The Central Pro Team ladies headed south to kick off their 2010 season with some training and racing in a place with a warmer climate. The squad had one goal in mind as it travelled to Majorca: prepare to defend its number-one World Cup ranking.
World Cup winner Lisi Osl, Anja Gradl and newcomer Mona Eiberweiser made the trip under the guidance of team leader Sabine Spitz. The Olympic champion, who is the current marathon World Champion, continues to recover from two operations. En route to recovery, she was forced to take an extended break from her bike, but that gave her the opportunity to work more closely with her German and Austrian teammates.
"All are highly motivated, which makes me very optimistic for 2010," said Spitz. "The bar is certainly high, but we should be able to repeat that success. "
Osl had a breakthrough year in 2009. She won three World Cup cross countries and the overall title. The Austrian said she's been happy with her training this winter and plans to pattern this season on last year's given that it worked so well.
"I've increased the amount of training a little bit, but nothing changed," said Osl.
Gradl was also looking good at the early season training camp, even though her studies have hampered her training somewhat. Nonetheless, Spitz still thinks Gradl may be in even better form coming off this winter season than last winter.
Eiberweiser is the young talent of the squad. The 19-year-old was European Junior Champion in 2008 and is considered one of the great hopes for German mountain biking. Eiberweiser only stayed a short time with the team at the training camp, however, as she had to return home for school.
The Central Pro women will head next to the sunny island of Cyprus for some additional training and racing. They are expected to race at the Cyprus Sunshine Cup.