The team linked up with Saiz in order to bring a new element to their training – improving cornering and descending techniques, learning from one of the world’s best.
Team trainer, Adriaan Helmantel (NED), was also present over the two day’s and told us a bit more about what went on.
“Oscar came to train with the team at our new training base in Cambrills, Spain in order to work on the riders’ descending and cornering skills. Even though some of our riders are already very good at this, they all found it to be a very helpful and interesting few days, doing some different training than what they are used to.
“The first day, the riders did some easy cornering exercises that Oscar assessed in order to see what level each of the riders was at. In the evening, Oscar then gave a presentation to the riders highlighting exactly the benefits of being better at descending were – saving time and energy being the key, but also reducing stress.
“Then the following day, the guys went out onto the road to work on some practical drills. Oscar got the guys to come down a 1km descent with several corners and hairpin bents, and coached them through how best to attack the descent – what lines to take, where to brake and where to let the bike take you.
“Some guys did some one-on-one training here with Oscar talking them through the descent through an ear piece.
“The experienced gained by the riders is invaluable and will only serve to help them in race situations and this kind of technical training is something we will regularly integrate into our training.”
A large part of the WorldTour and Development teams were present for the two days of coaching, and everyone was enthusiastic and found the training helpful and interesting.
Tom Dumoulin (NED), one of the riders participating, said: “It’s always good to learn from someone like Oscar with the experience he has. He made everything specific to how we can get better out on the road and it’s great that the team are looking for new ways of making us better riders.”
Luka Mezgec (SLO), also attending, said: “The technique training was really efficient. Oscar is a really professional guy and he knows what he’s doing on a tricky, fast descent. We all got a lot of benefit out of the training and I can already feel the difference on today’s ride. I can’t wait for the races to start now.”
The coaching was part of a current camp at the team’s new training base in Cambrils. The location is perfect for training, with a good mixture of quiet, flat, hilly and mountainous roads, good strength and conditioning facilities, and the weather is much more preferable to what the rest of Europe is experiencing at the moment.