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Supervision of top athletes

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Tim Wellens is part of the Lotto Soudal cycling team. A few years ago, he was selected for an Energy Lab project, after which a new world opened up for him.

In “The Road to the Cycling Dream” that Tim wrote with, among others, Energy Lab founder Paul Van Den Bosch and coach Wim van Hoolst, he paid particular attention to the role Energy Lab played in his career. For example, he writes this:

“In my first season as a promising athlete, my mother read an advertisement in the newspaper at the end of the summer of 2010. Energy Lab and the Belgian National Lottery were calling on young riders to apply for a screening. At first I assumed they would come to me without me having to ask, given my strong performance in the previous year. But my mother insisted I had to register myself. Fortunately...

Based on my “letter of application” and the additional information, the people from Energy Lab and Lotto 45 invited riders for extensive physical exercise tests and psychological examinations. From this they would then select five newcomers, five juniors and five promising athletes to be further assisted by Energy Lab. I was one of those 45 lucky ones.

I was quite excited about the screening because up to that moment, I had mainly trained on gut feeling and was curious about what I was actually achieving on a conditional level. But I was also quite nervous because I had already heard and read a lot about Energy Lab and especially about Paul Van Den Bosch, whom I knew was the coach of Sven Nys. If such a person tests you, you want to leave a good impression.

Had that screening not been there I may have waited until my second year at the promising athlete level before I sought a coach. This was a year earlier, but I was not concerned about that. Up until that moment I had been training diligently, including in the Ardennes, but I only concentrated on my talent, without a goal-oriented approach. For example, I trained with a heart rate monitor, but I only read it when my heart rate went up significantly. That way I would know when I was suffering; but I actually didn’t need a heart rate monitor for that, I noticed it myself.

With Energy Lab and Paul Van Den Bosch, a whole new world suddenly opened up for me. I trained with him in a much more focused way, in the same way that he used for professional cyclists he worked with such as Sven Nys, Jan Bakelants, Mario Aerts and Kevin De Weert.”

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