As of today, May 28, through Wednesday, May 30, the Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team is hosting a "Talent Training Camp" specifically dedicated to the U23 and junior riders. After an initial positive experience in 2011, this year the team's staff has decided to host another camp. We invited 10 athletes from the U23 category and 6 junior riders from 7 different countries; Belgium, The Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Italy, Algeria and Australia. This riders will get the chance to get a hands-on, internal experience with Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team.
The athletes were selected based on their results, but also on the advice from the team's sports coaches and Sport Directors. However, due to various competitive commitments, not all of the invited athletes will be able to attend the camp. Those athletes who do attend will pedal side by side with some of the team's professional athletes during daily training regimens before joining individual and group meetings to determine the team's working methods.
"We believe that investing in young talent is a cornerstone for the team's medium and long term strategies," explains Sports Director Tom Steels, who heads this project. "Last year we had positive comments and feedback from participating athletes, so we considered it important to repeat the experience. The main goal is to give these young athletes a glimpse into the atmosphere on our team, to understand our organization and get close to the team's staff. These types of activities are important for the athletes, to gain understanding as to how a professional team is managed, but they are even more important to our staff. In fact, we can learn a lot from the younger generations, especially when it comes to managing an individual versus the group. These guys are part of a new generation of athletes who in just a few years will be taking the torch from today's generation. It is essential to understand their needs and requirements and perhaps to get some feedback from them to develop our own approach to the youth group."