Interview | Andri Frischknecht

Though only in his mid-twenties, Andri Frischknecht is already one the most successful cross country mountain bikers in Europe. Andri has a hugely successful 2018, picking up the win in the Swiss Epic, plsu two Top 10 finishes at the World Cup. We had a few minutes with Andri to quiz him on how he fuels himself as an elite cyclist…

In the weeks leading up to a race or competition, a number of Olympians have said that is when they are eating healthiest, and the 24 hours ahead of a race is all about getting in calories and energy: The weeks & nights before you compete, what are you eating? “I try to keep it as normal as possible. Before an important competition as a cyclist you [do] try to lose a bit of weight. If I reduce my sugar intake that’s enough to loose 1-2 kg”.

The morning of a race, what sort of meals or food do you go for, if you eat at all? “I take some rice with olive oil that works best for me”.

After a race, can you eat whatever you like? “After the race I will take a protein shake and refuel my body with liquids”.

Has your diet changed or developed from when you first started competing in the mid -2000's to now? “I try to avoid gluten. But its not like that I don’t eat it completely. A big plate of pasta just makes me feel tired”.

How important is hydration to an athlete at your level? “In the summertime its very important; I also use salt in my drinks before a competition”.

A lot of athletes have spoken about how important sleep is to recovery, do you find the same? “Same! I need 8 hours or more. Also in training camps I take a nap during lunchtime”.

What recipes do you rely on the most at home? “Rice and salmon risotto or potato from the oven with meat”.

What is your cheat meal? “McFlurry with M&M’s”.

What are your thoughts on protein shakes and energy gels? Do you rely on them at all? “When you train hard you cannot eat as much as you should so shakes are a good option. Gels are important energy resource in long distance events, you really need them”.

Is there anything you actively avoid, either because it is bad for you or you don't like it? “Too much meat is not good for sure. I also avoid supplements that I don’t know. Its important to trust the products due anti doping tests”.