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Jana Camphens discusses our nutrition strategy

Nutrition has a central place in the performance strategy of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert and that is why sports dietitian Jana Camphens has been working for the Belgian World Team since 2021, alongside nutritionist Adam Plucinski. During her career, Jana worked with high-level athletes at the Centre for Sports Medecine of UZ Ghent, the Bakala Academy and EnergyLab. Together, Jana Camphens and Adam Plucinski establish individual nutrition strategies for all riders, aligned with the goals and race calendar defined by the performance team. The riders of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert already took advantage of this expertise in 2021 and a more narrow collaboration has been set up in the preparation for the upcoming season.

« Now that they are familiar with the basics of sports nutrition, the riders of the team have developed a more detailed knowledge. One year after the start of our collaboration, we can say that our work already produced comprehensive results. Several riders improved their performances thanks to an adaptation of their eating habits. Furthermore, we observed a better digestion of the drinks and energetic products thanks to our collaboration with our hydration partner Maurten, as well as with our longtime nutrition partner 3Action. »

Since this winter, the nutritional monitoring was tightened so all riders receive individual advice next to the group meetings. The team is mapped through skinfold measurements and somatotyping, and the amounts ingested are calculated. These tests allow the nutrition team to provide individual nutritional strategies for all riders and help them improve their performances towards their specific goals.

« Every day during our pre-season training camp, our riders take note of what they eat and drink during the training. Based on this information, Adam Plucinski and I can guide them and make them aware of what is more appropriate for them. On certain days, they adopt a nutritional strategy similar to the race days so we can see whether we need to make adjustments or not. Mapping the riders gives us an overview of the team's different profiles. For example, the bones structure of a sprinter like Andrea Pasqualon fits an athletic profile. In contrast, a climber like Jan Hirt has an ectomorph body type and slender silhouette. It’s only during the season that we have a precise idea about the profiles within the team, as the riders are close to their race weight. »

The pre-season meetings are great opportunities to teach the riders new nutrition strategies and to suggest new recipes. The two chefs working for Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert collaborate closely with the nutrition department. During the training camp in Spain in January, Italian chef Massimo Carolo cooks a buffet for all riders twice a day. 

« Offering a buffet to the riders allows them to choose what they like most and to implement what they’ve learnt about nutrition. Although it is easy to offer them a perfect plate here during the training camp, that’s not the case when they’re at home. That’s why it is important that they learn the guidelines during these meetings and take into account our advices, so they can replicate it at home. Of course I’m always at their disposal in case they have questions. »

« Along with the energy bars from 3Action and the gels from Maurten, our riders like to eat other solid food. Last winter we chose the eight most popular recipes, so our paramedical staff could choose from to prepare the snacks for the races. All snacks are cut into pieces containing 25 grammes of carbs. The riders really love the rice cakes with speculoos or oreo. This training camp, we tried new recipes of rice cakes with cranberries and oat bars with chocolate. These are easy to make during stage races as they are no bake. I can see everybody well committed to implement all these nutrition strategies and I predict it will be another exciting season! »


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