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Inside the Bahrain Victorious Classics house - Gallery

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Bahrain house

The house where Bahrain Victorious are staying for the Classics (Image credit: Chris Auld)
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Bahrain house

The riders kick back in the lounge (Image credit: Chris Auld)
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Bahrain house

The view from the balcony (Image credit: Chris Auld)
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Bahrain house

A place for fun and work (Image credit: Chris Auld)
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Things heat up on the football table (Image credit: Chris Auld)
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Bahrain house

Clothes hung out to dry in one rider's room (Image credit: Chris Auld)
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Bahrain house

The living room (Image credit: Chris Auld)
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Bahrain house

Dylan Teuns on the rollers (Image credit: Chris Auld)
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Bahrain house

The upstairs games room (Image credit: Chris Auld)
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Haussler on coffee duty (Image credit: Chris Auld)
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A view across the fields of Flanders (Image credit: Chris Auld)
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Bahrain house

The games room also serves as a turbo room (Image credit: Chris Auld)
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The mechanics have their own space at one end of the house (Image credit: Chris Auld)
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Bahrain house

The bikes and kit are all stored in the garage (Image credit: Chris Auld)
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Mechanics get bikes ready for an indoor training session (Image credit: Chris Auld)
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Haussler on the massage table (Image credit: Chris Auld)
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Mechanics busy tinkering with the wheels (Image credit: Chris Auld)
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Soigneurs join the riders in the house (Image credit: Chris Auld)
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The riders do most of the household chores themselves (Image credit: Chris Auld)
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The breakfast table (Image credit: Chris Auld)
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Another round of table football (Image credit: Chris Auld)
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The riders have a visiting masseur (Image credit: Chris Auld)
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In the kitchen (Image credit: Chris Auld)
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Bahrain house

The house has huge glass panels at either end (Image credit: Chris Auld)

Most professional bike riders spend more than 100 nights per year in hotel rooms, the shuffle between lobby, buffet, elevator becoming an act of muscle memory no matter the layout or location. In Belgium, however, Bahrain Victorious are doing things a little differently. 

“We have this big house, where we all just hang out,” Heinrich Haussler told Cyclingnews last week. “It’s amazing.”

Interest piqued, we sent photographer Chris Auld to check it out and capture some shots of the Bahrain Victorious riders in this more natural of habitats, which you can see in the gallery above. 

Nestled in Zwevegem, amid farmhouses and open fields east of Kortrijk, lies this futuristic rectangular box with its burnt orange facade, licks of black, and huge glass panels that let light pour through from one side to the other. 

Inside: sleeping quarters for a squad of cobbled Classics riders, plus a few staff, along with a Playstation, table football, pool table, and more coffee machines than they could possibly need. 

The team are staying in the house before and after the Tour of Flanders. 

Bahrain house

Things heat up on the football table (Image credit: Chris Auld)

There is a greater good here beyond simply having access to the coolest toys. If these things are a distraction, then they are a welcome one from the monotony of hotel life. The riders can live a little more comfortably but also more interestingly. 

Hotel common areas are sterile at the best of times but in COVID-19 times they’re literally anything but, which leads riders back into their own hotel rooms and back in on themselves. There is a lower risk of catching COVID-19 here, with no need to wear marks or social distance because riders and staff are part of a protective bubble.

A shared house, however, is also more of a shared experience. 

“Me and the team bosses had the idea of staying in the villa, being more together, creating that team atmosphere, and trying to build something special,” said Haussler. 

“I had this in the past with one team, but a lot of our guys are super young. I say to them ‘guys, what we have now is not normal’. It’s hard to create a team. But it’s already coming up here, we’re in the airplane at the airport. It’s a good bunch of guys and at the moment it’s something special. I think it will be represented in the way we race.”

Bahrain house

Two of the riders relax as one makes the coffees (Image credit: Chris Auld)

The riders almost have the run of the place, with chefs and a couple of support staff on site but the management and coaching staff staying elsewhere. With that greater freedom comes greater responsibility. 

“It’s about bringing us together but also learning, respecting things, saying please, saying thank you, taking stuff to the dishwasher, cleaning up after yourself, keeping the house tidy. These are just basic values - the great values that will also help us in later life,” Haussler said. 

Bahrain house

Clothes hung up to dry in the bedroom (Image credit: Chris Auld)

“The guys bring their coffee, we fire-up the playstation, we have a big dinner, we sit together and talk, then we watch Netflix and stuff. 

"It’s strange, because there are guys who came into the team who you didn’t have much contact with at the beginning, but you get to know their story - where they come from, their family, how they started cycling. You get to know the person properly, not just as a teammate.”

In an apt analogy, Haussler concludes: “It’s easy to build a house but not a home.”

Click or swipe through the gallery above for a closer look at the house.

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Deputy Editor - Europe. Patrick is an NCTJ-trained journalist who has seven years’ experience covering professional cycling. He has a modern languages degree from Durham University and has been able to put it to some use in what is a multi-lingual sport, with a particular focus on French and Spanish-speaking riders. After joining Cyclingnews as a staff writer on the back of work experience, Patrick became Features Editor in 2018 and oversaw significant growth in the site’s long-form and in-depth output. Since 2021 he has been Deputy Editor - Europe, taking more responsibility for the site’s content as a whole, while still writing and - despite a pandemic-induced hiatus - travelling to races around the world. Away from cycling, Patrick spends most of his time playing or watching other forms of sport - football, tennis, trail running, darts, to name a few, but he draws the line at rugby.