So, last time I was rambling on to you I was preparing for another “training race” at our Majorca camp and my last few days of training in the sunshine. Well, the race didn’t go so well for the blue team. I didn’t fancy my chances against the likes of Tony Martin and Tejay on the last mountain so I tried my best to give myself a little sliding room at the bottom of the climb. It was 7km to the foot of the climb and I’d gone pretty full gas, 420w to be precise, as you might guess I was pretty nailed by this point and didn’t fare so well in the day’s results, haha!
We returned from training mid-week to learn of probably the worst news possible for any cyclist. One of our team mates and friends, Carla Swart, was tragically killed whilst training at home in South Africa. I must admit I didn’t spend much time with Carla or get to know her very well at all, but from what learnt of her in such a short space of time she was such a bubbly, happy and kind person and was always the life of the party, laughs and jokes. She will be greatly missed by a lot of people, that’s for sure. RIP Carla.
One of my days on the camp was spent at Palma velodrome. I think this time last year I was racing away at the Beijing World Cup on the track so I felt pretty much at home on Palma. The same couldn’t be said for a few of my team mates who had never ridden the track before. Im not going to name names but there were a few giggles and nervous moments…
We were at the track with the legendary Steve Hed (of hed wheels) doing some finishing touches to our aero testing. I was lucky enough to spend a few hours back in the UK at the Mercedes Petronas wind tunnel last year so I already had some pretty good base numbers to start at. I challenged Steve to make me faster, I must say he failed, but we made a few subtle changes that made me feel a lot more comfortable and stable on the bike, which will transfer a bit better to riding outdoors as opposed to the track.
The rest of the camp went really well. I wrote on my Twitter feed that it was the best training camp I’d ever done. I say this as I think I squeezed out every last bit of work I had in me without getting too tired, sick or injured. This fine line is something that I’ve struggled with in the past. So many times have I gone to a training camp, got too excited, done too much and gotten sick. So I was pretty happy with the 12 days and 52hrs I had in the bank. This wasn’t just in my case either, I think it’s a pretty rare occasion when there’s no sickness, injury or problems throughout a whole team for such a long period of stress. So chapeau to everyone involved for such a great camp, one that I hope will set us all up for a great 2011!