In the data tracks of Victor Campenaerts is a series of articles in which Domestique follows Victor Campenaerts in his preparation towards and during the Classics season. We analyse his Strava data and have a chat with Vocsnor about his training.
Victor Campenaerts' specific training sessions are over. From now on it’s all about recovering towards Saturday, with some stimulations added on Wednesday. Let’s put Campenaerts’ winter in numbers first:
Campenaerts’ preparation counts 16 weeks, the average amount of training hours per week were 18 hours. In the previous interview Campenaerts already stated that he thinks a lot of riders train too much. If you compare this number of hours to other riders, Campenaerts will be one of the riders who trained the least.
The numbers also confirm how polarized Campenaerts trains, > 90% in zone 1&2, the other time is spent doing very intensive intervals. The time spent in zone 3 can be declared by pedalling harder after corners. This Z3 training is necessary if you want to reach the top of a steep hill. That's not always possible in Z2. The only time Campenaerts trained tempo was last weekend, a week before Omloop het Nieuwsblad. He did that to flatten the VLa max curve, which makes sure that lactate doesn’t produce that fast.
The best winter performances
Those numbers above are very impressive, especially the 1’ and 2’ personal bests, which (not so coincidentally) are the length of the Flemish hills.
Campenaerts participated in the UCI Cycling Esports World Championships. Why didn’t he get a good result while his legs are this good? One reason was that he did a 2 hour tempo training in the morning, as he can’t just stop his preparation for the opening classic. Even after that training, Campenaerts got the same power numbers as the competitors who gained a spot in the next round. The problem was he didn't use his PowerUp at the right time.
That wasn't the only race Vocsnor participated in last weekend. On Sunday he simulated the final of Omloop het Nieuwsblad with Spanish climbs that match the profile of Bosberg and Muur van Geraardsbergen. Beullens, Vermeersch and De Lie joined him that day. Guess who won? Vocsnor went solo on the 'Spanish Bosberg' and they never saw him back again. Vermeersch almost got to his wheel with 1km to go, but he blew up completely. De Lie got 3rd, Beullens 4th.
Omloop het Nieuwsblad
Let's do a little Omloop preview now. What does Campenaerts expect of Lotto Dstny and what about the other teams? The Belgian team clearly has 2 leaders: Victor himself and De Lie. Campenaerts thinks this might create an amazing scenario, himself in the attack and De Lie as the fast man in the group behind. Campenaerts also expects a lot from his other teammates, he says the current Lotto team is the best they've been in years.
Frederik Frison for example. He already did amazing tests in January: 570W for 5’, 490W for 20’. After working for Kron, he held on until 15,8km to go in the first stage of Ruta del Sol, while weighing 85kg. Apparently, he has never been in a better shape, both physically and mentally. De Buyst is also flying on training. After the tests in January he told Campenaerts: “The old guys are crazy and still breaking personal records. Those young guns? Haha, they can come by for some new motor oil."
The old guys are crazy and still breaking personal records. Those young guys? Haha, they can come by for some new motor oil
Campenaerts thinks Jumbo-Visma is the most dangerous team for them. All their riders will be very motivated to grab their chance with Van Aert being absent. Laporte is the rider Campenaerts fears the most, also in the sprint. If it comes down to a sprint, De Lie won’t easily win against him.
Another rider Campenaerts will keep an eye on is Stefan Küng. King Küng isn't afraid of opening the final early. Besides him, Campenaerts won't forget about Ineos Grenadiers. They have a strong trident with Sheffield, Turner and Pidcock. Three riders who don't fear a long and tough final.
What do you expect from Campenaerts and his Lotto Dstny teammates? Let us know in the comments!