Race Prep: Clearing The Airways

As the final time trial of the Tour de France approaches, I thought I would let any new-comers to the sport know the reasoning and science behind the bits of cotton wool that riders stuff up their noses when they are warming up on the turbo trainers before a Time Trial. Or in the case of Chris Froome, forgetting to take them out before the prologue time trial of The Tour began.

The small bits of cotton wool are soaked in inhalant decongestant, or as most of us know it by the brand name Olbas Oil. The natural remedy, used by most of us when we have bunged up noses and sinus trouble is used by the riders to ensure every last bit of catarrh and particulates is removed from their airways. So that every breath transports the maximum amount of oxygen to their lungs.

I can't say that I have ever used it before a race, but when milliseconds make the difference in a time trial, then the riders try to make every possible tiny gain they can.

Let's hope Froomey remembers to take his cotton wool out before the start of the final TT!


  1. Fact for the week!!! Love it!

  2. Came across your blog for this information last night. I'm shouting you out on my site today. :)


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