Anastopoulos: “Being the best team in Normandie and Bretagne shows the strength of the Academy”
After several hard working months behind the scenes, the Academy has been off to a strong season start. A total of 15 wins after just two months of racing do not come out of the blue, way before our first training camp our riders’ training has been monitored by our Performance Staff in order to get the best out of each of them. “We can proudly say that the big performances have not come from one or two riders but from the whole team. Many different riders have been strong already and won some races, but coming home as the best team in two of the most difficult races of the calendar (Tour de Normandie and Tour de Bretagne), shows the depth and strength of the team. We have some big goals like Ronde de l’Isard, Paris Roubaix, some 1.1 races and Giro U23 where we want to keep performing at a high level“, points our Performance Manager, Vasilis Anastopoulos. 

Ever since the team inception, we have moved to Loutraki twice each year to prepare for the season, but this year it was a bit different than the three previous ones. “We had two great 10-day camps in Greece, but almost half of the team stayed there for more than a month avoiding the cold weather in Central Europe. This allowed us to pay attention to small details and constantly educating the riders and the result is that so far everyone is healthy and fit”. However, this is far from being a one-man job. Our Performance Staff is currently formed by five professionals who monitor the progress of each of our talents. “None of this would have been possible without a strong connection between the Performance Staff. We are all in touch almost in a daily basis and having Dries (Hollanders), Peter (Schep), Harm (Bronkhorst) and Michel (Cornelisse) played a very big role on staying on the same line and closely following and monitoring the progress of all our riders”. 

Cycling is changing, so it is our Performance Staff. Always following the goal of developing our talents into riders with a complete skill set, our Performance Staff adapts to the nowadays demands of pro cycling. “The times where you could have an easy season start and build from there on are long behind us. Now, the first races of the season are probably the hardest ones and that’s why we changed the training plans by increasing the intensity early in the season. This year the Loutraki Challenge was a confirmation that our riders could still perform after 10 days of hard training and accumulated fatigue. From there on we focus on adjusting the volume with the intensity as well as mixing it with proper rest and like that we manage to keep the riders and a high level but most importantly they continue to progress”.