Since the beginning of the year is DT Swiss the new wheel partner of the Belgian UCI Women’s World Tour Team “Lotto Soudal Ladies”. This new partnership is reason enough to give you some insight information of a team consisting of 14 passionate riders.
For us, a sponsorship is a real partnership with benefits for both sides. It’s not just about handing over the wheels or paying the check. It is about bringing partnerships alive. That’s why we decided to visit the Lotto Soudal Ladies at their first training camp this year in Benicassim, Spain. It is important for us to get know the team in person, to learn about their needs in training and racing in order to figure out what we can add to help them reaching their goals and inspiring others to be the best they can be.
An ordinary training day
It’s 7:30 am when the alarm goes and the girls need to get ready for the day. First and foremost, there is the larger breakfast, to get enough nutrients and energy for a challenging day on wheels. Around 9 am the sports director Dany Schoonbaert tells the girls what today’s session will be about: 4 hours ride, 2x 6x2min intense efforts up the mountain and followed by a little group ride challenge with groups of 4 girls. Sounds tough, but this is every-day-life for a cycling pro. So none of the girls, apart from us, seem to be pretty impressed by this workout.
At 9:45 am all bikes, including drinks and food are set up, prepared by the mechanics. 10 am sharp: we are rolling, accompanied by the team car, including Dany Schoonbaert, the trainee Bart, and the photographer Tom.
The session is tough, but professional as they are, each and every rider got the job done. Back at the bike garage, the recovery shakes are prepared for immediate recovery. The first 30 min are the most important ones to get the nutrients in. At the same time the mechanics were already waiting to receive the bikes back and get them ready for next day’s ride.
Thankfully, Kelly and Demi still have enough energy for a short “Women’s Talk” on the bike, captured by photographer Tom. They can give great tips about, how to climb, how to corner, how to sprint and how to ride in group? We are more than excited to present very helpful and encouraging videos throughout the year.
After showering there is a rich buffet for a late lunch waiting, a short recovery nap and an abundant massage by masseur “Swanny”, who is totally aware of the sore muscles, will follow to support instant recovery.
Hub service among women
Talking to the girls during the ride, we figured out that showing them, how to service the wheels without any tool, would be useful information. They have great support by the mechanics during training camps and races, but mechanics are not always available in their every-day life.
After finishing dinner, we decide to go down in the bar, Sports Director Dany treats a cup of tea, coffee, or hot chocolate for everyone. Mechanic Yves appears in the bar with a PRC 1400 SPLINE rear wheel. With a little help from Yves we start to explain how to service a Dt Swiss hub. Everyone is surprised, how easy it is and we are so happy that a lot of girls are willing to give it a try themselves. We had no idea servicing a hub with a crowd of nice girls and a little help from one of the most patient mechanics we have ever met, can be so much fun.
Spending a few days together with the whole team getting to know everyone, and connect a face and a personality to every rider was great. Being able to give them some more background information about DT Swiss and understanding of partnerships and the company itself, makes it way easier for us to build a great partnership and to understand their needs in order to give them the best support we can offer during the season.
We are really looking forward to the seasons kick off “Omloop Het Nieuwsbladin” this weekend.
(c) Lotto Soudal Ladies/ facepeeters