What happens when a Tour de France rider needs the toilet?

What happens when a Tour de France rider needs the toilet?
Tour de France riders (Ciccone and Skjelmose) - 2023

If you're watching the television or stream of the Tour de France, or any other bike race for that matter, and you think you see a rider going the washroom off their bike, but you can't really believe that's actually the case. Your eyes aren't lying, that's actually the case.

Not all rider's can manage the feat, and they generally will have a teammate help steady them, but it's often the case they'll go the washroom without ever leaving the bike. There's even cutouts in certain biking bib shorts to make this easier.

Not all riders can however, and unfortunately the women aren't as blessed with this possibility so many riders will stop prior to crucial sections of the race to relieve themselves.

We personally find this often happens at around the 100k marker, but it's heavily dependent on the course profile and also how many fluids they're consuming (if it's hotter out they're consuming more). Riders will typically try to query the riders and stop with a large group of the peloton such that they have less catching up to do after their reprieve.

Typically it's "bad form" for other riders to attack while other riders are using the amenities so to speak, but it's becoming less and less common for that to be the case. Team Movistar women's team got frowned upon by Team SD Worx for going on the attack while they were all going the washroom in the Vuelta 2023, but Movistar argued they had always planned at going on the attack at that point in the race. A debacle ensued.

There are also fines for riders who relieve themselves in front of spectators, of which rider Geraint Thomas seems to have to pay frequently 😂. To be fair, with the ever increasing popularity of the sport it is a little tricky to find a section of tarmac for some distance without a spectator.

But to summarize. On the bike for some, off the bike for others and the women - preferably with a large group of other riders. Riders may seem superhuman sometimes, but just like death and taxes, everyone goes the washroom.