Team Milram has squeezed in its first training camp this week before the holidays. The German outfit is meeting with 26 riders, management, soigneurs, mechanics and everyone else in Donoratico, Italy. The riders are putting in some training kilometres in Tuscany, posing for photos, taking doping tests and otherwise preparing for the coming season.
The only one missing is Brett Lancaster, who is recovering from a hip operation at his home in Australia.
UCI representatives appeared on Monday to conduct blood tests. On Tuesday, the team was accompanied by a camera team during its training ride to make a promotional video. A photo shoot took place on Wednesday. But all of the meetings and training sessions also served as opportunity for the new team-mates to get to know each other.
Newcomer Christian Kux was impressed. "Everyone is in a good mood and talks to each other, even the Italians with the Germans. We [newcomers] have been welcomed with open arms by the others. Alessandro Petacchi for example is very nice and natural," he said.