Tucson Training Camp: climbs, cacti, and camaraderie
Winter Training Camp: Tucson
Climbs, cacti, and camaraderie
In the American southwest winter means shorter days and a chance for thirsty cacti to come out of dormancy to gulp up water after the occasional rain. Winter also means migration, not just for birds, but for athletes of all stripes. This season the women’s team migrated south to Tucson, Arizona from as close as California, to as far as Colombia, England, and Australia.
The women’s team camp has a different look, and a different feel than the men’s camp. It has a similar consistency to it in that each day looks suspiciously like the one before. Each morning involves big breakfasts, coffee, and preparing for a ride. Afternoons involve massages with the soigneur, calling friends at family at home, and taking care of personal business. Evenings are dinner’s together, conversations about old acquaintances, and sharing travel tips to make the time away from home easier.
So, what’s different about the women’s camp? For one, since the women’s team is smaller the housing was different. The team and staff shared a large house, just at the foot of that classic Tucson climb, Mt. Lemmon. Meals are handled different as well, with the cooking responsibilities spread out among the team each night.
Camp is about more than riding, hanging out, getting to know new teammates, and remembering just why the old ones are so great. It’s also about working with sponsors, finding the right fit on a freshly built Orbea Orca and Ordu, and getting a refresher course on the right way to wear a Swiftwick sock (hint, the logos on the side should go over your ankle bones).
At the heart of it, training camp is training camp. The women start the day early, ride any where from two to five hours, clean up, eat a healthy lunch, start thinking about dinner about half way through lunch, and finally try to prepare their minds and bodies for another day of training. It’s all smiles, but it’s hard work. Thankfully, hard work pays off in the end.
Immediately after the women left camp in Tucson they jumped into the 2018 racing season with the Valley of the Sun Stage Race in Phoenix. All that hard work, both at camp and during the off season, helped them take two stage wins, a podium, and the overall general classification win.