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The team of Lotto Belisol gathered in the western province of Zeeland, the Netherlands for some pre-season training ahead of another promising season. Some of the non-cycling activities included abseiling and climbing and learning the art of kite flying.
There were 26 riders on-hand for the two days of team building while Australian Adam Hansen and Greg Henderson from New Zealand were absent. Hansen was struggling with a minor cold according to his team and Henderson skipped the trip to patiently await the birth of his son - Lachlan Storm Henderson.
"Very proud Dad again. Lachlan Storm Henderson finally graced us with his presence. So proud. Mummy was awesome and is very well," Henderson said on Twitter.
With a 2012 year that included 27 wins including three by André Greipel at the Tour de France and a number of other impressive WorldTour victories including Lars Bak’s win at the Giro d’Italia, 2013 looks set to be another great year. Despite a number of big victories Lotto Belisol failed to make the top-15 teams and were not automatically granted a renewal of its ProTeam license. They still await confirmation from the UCI.
The loss of Paris-Nice stage winner Gianni Meersman meant a further loss in UCI WorldTour points and may also suggest a few less wins in 2013. It will however, offer opportunities for other members of the team to achieve their own personal success. The example of long-time domestic Bak achieving his Giro win demonstrates the talent within the Belgian squad.
"Although everyone knows each other fairly well, such a team building the ideal way to the bridge to make it to next season," said Bak.
"There is no bike to pass, we have the opportunity to relax in a nice way of doing things and there is time for our group to have fun. Two days is ideal, because everyone is busy with the build up to next season and it does not seem appropriate to say five days only alternative activities to do. On December 8, we leave for the first stage to Mojacar and there begins a new chapter in the build up to the start of the cycling season."