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Inside the Quick-Step training camp (gallery)

Joe Robinson
11 Jan 2018

Cyclist spent some time with the Belgian team at their latest training camp in Calpe, Spain. Photos: Joe Robinson

The men's 2018 WorldTour kicks of next week with the Tour Down Under and while some will be preparing to dust off their racing shoes, the rest will be getting back into the groove at various training camps scattered around the sunnier parts of Europe in January.

This week, Cyclist visited Belgian WorldTour team Quick-Step Floors at their latest pre-season get together in the cycling hotspot of Calpe, Spain.

Beyond the six-hour training rides to blow out the cobwebs, riders get a chance to meet their new teammates, showcase their new kit and enjoy the quiet before the storm of WorldTour racing returns.

This latest camp also gave the riders and team manager Patrick Lefevere the chance to underline the team's ambitions for the 2018 season.

Last year, the team managed the podium at all five Monuments, winning the Tour of Flanders with Philippe Gilbert, before taking 16 stage victories across the three Grand Tours in a dominant display across the entire team.

However, ever the ambitionists, the team is looking for more in 2018.

Philippe Gilbert announced that he will return to Paris-Roubaix after an 11 year hiatus in his hunt to win all five Monuments. He will be joined by Fernando Gaviria.

 

The 23-year-old will debut at the Queen of the Classics in April to begin his quest at becoming the first Colombian to win at Roubaix.

The Tour de France will then be his next focus as he battles the likes of Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin) and Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) for stage success. 

This will form part of a two-pronged attack with Bob Jungels, who will be returning to the Tour to explore his General Classification ambitions after two impressive consecutive performances at the Giro d'Italia.

Although injury plagued Julian Alaphilippe's Ardennes Classics campaign, the young French rider managed to podium at both Milan-San Remo and Il Lombardia. 

In 2018, a showdown with former teammate Dan Martin (UAE-Team Emirates) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) at Fleche Wallonne is on the cards as well as a bid at stage success at the Tour.