Cycling is a sport that requires athletes to give their all. After the spring classics with harsh winds, cobblestones, and Ardennes stages, the season of Grand Tours awaits. The battle for the pink, yellow, and red jerseys is a true carnage in which only the best of the best teams in the world emerge. To push the boundaries, Team DSM not only challenges established preparations through scientific knowledge in the fields of technical innovations and nutrition but also invests in High Altitude Camps (HAC), a common preparation method amongst professional athletes of all disciplines. We spoke with Team DSM trainer coordinator Steve Benton to learn more.
HACs are quite a common practice amongst athletes, as they intensify standard training. But what exactly does it achieve? “The adaptation process which occurs when somebody – even a normal person – spends any length of time at 2.000 metres and above, where there is less oxygen in the air, forces the body through a physiological process to extract more oxygen and to adapt with what’s available to become more efficient”, says Benton, after which he adds: “Particularly for an endurance athlete, this means that they then become stronger”.