Landbouwkrediet team enjoys successful Belgian retreat despite freezing weather
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Monday, December 6, 2010

Landbouwkrediet team enjoys successful Belgian retreat despite freezing weather

by Ben Atkins at 4:07 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Snow and ice fails to cool spirits as Belgian Pro Continental team meets in Spa

bert de waeleThe snow and freezing weather in northern Europe was not enough to ruin the first training camp of the 2011 Landbouwkrediet team last week. With most teams heading south to either Italy or Spain, the Belgian Professional Continental team elected to stay close to home and met up in Spa, in the Ardennes region of southern Belgium. Not all the team’s riders were present, one notble absentee being Belgian cyclocross legend Sven Nys, but enough were there to make it a rewarding week.

With conditions unsuitable for road riding the riders were guided on three mountainbike rides by Philippe Noël. Reportedly some of the riders were skeptical the first time, but demanded to be taken out again the next day.

In addition to the riding there was a fair amount of administration work to be done, including measuring riders for their 2011 team kit and perfecting their position on their new bikes. A lot of tie was also spent playing indoor sports and games in order that the riders all got to know one another better.

The week was also a good chance for Bert De Waele to become reaquainted with his teammates after two successive knee operations. The 35-year-old’s knee was originally injured after a crash in the 2009 Paris-Tours, and was exacerbated by another fall in this year’s Tour of Belgium. He pulled out of the Tour de Wallonie in July, whereupon he was operated upon twice.

“I have also talked with Bert about his programme for next year,” said team manager Gérard Bulen. “He was enthusiastic when I suggested to him next season that he should aim at either the Tour of Luxembourg or the Tour of Belgium. In the tour of Belgium is there maybe one stage where Bert could do something; in Luxembourg the course could suit him for the overall classification.”

Another new face in the team was that of 27-year-old Dutch rider Reinier Honig, who becomes the team’s 21st rider. Twice a Netherlands junior champion, Honig has spent the last two years at Profesional Continental level with Vacansoleil and Acqua & Sapone.


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