Adam is a veteran cyclist who has travelled the world to participate in the top cycling events.
In 2003 the Australian competed in two tours and one classic, and by mid 2019 he had completed 28 grand tours and 12 classics. He’s recorded four wins.
“As a plant-based eater I have won stages in the Giro d’Italia, Vuelta Espano, been the Australian Time Trial champion and I have the world record for the most Grand Tours in a row” says Adam “that’s the Giro, Tour de France, Vuelta, 20 in a row and the last part was on a vegan diet”.
Adam has been plant based for most of this time, with no dairy since the mid 1990s and fully vegan since 2017.
“I’m on a 100% vegan diet” he says. “100%. Not a single bit of animal products, even when I am traveling. I also stick to time restricted eating or fasting as I am a believer in autophagy so when I am traveling if there is nothing to eat then I just go into a fasting state.”
“Actually, my intentions were never to go vegan” Adam told Great Vegan Athletes. “I wanted to improve my blood group and I was cutting out food that I read in studies that were causing the high markers I had and once a slowly excluded these types of food and my blood work got so much better I just continued the diet. Afterwards, I laughed and thought… I’m vegan. The only thing I did not cut from my diet was honey. But I like to draw lines and do things 100% so honey went off the table. 100% vegan.”
Fulling the tours
Adam is a full time cyclist and spends up to 30 hours per week cycling. He also does some off-bike training in aerobic and anaerobic training zones. Intervals are a key part of his training and Adam routinely puts in plenty of hard work.
He’s amply supported by his diet.
“I am a very healthy vegan because my main priority was for health reasons, so I have a lot of full plant-based food and almost no processed food” he says. “I try to restrict if possible even flour, sugar etc. In our house, we don’t even have these products. Having said that if I was to make my Oats in the morning sweeter, as I have a huge sweet tooth, then I would put a bunch of dates in a Nutribullet with a touch of rice milk and blend it to a paste and add that as a sweetener. But most salads, veg… actually everything that does not have animal products. “
Something that comes across from Adam is his objective and well researched approach to nutrition. This has brought him respect from those in his sport as those that are not vegan know that Adam has made his decision based on facts.
“Everyone who is around me knows I take my health seriously. I think they don’t like to dispute me, as I am known to always have a valid reason and coming into an argument with me would be dangerous as I have the science that backs up what I am doing is fine. A lot of the higher educated people I work around with agree with me, but they find it great I can actually stick to it. I don’t find it hard, not a problem at all. It’s part of my life now.”
“I’m in so good health for my age, I’m 38 now I will continue racing again next year. My performance has not dropped even with my age and I am planning to race many more years to come. I love life and the body I created so I will do the utmost to use it as best as I can.”
Part of his forward plans include showing he can still compete, and in doing so prove something to the world.
“I want to set an example to vegans. I am racing at the highest level in one of the most demanding endurance sports in the world. I want to show that it’s possible on a vegan diet to do anything if you wish. If I can do it, you can also do it as a vegan. Don’t let other people tell you.”