Oliver Naesen and Classics teammates head to Alps for training camp

Oliver Naesen and the group of AG2R La Mondiale riders that will support him in the Classics this autumn are currently in the French Alps for a pre-season training camp. 

While Romain Bardet, Pierre Latour and the rest of the Tour de France and Giro d'Italia groups will hold their own camps, Naesen and co are laying the foundations for the one-day races in October. 

Naesen will also ride the Tour from August 29 to September 20, but he is aiming to hit peak form for the rescheduled 'spring' Classics, with the Tour of Flanders taking place on October 18 and Paris-Roubaix on October 25. 

He has been joined on the training camp by his brother, Lawrence Naesen, along with the experienced Stijn Vandenbergh and former Paris-Roubaix runner-up Silvan Dillier. New signing Harry Tanfield, who only has two race days to his name with AG2R, is also there, along with Alexis Gougeard, Dorian Godon and Julien Duval. 

The riders are training in the Oisans region, near Alpe d'Huez. Staying in Vaujany at 1250 metres for 10 days, it isn't a proper altitude camp but the focus nevertheless is on climbing. 

"We're still a long way from the Classics, but in the interim there are a lot of races. A mountain training camp gives a lot of power and a boost to the physical condition," said coach Alexandre Abel. 

"The objectives is, above all, to climb some mountains in order to rediscover that pedalling rhythm and build power and endurance."

The eight riders on the camp are likely to form the group for the cobbled Classics, while Bardet, Benoît Cosnefroy and Tony Gallopin are set to feature in the hillier Ardennes Classics. Having originally planned to target the Giro d'Italia, Bardet will lead the line at the Tour alongside Latour.  

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