At the end of 2017, we were given behind-the-scenes access to Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka’s first off-season training camp in Cape Town, South Africa. Now we’re sharing this rare access with you through a series of four features, providing an insight into the team’s preparations for the season, from riding with the squad and social media training, to medical check-ups and the arrival of new kit. You can read part one here, when we joined Africa’s Team on the roads of Cape Town, or read on for part two.
Professional cycling is a profoundly demanding occupation. The point was reinforced once more, during one of the team meetings we were joined at the Dimension Data for Qhubeka training camp in Cape Town, South Africa, late last year. The riders were reminded of their expected training volume: 80-100hrs per month; 28,000km (17,400 miles) per year. Minimum. None of them so much as batted an eyelid at those numbers.
In asking so much of their athletes, the team assumes a great duty of care for their health and wellbeing. That’s a responsibility Dimension Data for Qhubeka takes extremely seriously and it was no coincidence the presentation moved directly from the vast training load to the team’s new health and wellness mobile app.
It’s called Phila (pee-lah), which means ‘to live’ in Nguni, and it was developed for the team by Dimension Data. It gathers information on daily physical and mental well-being information, shares it with the coaching and medical team, and correlates it with data from TrainingPeaks. Riders tell the app how long and well they slept, and rate their mood, motivation and stress levels.