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De Gendt and Wellens undertaking 700km off-season gravel adventure

Joe Robinson
25 Nov 2019

The Belgian duo take a different route with their off-season training

Lotto-Soudal duo Thomas de Gendt and Tim Wellens have started their off-season adventure, a 700km gravel ride across Spain. The Belgian pair decided to spend their time away from racing riding for six days from Teruel in the east of Spain, covering the Montanas Vacias trail.

Setting off on Saturday, De Gendt and Wellens have been on the road three days already covering snow-covered mountain passes, remote gravel trails and technical single tracks.

De Gendt has been regularly posting to his social media pages with pictures of him and Wellens en route, including dinner by an open fire and a rather precarious short cut that saw Wellens crash over his handlebars into a pile of snow.

With only six hours of riding a day across climbs like the Sierra de Javalambre and Sierra de Gudar, you may think that the rest of the crash-free riding would quite leisurely for the two seasoned pros, however, De Gendt admitted to Belgian television channel Sporza that, 'It’s not easy to climb with a 25-kilo bike'.

Especially when the snowfall was so severe that both were reduced to 15 minutes of walking in order to reach their accommodation on Sunday.

Providing an alternative way of getting in the off-season miles, De Gendt also told Sporza that 'it’s training, but it doesn’t feel like training' with it almost certainly providing more enjoyment than the turbo trainer, something their fellow teammates will likely be using at this time of year.

This is the second consecutive off-season that has seen De Gendt and Wellens go exploring by bike after the pair rode 1,000km home to Belgium from Italy after racing Il Lombardia last October.

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