Survival courses and potholing may be increasingly en vogue as team building exercises in the professional peloton, but there was a distinctly traditional feel to Cannondale Pro Cycling’s first gathering ahead of the 2014 campaign in the Val di Fassa in the Dolomites.
Just as in generations past, the likes of Fausto Coppi, Jacques Anquetil and even Sean Kelly took to the ski slopes during the off-season before easing their way back into the saddle, Peter Sagan, Ivan Basso and the rest of the Cannondale team’s first assembly of the new season took place in the snow of Trentino.
Indeed, the team has followed a similar template for the past number of years. The final week of November sees the riders gather for to discuss their race programmes for the coming season, before they begin collective work out on the road in sunnier climes in mid-December.
Cannondale spent the past three days in Moena, in the Val di Fassa, for meetings and team building activities, including skiing and orienteering. Among those present were Sagan, Basso, Moreno Moser and Elia Viviani, as well as new arrivals George Bennett, Davide Villella and under-23 world champion Matej Mohoric of Slovenia.
Over the course of four days next week, the team’s 27 riders will individually undergo physical assessment by the team’s medical staff, before the first true training camp gets underway on December 6th. The Cannondale squad will spend thirteen days in Riotorto, Tuscany, clocking up the miles ahead of the 2014 season.