Posted by: Tony Carson | 3 September, 2007

Tour de France engines are 40% bigger

You can already see the T-shirt: “Cyclists have bigger hearts.”

And they do, at least the cyclists who train so hard for the planet’s most punishing race: the Tour de France.

According to a French study done on Tour riders, all their arduous training develops hearts that are 20 to 40%larger than normal hearts, the better to carry oxygen-charged blood throughout the body.

The heart’s walls become thicker to be able to handle the increased blood volume. That gives the athletes an edge by increasing their oxygen levels and improving their endurance.

According to the study, the athletes’ hearts shrank nearly a quarter in size after they finished riding professionally. Still, the cyclists remained in excellent physical condition.

The full story is here: Tour de France cyclists have big hearts

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