The article Meals on Wheels details what pro mountain biker Georgia Gould and pro road cyclist Phil Zajicek consume before, during and after training rides and races.
Personally, I was kind of struck by what I thought were pretty heavy breakfasts and relatively light dinners. I'm the exact opposite. I usually have a slice of toast with peanut butter, a banana and maybe half a Clif bar before an early ride or race. But after? Dinner is usually as big as I can afford. With lots of meat and greasy food. Maybe that's why they're professionals and I'm just having fun...
So what are some of your dietary decisions for big race/training days? Anything unusual?
For long training rides 4-6 hours I usually stick with a couple cups of oatmeal, 2 pieces of toast or Pop Tarts, and a glass (12 oz) of OJ. I may even throw in a glass of slimfast.
During long training, races, or 24 hour events I always had the old secret nutrition of my grandmothers banana bread.
What a huge topic this is and important.
What to eat while on the bike needs to be complimented by what to drink while on the bike! First the level of exertion is key. This generally means is the ride time greater than or less than 2 hours. Now a days an electrolyte replacement drink is key and ingesting carbs in the proper ratio to protein helps to refuel you while riding and keep you going faster longer.
That is the short answer for now.
Check out Edmund R. Burke, Phd's book on recovery. Optimal Muscle Performance and Recovery. This book is exellent, period.