Happy New Year and hello from the Spanish island of Mallorca!
The off-season is officially over, and we are back at it at the first of two training camps for RadioShack-Nissan-Trek. Camp actually started in Luxembourg with the team presentation to launch us into 2012. It was a great event with really good crowds. It was fun to see all the excitement for the team. I don't know if it was majority Luxembourgers there or a mix of people/countries, but either way, we are going to have a great following and fan support for the next year.
The morning after the presentation, we all jumped on a plane and headed for warmer weather. Here in Mallorca, it has been business as usual. We do the daily ride and follow it up with massage, relaxation, dinner, and sleeping. It may sound boring, but sometimes that is all a guy can muster after a long day's training! We've had five solid days of training with both the road and time trial bikes, and there are plenty more to come over the next week. We've done some group efforts with rotating pacelines, as well as an individual test up a climb. These exercises are mostly just to gauge where the team's fitness level is in general.
Another big part of this training camp is getting all your new stuff: kit, bike, shoes, etc. It's basically all the essentials for training and racing. I'm really excited to be riding Trek Bikes again. This year they have done some really nice paint jobs to match our kits. The shoes and pedals from Northwave and Speedplay have been fun to get dialed in, too. This is also my first long-term exposure to the Shimano Di2 shifting, and I have to say that it is pretty slick. It has taken me a bit of time to change my muscle's motor memory for how to shift, but the functionality of the product is very nice. The team is wearing Craft clothing again this year, and it is fun to have new things to try out. Bottom line is that we've got some really great sponsors to help us perform our best this year.
We've occupied our free time with things like interviews, photos, and lactate threshold tests. The resort we're staying at has a lot of things to do as well, with a nice sauna, workout room, and an array of activities put on by the staff, not to mention the different themes in the cafeteria for dinner every night! It is quite incredible with many options and a large variety of flavors to satisfy, which is particularly nice because we spend a good deal of time in there eating, talking, and laughing. It's been only a few days at training camp, and the team atmosphere is awesome. I am extremely excited to be a part of this team and see what we can do in 2012.