Mark Cavendish joins Dimension Data at Calpe training camp

Riders put in long rides while teammates race at Tour Down Under

After a wintry cross-country ski trip in Oslo, Mark Cavendish has joined Dimension Data for a training camp in sunny Calpe. The 10 riders in attendance have put in long hours on the bike, an effort that director Rolf Aldag said will pay off in the 2018 season.

"We had beautiful weather, really good conditions and we've been hosted really well by the region and the hotel, so I think it was successful," Aldag said in a team press release.

Cavendish joined teammates Bernhard Eisel, Julien Vermote, Scott Thwaites, Jay Thomson, Johann van Zyl, Nic Dougall, Serge Pauwels, Louis Meintjes and Igor Anton, along with team staff, during the camp. Edvald Boasson Hagen was not there as he had to delay the start of his 2018 campaign after having his gallbladder removed earlier this month.

The riders spent time on an intense block of training in the region as well as at the Valencia velodrome, where a number of riders underwent 'aero-testing'. The team used their new equipment including Cervelo bikes. From the camp, Cavendish posted a photo his new bike on Twitter.

"It's the first long rides for the guys so obviously it's a little bit uncomfortable if you ride for five hours on the first day, five on the second and six on the third but that's pretty normal, and our medical team and the carers handled that pretty well. Everyone goes home in better shape than they came with, and that was the goal."

Dimension Data also have a team racing at the WorldTour opener Santos Tour Down Under. Following stage 5, South African neo-pro Nicholas Dlamini secured the King of the Mountains jersey while Tom-Jelte Slagter finish third on the stage to Richie Porte (BMC) and is in third place overall. The race ends in Adelaide on Sunday.

"It's been so nice to watch the team Down Under and see how they go in the first races, everybody's always a little bit nervous watching the new season get underway but we're all very confident as we head into it and we hope for our first victory early," Aldag said.

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