Maxime Monfort excited about Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project following first camp
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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Maxime Monfort excited about Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project following first camp

by Jered Gruber at 10:34 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Belgian says: "The atmosphere was brilliant."

27 year old, Maxime Monfort, made a big switch for 2011 following yet another strong season with the HTC-High Road team. While the door was still open for him with Bob Stapleton's crew, the Walloon opted for a new path and new opportunities, and signed for the Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project.

Just a couple of days following the team's first meeting, the former Belgian time trial champion spoke with Sporza about his impressions on the team and what's to come. A December training camp was certainly not a new thing for Monfort, but a training camp sans bike, however, was.

"We were at Crans-Montana in the Swiss Alps from December 6th to 12th. It was a camp without a bike - a first for me."

The rider, who hails from Bastogne, was enthusiastic about how the team gelled together in the seven days they spent in Switzerland.

"The administrative details were taken care of, and then it was time for cross-country skiing and hiking. The atmosphere was brilliant - there were no cliques."

Coming from a team known for its great camaraderie, the first camp with his new squad must have been one he approached with at least a little trepidation, so to find it not only good, but brilliant, must have been a satisfying revelation.

With the team spirit and friendship part of his new job seemingly in a great place, his goals on the road return to the fore in importance. In a recent interview with Cyclism', Monfort admitted that working with and for Mark Cavendish was a learning experience, it was something that limited his own chances dramatically.

"I enjoyed working for him, and I learned a lot at his side, but now, I want a career change. The team was full of sprinters, and every race, there is always at least one who can win. Of course, it involves a lot of work before that from the team…"

Signing for the Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project won't exactly open the double doors wide for him, but he should still get a lot of opportunities, namely in the one week stage races, where he has shown a penchant for success in the past. In 2011, Monfort plans to put most of his energy into some of the classic one week races like the Tour of the Basque Country and the Tour de Romandie.

"2010 was tough. This year, I'll start in Mallorca, and then I'll ride Paris-Nice, the Tour of the Basque Country, the Amstel Gold Race, Fleche Wallonne, and Liege-Bastogne-Liege," said Monfort to Sporza.

Monfort will get his chances in certain races, but in the biggest races, he'll still be a vital cog in supporting the team's superstars. Of course, the biggest goal for the team will be next July's Tour de France, and Monfort will likely play a big role in the team's success, as he will be a critical all-around engine.



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