The Velocio-SRAM Pro Cycling team recently completed an 11-day training camp in Peschiera Del Garda, Italy, where the riders focused on dialing in their new time trial machines and prepped for the Strade Bianche on March 7.
Winning its fourth title in the Team Time Trial World Championships this September in Richmond, Virginia, is a top priority for the team, which completed a series of bike setup, positioning and aerodynamic tests at the local Montichiari velodrome.
“We are renowned as a team that stands for innovation and forward thinking in the sport,” said team director Ronny Lauke. “Our results in team and individual time trials are an indication of this. We strongly believe this year that with all of our partners, especially SRAM, Zipp and Cervelo, that we have the perfect partnerships to further strengthen our dominance in this area.”
Belarusian road and time trial champion Alena Amialisuik, who is in her first year wit the team, said the aerodynamic testing came with a steep learning curve.
“I learned a lot of new things about time trialling and it was really interesting and new for me,” she said.
Six riders took a break from the camp to compete in the inaugural women’s Strade Bianche, the Italian race known for traversing the white dirt roads of Tuscany.
Amialiusik, who finished seventh in the race, said Strade Bianche is now one of her favourite events.
“The race was very nice,” she said. “I liked this race because it's hard and it has nice steep climbs on the gravel sections.”
Pre-race favourite Tiffany Cromwell, who finished 22nd, said she aims to win the race one day.
“I loved Strade Bianche,” the Australian said. “It's a race that lived up to expectations in terms of its beauty and difficulty. It was exciting to finally race on the 'white roads' and it adds an extra level of excitement. The parcours was relentless, up and down all day with some viciously steep section and to finish in the heart of Sienna was something special.”
For the remaining days of the camp, riders found themselves training around the region Lake Garda, which provided plenty of options for climbs and intervals.
“We were spoilt with the weather and couldn't have asked for a better place to stay,” Cromwell said of the camp. “My favourite climbs were the climbs to Prada; we never made it all the way there sadly so I never found my handbag.”
The team will return to Italy for the second World Cup, Trofeo Binda in Cittiglio, on Sunday, March 29.