The Great Britain Academy riders are back in the UK after a solid week of training at their base in Tuscany under the watchful eye of Academy manager Max Sciandri.
While Pete Kennaugh, Mark Christian and Luke Rowe are focused on the track for the first part of the season, 2009 Academy riders Russell Hampton, Alex Dowsett, Andrew Fenn and Erick Rowsell worked hard on the road.
They were joined by young Academy mountain biker Sebastian Batchelor and Team Barloworld professional Steve Cummings who now bases himself in Quarrata for most of the year.
Max Sciandri carefully observed the riders from the team car and occasionally from the bike, while coach Darren Tudor was also present in the first four days, carefully controlling the quality of the training. The first camp was about building a solid endurance base. Rides included climbs of San Baronto and Monte Serra near Pisa with one ride of over five hours helping the riders build up to race distances.
Team GB?s nutritionist Nigel Mitchell also visited the riders during the middle of the camp. He talked to each rider about their diet and nutritional needs and even cooked dinner for everyone on his last day. The Academy riders take turns to cook dinner and Nigel taught them a few recipes that are perfect to help them fuel up efficiently when racing and training hard.
The Academy has a new soigneur for 2009 with Hanlie Perry joining from Team Barloword. She immediately won over the riders by making them some tasty sandwiches for the longer training rides and giving good massage in the afternoons.
The Academy riders will now train in Manchester until February 10 before returning to Tuscany for a second, more intense 11-day training camp.