By Susan Westemeyer
Team Quick Step has opened its 2008 training camp in Benicassim, Spain. The team will stay there until January 17.
Teams typically go south for warmth and sunshine, but the Belgian team didn't find those weather conditions on its first day of training. The temperatures weren't too bad (about 16°C) but the sky was grey. The riders were still able to get out for some four and a half hours.
"The riders are divided into two groups according to their fitness level," sporting director Wilfried Peeters said on the team's website, www.quickstepcycling.com. "Obviously, the athletes who need to be in top shape from the get-go are undergoing a series of specific workouts different than those undergone by the athletes who will be required to defend the team colours further on in the season."
Tom Boonen did a series of special sprint simulations, and the tireless World Champion Paolo Bettini rode an extra half hour. Milder workouts were held for Sébastien Rosseler, who has a knee problem, and Carlos Barredo, who is recovering from bronchitis.