Rapha Condor-Sharp training camp #1

It will be interesting to see how Rapha-Condor-Sharp fare in 2012, after the much publicised change of direction for the forthcoming season.

By changing their focus towards nurturing young, predominantly British talent, one would expect the dynamic in the team to still be sorting itself out. Even during this week, their second training camp of the year.

After all, there’s a clear gap between the eldest member of the team, Dean Downing, and Luke Mellor, the youngest. Some 18 years to be precise.

Judging by my first glimpse of the riders at the breakfast table in their Benidorm base this morning, the mood seems relaxed. Nor does it seem contrived, even though a CW writer and photographer are on site for the next few days.

Then again, the split line-up of the squad for 2012 (a handful of more experienced, proven talent combined with potential stars of tomorrow) seems to mirror life in the hotel.

If the gap between Downing and Mellor seems sizeable, the former is still probably only half the age of most of the (predominantly British) holiday guests here. The team are the whipper snappers compared to the clientèle staying under the same roof.

CW arrived here around 10pm last night, by which time the riders were all in their rooms after a strenuous day in the surrounding hills.

Who can blame them? They were probably as tired as the keyboard duo in the hotel bar, who moved quickly through old rock and roll staples such as “Rock Around The Clock” and “Wooly Bully”, much to the delight of the 30 or so (!) assembled guests.

Worryingly, it would appear, the aspiring musicians won’t be changing course soon. Perhaps they too need to spend a day or two with this current Rapha-Condor-Sharp squad.



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