Adageo Energy Pro Cycling Team is ready to put its riders to the test at the Callville Bay Classic this weekend. The new US-based Continental squad prepared for the season start with a few days of training round Lake Mead, a reservoir located in the scenic desert landscape on the border of Nevada and Arizona.
Callville Bay, on the reservoir, is a location symbolic of the team's initial success having won the three-stage race last year, as the amateur team Liquid Cycling. Adageo Energy's co-founder Clay Womack took a vested interest in the program and signed on board as title sponsor. The financial boost allowed the team to upgrade to a UCI-Continental outfit.
"Last year we came to this race," said Directeur Sportif and racer Josh Horowitz. "We had just formed a team and had been doing some local racing. This was our first big team race with everyone there. We though it was a really cool atmosphere. The entire race took place from the marina and all the racers stayed on these boats. It was really tight but it was good team bonding."
The men of Adageo Energy stayed on Forever Resorts 50-foot houseboats at the Callville Bay Resort & Marina. A unique experience meant to offer the team an opportunity to get to know one another.
"We have a much bigger team this year and what better way to get everyone to bond than putting them in an atmosphere that is totally unfamiliar to everyone," Horowitz said. "It put everyone into a situation that was new and fresh and forced them to help each other. Each boat had tiny little bedrooms and a full kitchen so we ate breakfast, lunch and dinner at the lake."
Camp included four days of tapered riding and clinical hypnotic sessions to mentally prepare the riders for race day. There were plenty of photo opportunities through the high mountains that surrounded the reservoir
"The idea behind going to Vegas was team bonding," Horowitz said. "Some of our riders had never been there before. We did a photo shoot under a show that happens every hour and we stuck around and went to a bar right off the strip and had a beer."
"We didn't do crazy miles because we were getting ready for the race," he said. "It's a key event for us and our rides were designed around a peak performance there. We did some hard efforts and the guys got to know each others strengths under pressure."
After completing the Callville Bay Classic, the squad will continue to race every weekend this month to prepare for its first National Racing Calendar (NRC) event at the Redlands Bicycle Classic held between March 25-28.
Its early season schedule includes the Merco Credit Union Cycling Classic, Tour of Murrietta, San Dimas Stage Race, Sea Otter and the Dana Point Grand Prix.
"March is the most important part of the season for us," Horowitz said. "We want to ride like a team and ride positively. We want to walk away from a race feeling like we've accomplished something whether or not we win. Winning races isn't everything to our team or our sponsors. Our goal is to make the race and to be a factor in every race we enter."
The roster includes Horowitz, Eric Bennett, Adam Carr, Austin Carroll, Tobias Eggli, Tim Farnham, Danny Finneran, Matt Landen, Alexi Martinez, Tommy Nelson, Cody Stevenson and Bennet van der Genugten.