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Deceuninck-Quick-Step taking precautions in first team training camp

Riders and staffers will be tested for COVID-19 and will sleep in a large house rather than a hotel in steps to minimize risks.

Deceuninck-Quick-Step will use a mid-June team camp in Belgium as a dress rehearsal on how it will manage a resumption of racing in the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Belgian classics powerhouse will hold its first team camp since coronavirus shut down racing in mid-March with a three-day camp to scout the routes of the northern classics starting June 15.

Officials said riders and staffers will undergo COVID-19 testing as well as be using a large house rather than a hotel to minimize the risk of infection. The measures are part of protocols the team will use in the coming weeks ahead of the hoped-for return to racing later this summer.

“It is more a case of getting the group together, rather than having any hugely structured training sessions, as most of the guys have been following structured programs that the coaches have set for them for several weeks now,” said team coach Koen Pilgrim. “We will also be using it as an opportunity to recon the routes of some of the cobbled classics, like Flanders and Gent–Wevelgem. We would like to do Roubaix too, but we would have to cross the border, which may be complicated right now, but we will get in some good training anyway.”

The team also confirmed it will hold a high-altitude training camp in the coming weeks for its grand tour racers. With many far-away training destinations still off-limits, many riders are looking to stay closer to home as they try to mix altitude training into their schedules.