As many pro cyclists and fans have noticed, Santa Claus is way over race weight. In fact there is serious debate over where or not Santa was ever slim enough to contest a UCI rated contest.
Fact, is the Santa that kids know and love would struggle mightily to hang on to the back on any race. Even an early season race that is pan flat and sans climb would prove difficult.
For example that duel in the desert known as the Tour of Qatar would be an impossibility. Mr Claus would abandon at the first feed citing a lack of form when the painful truth is an excess of weight. His power-to-lard ratio is wildly out of control.
Even in his athletic twenties Claus simply did not have the intense focus and dedication to maintain a strict diet and brutal training required of a working pro.. Santa is not by any stretch a classics hardman but rather a North Pole softie.
On one hand we can excuse Claus because of the difficult climate where he lives. Training conditions are difficult in a year round winter environment and there are few roads — and those are only passable by sleigh. While many top riders such as Bjarne Riis and Edvald Boassen Hagan have come from Nordic conditions, Santa certainly finds himself in a challenging situation.
The subject of equipment is not an issue. The elves at the north pole are skilled fabricators in titanium, steel and carbon fiber. There is no type of race bike that they cannot produce and the level of craft matches anything coming out of Europe or Asia. Modifications such as studded snow tires, arctic style drive trains and even top notch winter riding apparel are done in a snap.
So even the casual observer is forced to admit that equipment is not an issue nor are the winter conditions. The only explanation is one that’s immediately evident the second Santa struggles into his red suit.
Old Saint Nick is obese.
It’s not that solutions do not exist. There is no shortage of excellent training programs both online and in person. Whether it’s Training Peaks or working with a Carmichael Training Systems coach, Santa is not lacking for options. Only a pronounced lack of willpower holds him back.
On the nutrition side, former Garmin and RadioShack physiologist Allen Lim is ready with his FeedZone Cook Book. Clif Bar is ready to provide all the bars and gels he will ever need. Even vegan triathlete Brendan Bezier has promised a years’ supply of his Vega brand supplements.
Again, the resources exist for reducing Santa’s weight and making him a competitive force on the bike. However, a second problem or impediment makes itself obvious.
Mrs. Claus is fat.
The cruel truth is that Santa’s wife is preventing him from reaching his cycling potential or even raching a healthier weight or finding a more balanced diet. Sadly, the old adage applies: you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. You can’t lead a fat Christmas Icon and his chubby enabler wife to a brightter future in tight lycra.
While Santa may deliver thousands and thousands of bikes to smiling boys and girls, don’t expect to see him on a DI2 Pinarello anytime soon.