Lotto-Belisol heads to first real training camp of 2013 season
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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Lotto-Belisol heads to first real training camp of 2013 season

by Ben Atkins at 11:22 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Belgian team to Mojacar in southern Spain to work on riders’ basic condition

lars bakHaving survived its first team-building get together, and with all riders having passed their medical examinations yesterday, the riders of Lotto-Belisol are travelling to southern Spain for the team’s first real training camp of the winter. In association with new partner Thomas Cook Sport, and the Baguet Cycling Centre - run by former Belgian champion Serge Baguet, who spent much of his career at the team - the Belgian team travelled to Mojacar, Almeria, today, where they will spend ten days laying the foundations for 2013.

The only rider missing from the team’s 28-man roster is New Zealander Greg Henderson, who is still in Australia after his wife - former Australian champion Katie MacTier - gave birth to their second son, Lachlan Storm. Sander Cordeel, who recently underwent knee surgery, will join the team halfway, while Jurgen Van den Broeck flew to Spain a few days ago to train in the better weather.

“Last week we got together for the first time for a team-building, but from now on it’s mainly about cycling,” explained team manager Marc Sergeant. “Such a training camp is especially meant to work on the basic condition for the start of next season. It’s different than before, now the riders already have had a few weeks of training, which is necessary to be competitive in the second half of January in for example the Tour Down Under.
“The riders will train in different groups because not everyone is aiming for the same goal. Thanks to the collaboration with Energy Lab we can perfectly determine what kind of training each rider needs and we can easily adjust and individualise. The riders see how the condition of the others is and nobody likes to be the odd one out. I have to say that last year everyone began the training camp in a good condition and when I see the test results of the past few weeks, it seems to me that it will be now the case as well.”

Lotto-Belisol’s 2013 line up is almost identical to that of 2012, with the only departures being Iranian Sohrabi, and Belgian Gianni Meersman who jumped across to Omega Pharma-Quick Step after Lotto-Belisol did not secure 2013 WorldTour status in the first announcement of registrations.

The one newcomer to the team is Dutchman Dirk Bellemakers, who was signed shortly after the departure of Meersman.

“In comparison to last year we don’t have as many newcomers,” said Sergeant, “but is a good thing to all live together in group, according to a ‘cycling rhythm’. There will be a lot of time made to have individual conversations about each rider’s programme for the first part of the season.

“We know the location, we have also been there last year,” he added. “The weather is perfect – sunny and 15 to 20 degrees, ideal to train – the roads are nice to ride on and there isn’t much traffic. That’s why we have chosen the same location this year.”


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