which are race days and two are rest days. On some of those days, racers ride hundreds of miles. So it's not too shocking that a cyclist in the race would have such low body fat that you can literally see every vein.
But it might not just be the race, and all of the training that goes into being able to race at all, that caused Poljanski's legs to look like this. He may have also wanted to be at a lower weight — so he could have a running advantage.
"As you can see in this photo, the least amount of body fat you can have — while not necessarily healthy — if timed correctly (i.e. during a Grand Tour) gives a rider the optimum chance of performance," Rob Hayles, former bicycling world champion and BBC cycling summarizer, said to BBC. "Some riders find it easier and more natural to get their weight down, while others struggle."
Poljanski doesn't seem to be struggling at the moment, though we may have to check back in on him after the race ends.
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