Belgian team Quick Step will once again start its season in Spain, with a training camp from January 12 to 21, 2009. The squad of Patrick Lefevere will gather in Benicassim, on the eastern coast north of Valencia. This allows the team to escape the cold temperatures in its home base of Belgium.
Luca Guercilena, the team's trainer, talked about the camp's focus. "We'll be doing different types of workouts. We're breaking the [group] up into two: one for the first part of the season and the other to work on follow-up conditioning. Our aim for the first group is to give the finishing touch to the work begun in December, working mainly on tactical line-ups for sprints. The second group will concentrate on 'volume' by starting to work on long climbs."
The traditional winter training camp will be missing certain athletes and staff from the team who will be taking part in the Tour Down Under from January 20 to 25.
Directeur Sportif Rik Van Slycke is responsible for the squad in the first ProTour stage race of the year. "We leave from Amsterdam for Australia on January 13. We arrive in Adelaide on January 14 and will take a few days to adjust to the jet lag and time difference. On the 18th there will be a circuit race in the centre of Adelaide. Then, starting on the 20th we'll be competing in the Tour Down Under."
The team includes Allan Davis, who has always participated in this race – starting from its first edition in 1999. The newcomers Dries Devenyns, Kurt Hovelijnck and Francesco Reda will get their first race for Quick Step. The team is completed by Davide Malacarne, Hubert Schwab as well as experienced rider Matteo Tosatto.