QuickStep Undertake Military
A military base in Lest, Slovakia played host to the Omega Pharma QuickStep team building camp over two days this week.
Riders and staff honed their inner siege mentality, set missions, and challenged by physical tests and ability trial in view of stationed military officers. The missions included obstacle courses, defense techniques, climbing, shooting simulation, orienteering, and rescue activities.
“I didn’t know what to expect from these activities,” he explained. “I started out a little skeptical, but then my teammates got me involved, and I ended up having a lot of fun. I’d like to thank all the personnel at the base, who were very professional but at the same time were really attentive to our needs. All the activities, even the most challenging ones, were performed in complete safety under their reassuring, expert supervision. This is definitely an experience worth repeating!”
Martin and Peter Velits were equally impressed, despite the hard work required.
“We also got the chance to get to know our teammates and the newcomers better, in a context that was unfamiliar to all of us, a situation in which unity meant strength.”
The military style camp was the initiative of trainer and directeur sportif Tom Steels. Despite claiming 51 victories in 2012, including a dominant run throughout the Classics with Dwars door Vlaanderen Waregem, E3, Gent Wevelgem, de Panne, the Tour of Flanders and Paris Roubaix, the focus of the camp was very much on team building.
“The guys showed an immense spirit of sacrifice, helping each other achieve tasks bride dresses and spending the night together in a bivouac, sleeping in sleeping bags,” explained Steels. “Compared to last year, we spent more time focusing on technical challenges an bride dresses d the concept of collaboration. For example, the guys simulated rescue operations to help wounded civilians, practicing emergency intervention techniques such as bride dresses bride dresses trong>bandaging, transporting wounded people on gurneys, and rescue on rough terrain, which forced the teammates to work as a close knit group. At the same time, each member of the team shared their own individual skills with the rest of the group. Some of them were stronger in the physical tests; others did better in the technical trials, which included a night time orienteering activity that was far from simple.”
2nd Points competition, Tour de France 2009, 2010
Looking ahead to 2012
It will be hard for Mark Cavendish to top his 2011 season, winning the green jersey in the Tour de France and the rainbow stripes of World Champion but Cavendish has big dreams, and they centred around July, riding the Tour de France and then the Olympic road race in London. Not that the rest of the peloton will be making it easy for him and it will be interesting to see whether the move from HTC to Sky will affect his racing. Whatever happens, there are sure to be the usual fireworks!