Today Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team wrapped up their first training camp. On the roads of Calpe and the climbs surrounding this lovely Spanish community, our riders covered about 850 kilometres over 6 training sessions.
Everything went according to plan and fortunately there were no falls or injuries during the course of the workouts. We're happy with the work we've done", Tom Steels says. "Compared to last year we pedalled more, and we also got lucky with the weather, which was always perfect."
The team was divided into 3 groups according to skills and objectives.The first group was made up of riders who'll be flying to Australia and who need to be in good shape already in January. A second group, ideally led by Tom Boonen, was made up of athletes who will have to be competitive in the first part of the season, including the classics. A third group was formed of climbers and athletes who are gunning for the major Tours. We also did specific work with the team sprinters in some of the training sessions."
In addition to the workouts the riders were busy in various activities like daily core stability sessions, which were well received by the athletes, as well as group and individual meetings aimed at defining competitive schedules for each individual rider. "We're also very pleased with the atmosphere that was created on the squad. The team building at the beginning of December and this training camp really served to cement the group. There's a lot of motivation to do well and meticulous attention to details. There were also some collective leisure activities that helped to further strengthen team spirit.
Today the guys flew home for the Christmas holidays, but they'll be back to train in Spain starting as soon as January 4th, in Benicassim. "Compared to Calpe, the training routes in Benicassim aren't as hard. So we'll work more on rhythm and speed to be ready to go as soon as the first races start. The guys who'll be in the Tour Down Under won't be with us, but the athletes who are riding in Argentina will be. It will be an important camp for them. We're also going to work specifically on time trial racing, in all its aspects."
The countdown to the 2012 season continues...