We’re delighted to tell you that we’ve partnered with VeloVeritas to bring you regular updates from the Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling team as we compete throughout the season and across the continents.
In our updates we’ll be featuring different aspects of our setup, our racing and our riders, the bikes and other materials we use, and we’ll be featuring various aspects of the support the riders receive too, including our sponsors and mechanics, team directors and logistics staff.
* * *
By Jack Rees, Director of Operations
In this, our first post, we’re going to let you know how we’re getting on at our training camp in Calpe, which is where we are right now.
We were in the UK last week, and we had the bike and kit launch at Ribble on the 22nd and then on the Friday we all travelled out here to Calpe for a ten day camp together.
It’s quite nice actually because we’ve got eight new guys this year including Finn Crockett, Stuart Balfour, and Harry and Charlie Tanfield too, so it feels like a completely different dynamic to the group, it almost feels like a new group.
And that, combined with the fact that we haven’t really been able to have a proper training camp for a couple of years with the pandemic, means there’s been a really nice vibe at the camp.
So we’re excited and there’s a lot of buzz around the new guys – and the existing guys – because of all the new kit and amazing bikes and other materials we’re using; we were really keen to get stuck in when we got here.
At the camp we’ve been following a fairly typical three-day block of riding, so the first one started out with a pretty easy four-hour ride as a group, just to get us started after travelling.
And then after that we did a three-hour ride which contained three 20-minute blocks, which were time trial efforts on the flat, where our bigger, TT oriented guys were working with Alistair Brownlee (the triathlete; the team are going to be supporting him in his attempt this June to break the seven hour barrier for an Ironman), which was nice.
Once we had done two of those we all came together as one team.
I had some sub-goals within the group to be able to orchestrate different situations, to simulate a ‘race’ finishing on a climb, and it was about trying to get your ‘team leader’ well-positioned and controlling things, to be able to execute the desired performance on the hill.
That was followed the next day by a long ride where we split into groups for the first few hours on the flatter roads and then we came together as one group for a lot of ‘tempo’ climbing, just to work on building fitness and on each others’ strengths and weaknesses.
So it’s been really nice start to the camp, to see how the guys are going. We’ve had a few meals together as well to build up the camaraderie amongst the team.
We had a nice rest day yesterday; we just pottered to the Musette Cycling Café in Alcalalí, which is about an hour’s ride from the hotel, which was lovely – the sun was out and the cakes were good!
So now we’re moving into the second block, with more of the same really; long rides to build that rich, deep level of fitness combined with some really specific work, with a bit of fatigue already built up.
We’ve really tried to time it this year so that we’re doing the team launch and the training camp close together, so it’s a sequential progress into the season.
Most of us are heading back to the UK this Sunday (the 6th), with a few easy days to really soak up the hard work we’ve done here, and then to kick the season off half the team head to the Eddie Soens Memorial, which is the traditional season-opener in the UK whilst the others are racing at Rucphen in the first round of the Holland Cup.
From then we’re right into things.
We’ll have a lot time trial emphasis in this early part of the season, and also a lot of domestic events in the UK which we try and use to execute as well as possible, going through the process of the preparation, the team briefing, making sure everyone knows what their role is in the different types of races that we’ll be doing, so that when we get to April and our first real objectives we’re ready to hit the gro