Dan Fleeman and his Raleigh teammates recently returned from Mallorca, where they spent time training together and despite facing atrocious weather, the UK team are ready for their inaugural season on the road. Fleeman signed for the team after his one-year contract wasn't renewed by his 2009 team, Cervelo TestTeam.
“The winter has gone pretty well. I was training in Portugal over the winter and then got back from Mallorca on Sunday because we had our first team training camp. It went well, the weather wasn’t great but everyone has been going well and I was really pleased. We’ve got a really strong team especially on the climbs. I was quite surprised that going up the climbs I was going up them as hard as ever and quite a few were staying with me,” Fleeman told Cyclingnews.
The team’s racing programme already looks full for the first part of the year. Along with the biggest UK races the team will race the Cinturón Ciclista Internacional a Mallorca and the Vuelta Mexico Telmex later this Spring.
“It’s all coming together quite nicely now and we’re actually getting to the point where we have to turn some races down because we’re double booked.”
However despite forays into Europe the team’s main focus will remain in the UK for 2010. Fleeman, though, believes that if the team expands then more European racing could be on the cards next season. “The main problem is that we have the UK races and we need to field a team for those and then we don’t have enough riders to fill a roster in Europe at the same time. that’s the goal for next year.
“We’re hoping to get into the Flèche du Sud too as well as the Tour Des Pyrénées that I won two years ago. It’s coming together.”
Of course Fleeman is no stranger to racing on the Continent after riding for Cervelo TestTeam in 2009. However his one-year contract was not renewed. Yet despite that, Fleeman believes that he doesn’t have a point to prove to anyone but himself.
“At the end of the day they seemed to forget the reason for putting me on the team in the first place and that was because of the results I got in 2008. If I start getting those same results again I’ll be happy. But I’m not proving a point to anyone. These people are quick to forget.”