Trainingscamp Astana – Altea

From January 17 till January 27 I had the possibility to join the Astana Pro Team Trainingscamp in Altea, Spain. My main sponsor Wilier-Triestina is bike supplier of Astana so the connection was quickly made. I was welcomed with open arms and it directly felt like a family, just as the Wilier company. The staff and riders treated me as rider from the team and not as gravel racer, and we had a lot of laughs together.
For the training rides I was assigned to group 2, the ‘flat’ riders. Everyday a nice route was made and we did efforts, some together with our 10-men group and others on our own pace. Before every training the route and the efforts were explained in a short meeting and everyone had the GPX on their training device. Bottles and nutrition were prepared by the soigneurs and the team car followed us during the rides, so we could easily refill. My fellow dutchie and good friend Cees Bol just signed a contract with Astana and together with the team we worked on the sprint train for Mark Cavendish. It was cool to be part of it and I was surprised to see how many people want to be on the picture with Mark if we stopped for a refill.
The professionalism of the team is top level and I learned a lot during my ten days with the team. As gravel racer you have to arrange everything yourself but this time everything was fixed for me and it was all about eat, sleep, train and repeat. After the training rides we were directly provided with recovery shakes, I had massage every day and even got custom made foot soles, where I immediately noticed improvement. I joined also yoga sessions from Mario, to relax the mind.
In the ten days with the team we did nine training rides with a total of 1211 km in 40h20m. A solid basis for the gravel season which will definitely help me in achieving my goals. Thanks to Wilier and Team Astana!