Lotto Belisol: Manager Marc Sergeant inspects the troops
While half of the Lotto Belisol riders has had their first days of racing in Australia or Argentina, the other part was having the past eight days the final preparation on the season during a training camp in Mallorca. With the Etoile de Bessèges (preceded three days earlier by the GP la Marseillaise), Challenge Mallorca and Tour of Qatar coming up, manager Marc Sergeant inspects the troops.
Marc Sergeant: “In December we went on a training camp of ten days with the entire team and in January twice one week with half of the riders. Although you will mainly hear positive sounds in each team in this stage, I am satisfied with what I’ve seen. The commitment, passion and team spirit please me. The new guys adjust themselves smoothly and the riders that were on training camp have also seen the performances in Australia and they want to contribute of course to that new success in the next few weeks. They have faith in their start of the season, they are ready to race and are very eager; now just a bit of luck.”
“What you see and feel within a team doesn’t lie. You notice that in personal conversations, at the table, but of course mainly on training. The guys are really a match for each other. It was a conscious and necessary choice to thoroughly change our core, because it’s clear that the level of the WorldTour has raised again. As a consequence of the fact that five teams have gone, many guys are now left out and the stronger riders have remained. When you see the list of participants of the races, then it’s obvious that every race has a strong field of contestants.”
“Our preparation has actually been pretty problem-free. Greg Henderson has had knee surgery. The rehab is going well up till now, he even visited the riders at the Tour Down Under to do some trainings with them. Bart De Clercq fractured a rib during the teambuilding but could train again in the second half of December. And Jelle Vanendert crashed in Argentina. Despite the small fracture he luckily could finish six out of seven stages, that’s good for his condition, and his inactivity will probably be limited.”