Stijn Devolder doesn't understand why some of his fellow Quick Step teammates have fled to Spain ahead of the teams training camp next week. Continuing his training in Belgium this week, Devolder would prefer to spend as much time as possible and home while he has the opportunity and admitted that the freezing temperatures “harden your character.”
"Why should I now go to Spain? On Monday I'll go to our team training camp in Calpe anyway,” he told sportwereld.be. “I'll be away from home enough this year. I got in five hours of training, a good 160 kilometres. All alone, but that does not bother me. I still do not see the point in a flight to Spain."
It was announced earlier this week that Tom Boonen and several Quick Step teammates had travelled to Spain early to escape the snow, ice and sub-freezing weather.
"It is not so cold that you freeze on to your bike," he said. “You go from a temperature of zero (Celsius) to minus one and you're not dead; It hardens your character.”
The 30-year-old does take precautions against the conditions and described the equipment uses to tackle the cold. On his latest ride, he wore a thermal undershirt, long-sleeved sweater and a thermal vest, his usual socks and shoe covers. “I have not had cold feet. I ride with the ordinary gloves which I have from the team.”
The two-time Ronde van Vlaanderen winner does have his limits, though. Too much unplowed snow on the roads, and he stays home. However, he has maximised his training time outdoors by employing his cyclo-cross bike on most of his longer road rides.
And although some of his teammates have opted to ride indoors, as Boonen did last week at the Gent's Kuipke velodrome, Devolder expressed his satisfaction with his own regime. “I am content with my winter training. What others do is their business. "