Structured training for Lotto Belisol team at first pre-season training camp in Mallorca
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Monday, December 9, 2013

Structured training for Lotto Belisol team at first pre-season training camp in Mallorca

by VeloNation Press at 1:20 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Team trainer explains approach at this point of the year

tosh van der sandeAs is the case with a large number of teams at present, the Lotto Belisol squad is currently clocking up the kilometres at its own pre-season training camp. The Belgian team headed to Mallorca yesterday, Sunday, and will remain there until next Wednesday, December 18th.

Training is organised by the company Energy Lab, which works with the team to draw up training outlines and to do tests of fitness and other aspects.

The trainer Bert Ackaert explained how things work, saying that a complete programme has been drawn up for the training camp. It has done this in the past and said that previous experiences have helped shape what has been laid out this time.

The important thing, he says, is to build a foundation at this point. “This is the first training camp in the run-up to the new season, so that means riding for kilometres in a calm way to sharpen the basic condition. The first days we’ve planned some endurance training. On the other hand we will also work on force and speed. After each training we will make an evaluation per rider.”

That evaluation will be important for the riders to know where they are at this point of the pre-season. In turn that lets them and the team know what work has to be done, and also when they can expect to be in good shape for racing.

Ackaert said that various tests of power output will be done. “It can be, for example, after they had to go full for ten minutes on a hill. That way we can make an analysis of strong and less strong points. Those form the base for the further preparation and their programme.”

In addition to that, the liquid and calorific requirements of the riders will be determined. “We will also control the sweat of the riders, both composition and quantity so we can inform them what and how much they have to drink in what conditions depending on the type of training or race,” he said.

“Our dietician is also at the training camp to talk to each rider about his eating pattern.”

Almost all of the riders will be present at the camp, although an injured Greg Henderson is missing out. The others are benefiting from the good weather conditions, and the riders who are not racing in the Santos Tour Down Under or the Tour de San Luis will return to the island in January.

Ackaert recognised that the camp is one of the few times for the riders to be together in a group during the season. He said that because of that, the training is often tailored to ensure that the riders remain together, rather than increasing the intensity or route profiles too much and causing splits between the different levels within the team.

However there will be occasions when some splits are introduced. “Sometimes we do make separate groups in function of the specialization of the riders,” he said.

“The men from the sprint train will get some specific exercises, among it a course with turns where we will simulate the distances to the finish line.”

In addition to Ackaert, the trainers Paul Van Den Bosch and Wim Van Hoolst plus the dietician Stephanie Scheirlynck will also work with the riders in Mallorca.

The Lotto Belisol team presentation will take place one day after the end of the camp, on December 19th. The new kit has already been unveiled, with the red and white colours and retro design generally receiving a thumbs-up.


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