Taking advantage of a quiet period in its racing schedule, Lampre-ISD decided to put some of their riders through their paces at a mini training camp in San Vincenzo on the Italian coast this week. And while other teams and riders were getting valuable race time under their belts ahead of the forthcoming Spring Classics, the Lampre-ISD management and coaching team ensured that their own riders weren't falling behind by devising their own four-stage 'mini tour' that totalled a distance of 655km.
Alessandro Petacchi, Damiano Cunego (twice) and Grega Bole were the winners of the keenly-contested stages and the four days of friendly but fierce competiton is more money in the bank for the riders and will hold them in good stead over the coming weeks.
"Each training ride, from 20 to 23 February, was structured with the aim of being similar to a race," said sporting director Maurizio Piovani. "The number of riders was enough to make it competitive, the courses were very demanding and, most importantly, there was a huge will by all the cyclists to test their fitness.
"The balance of the idea is really good: the importance of this training was not only in the competition, that was the playful part, but in the
fact that there cyclists could pedal over 655 km, covering a difference in height of 8000m. The data we have shows how intense it was and how well they performed."
Cunego, who is one of the team's standard bearers, was happy to take part in the training and praised its effectiveness.
"It was an interesting idea that allowed us to train in a more exciting way," Cunego said. These days were helpful to improve our fitness and I'm sure we'll be more competitive in the next races."