Last week, ALP Cycles Racing, had their team camp in Grand Junction. We call it a "team camp" instead of a "training camp", because camp was so much more than training. It was about he team; building team bonds, building team skills, and starting to think as one team. Everyone rides for the greater good of the team.
Our first day of camp included a lap of the Colorado National Monument. Climbing was the name of the game. In the saddle, out of the saddle, accelerating, recovering, chasing, etc. Climbing is so much more than just chugging up a mountain. It can be very dynamic and we practiced that together.
Pacelines for miles was Day 2. Actually, hours and hours of paclines. For almost 4 hrs we practiced double paceline, rotating paceline, single paceline- all in the wind and with rumble stripes to keep us tight (and out of the road). The only way to really get better at something is to practice it, over and over again. The progress the team made was truly amazing. By day 3, everyone was comfortable riding closely to each other, paying attention to the wind, and riding well together and fast. Our speed was impressive. Each rider was confident, smooth, and the entire group moved quickly and well together.
Day 4 was a short but sweet leadout day. After an evening talk explaining the in's and out's of leadouts the women were dialed and ready to practice, try different orders, and get the last little bit out of their legs that was left.
Off the bike, the team ate together, cooked together, foam rolled together, and had racing and training discussions each night. It truly was a team bonding camp. Yes, we got a lot of training, (~13hrs in 4 days) , but more importantly, the women are bonded as a team and ready to race as one team.
Update- ALP Athlete and ALP Cycles Racing team member Andrea Printy is racing the Tour of th Gila with the Amy D Foundation team. After two days of racing, she sent us an update-- "
So far, the Tour of the Gila has been both a learning and an humbling experience. Yesterday’s 68 mile race was relatively mellow for the first 58 miles. I used this race to try new things, including going for an intermediate sprint, jumping on a break, and getting water bottles from the team car and distributing them. The rest of my race was spent trying to move up. It was exciting to have two Amy D. riders finish in the top 15!
Today’s race was the hardest road race I have ever done. The first 10 miles were aggressive, with teams vying for the sprints and QOMs. Holding a position was extremely hard for me, even on the side of the peloton. While our two GC riders made it up the climb, three of us got dropped with 64 miles of racing and a few thousand feet of climbing still left. We drew on each other’s strengths, kept the wheels of the struggle bus spinning and, with the help of three other riders we picked up along the way, made it to the end. There were many thoughts going through my head today: "Why am I doing this?... My feet, legs, and back are killing me... I want a beer!" I felt rewarded at the end of the race when I looked at my Garmin and saw that I’d worked really, really hard. #Makingdeposits."
Good luck in today's Time Trial Andrea!- And Coach Ruth Winder as well.