Let me blow your mind for a minute: the Tour de France is actually two races. There's the one we all know, the cycling race with the blokes with the massive thighs riding hundreds of kilometres a day for three weeks straight. Then there's the one we never really think about, the race run by the support crews from hotel to hotel each day.

New Amazon Prime Video documentary series Eat. Race. Win. follows both races. Half the time is spent with Hannah Grant, the head chef of Australian cycling team Orica-Scott, as her team on the "other" Tour de France races against the clock to put food on the riders' table each day.

The other half is focused on the team's director, cycling veteran Matthew "Whitey" White, and the more familiar day-to-day slog of the tour from the perspective of his nine-man team.

It's a weird hybrid of sports documentary and cooking tour – one which on paper really shouldn't work. Somehow it does.

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The series, and the 2017 Tour de France, starts in Dusseldorf, Germany. For White and his team (including white jersey hopeful Simon "Yatesy" Yates, time trial specialist Luke "Turbo Durbo" Durbridge and Colombian star Esteban "The Smiling Assassin" Chaves) this means it's time to hit the road for a casual three-hour, warm-up ride. For Grant and her team, it means a trip to Carlsplatz food market to source ingredients for day one of her culinary tour.

Incredibly, this seems to be how she does it – preparing nutritionally perfect menus on the fly based on whatever ingredients she finds between points A and B on the day's tour map. "Once you meet the people and see their passion," she explains, "everything just tastes better."

As well as providing the riders with premium fuel for the race, she wants to give them "mental nutrition", boosting morale and providing a taste of the regions they're too busy cycling their guts out to properly look up and see.

This kind of high-concept sports nutrition is all pretty new. White, a veteran pro cyclist with more than a few tours under his belt, remembers how it used to be. "Ten years ago we were eating the same food for 20 days in a row," he says, sitting at a table sheltered by two massive food trucks in which Grant – who spent her formative cheffing years at restaurants like Noma and The Fat Duck – is whipping up something involving absinthe sauce.

The absinthe, of course, came from a boutique distillery she stumbled upon on her way to Germany (and only cost €11 a bottle). In a transition that defines Eat. Race. Win.'s unique mix of genres, we go straight from a chef's tour of the distillery to the front seat of the support car in which White and a perpetually yawning driver are following the riders on their time trial. The two races could hardly be more different, but seeing them side-by-side will give you a new appreciation for both.

• Stream Eat. Race. Win. via Amazon Prime Video.