Sports Beans-Wilier's Mark Perry reports from Spain on a week of sunshine, miles and smiles.
The Sport Beans-Wilier Team have just returned from their week-long road training camp in Lanjaron in the Sierra Nevada, Spain. Hosted by Road Ride Spain, the camp was a perfect chance for this year's new line-up of riders to get to know each other and enjoy some of the best roads in Europe for some serious training for the coming season.
A word frequently used by Will (Bjergfelt) can rightly be used to describe the riding in the Sierra Nevada ? ?Awesome!? The road surface is simply the smoothest and fastest rolling I have ever come across - combined with the handling of the new Wilier Cento Uno bikes and the team issue Schwalbe UltremoR tyres it meant that we had some serious smiles going on. These smiles often became grimaces though as the climbs took hold: our guide for the week Pro/Elite MTB'er Gareth Montgomery took great pleasure in showing us some of the 40km climbs on offer, which would give even the big climbs of the Alps and Pyrenees a run for their money. What we found amazing, though, was that on some of the 130km-plus rides it would be unusual to see more than 10 or 20 cars.
Head for the hills
The area around the camp was very mountainous to the north, east and south, with snow capped peaks, but lying west of Lanjaron were some faster roads that we used for some speed work, team time trial style.
Although most rides were taken as a group, some days were split, to suit the riders' differing needs ? especially Will who seemed to take great delight in telling us the ins and outs of his training plans, his power output and how many calories he'd burned. Marcin (Bialoblocki) on the other hand simply got on with his usual diet of mega miles. After the weather we've experienced back home recently it was great to have warm unbroken sunshine for the whole week, meaning that we all came home looking suitably tanned. This alone should be enough to put the frighteners on the competition!
Entertainment for the week came from Billy-Joe (Whenman) who would frequently pop wheelies on his road bike or just decide to ride it backwards down the road, and from Marcin who found that it is quite possible to ride home with 30 freshly picked oranges down your jersey?
Ben Luckwell sporting the new team issue SPD slippers...
By the end of the week we had ridden for 25 very mountainous hours and were even filmed by Spanish TV as we shared an al fresco coffee at a bar in the mountains.
A big thank you to Simon, Emma, Lee and Gareth of www.roadridespain.com for looking after us so well throughout the whole week - get yourself over there before everybody finds out about it.
P.S. ? The week must have done the trick because one day after returning home from the camp, Marcin won the Severn Bridge RR and the team also placed 4th and 8th against stiff competition from the likes of Rapha Condor and Plowman Craven-Madison - this combined with Will's win at Perfs Pedal Race means that the Sport Beans-Wilier team are on the right track already!
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