Pros ride through snow, mud, and rivers in unconventional winter training

Paris-Roubaix training? Yeah, something like that

(Image credit: Nico Verhoeven/Twitter)

Professional riders have long used off-road cycling as a way to stay fit and motivated in the winter, but LottoNL-Jumbo have taken things to the next level at their pre-season training camp.

For reasons that are unclear, the team seem to have ridden en masse into a Spanish river, with directeur sportif Nico Verhoeven tweeting pictures of the off road foray.

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After probably ruining their £9,000 Bianchi bikes beyond repair, the team clambered out of the river, with Verhoeven declaring "End of the off road. Nice variety".

"Thank God for that," is how we imagine the riders replied.

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Although Robert Gesink seemed to be enjoying it...

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Meanwhile three-time cyclocross world champion Zdenek Stybar was getting reacquainted with the mud on a descent near Calpe.

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What looks like a muddy section of forest track turns out to be a well-surfaced descent, with Stybar seeming to enjoy the challenge with the hashtag #drifting.

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Ag2r-La Mondiale rider Samuel Dumoulin was another rider having to deal with dodgy road conditions on his training today, finding snow and ice on the Col de l'Oeillon to the south of Lyon.

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Britain's Simon Yates also seemed to be fed up with riding in souther European sunshine and headed for the French mountain ranges.

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Of course, the other option is to do a Sylvain Chavanel and ditch the bike to go skiing instead. Looks good to us.