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The training has started

After resting for three to five weeks, the Lotto Soudal riders have begun their build-up to the next season. The team collaborates with Wim Van Hoolst, coach at a company called Energy Lab. And he was the one to have reveal a bit from behind the scenes for the team’s official website.

“Recently they started to train,” Van Hoolst says. “Besides riding their bikes, the cyclists must make time for core stability training almost every day. In consultation with the physical therapists of the team, they are prescribed specific exercises. Practising alternative sports is rather limited and depends on the history of the cyclists. Some of them go for a run, but those are the cyclists who used to run or play football. Letting a cyclist run while he normally never runs is not a good idea because they are likely to get injured. About half of the cyclists have been doing strength workouts in the gym. Together with the team’s physical therapists, we at Energy Lab also establish a programme for them.”

In the first two weeks, the hours spent on bicycles slowly increase and the training sessions are thus getting longer and longer. By the end of November, strength training on rollers starts. Each cyclist has his own training schedule based on his race schedule.

© Profimedia, Alamy

“In general, it is important to rein in neo-pros and young riders because they want to start training very early to get in shape in time, which is a typical trap. Every day, the cyclists upload their training data on our online training platform. We can check if the prescribed training has actually been carried out because we get notified when an actual training deviates from a prescribed one.”

At the end of November, the cyclists undergo a blood test and a body composition analysis, and have a consultation with the doctor, a conversation with the sports psychologist and a chat with the trainer. And then they are ready for the December training camp.

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