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Teniel Campbell blog: Meeting my mates from Team BikeExchange

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Teniel Campbell

Team BikeExchange 2021 (Image credit: Team BikeExchange)
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Teniel Campbell

Welcome card for Teniel Campbell from her new teammates at Team BikeExchange (Image credit: Teniel Campbell)
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Teniel Campbell

Welcome card for Teniel Campbell from her new teammates at Team BikeExchange (Image credit: Teniel Campbell)
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Teniel Campbell

Teniel Campbell riding with her new Team BikeExchange (Image credit: Team BikeExchange)
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Teniel Campbell

Teniel Campbell riding with her new Team BikeExchange (Image credit: Team BikeExchange)
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Teniel Campbell

Teniel Campbell with her new teammates at Team BikeExchange (Image credit: Team BikeExchange)
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Teniel Campbell

Teniel Campbell training in Spain (Image credit: Team BikeExchange)
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Teniel Campbell

Teniel Campbell - all smiles! (Image credit: Team BikeExchange)

The Guys:

I met a few of the guys during aero testing in Valencia prior to our training camp here in Oliva, Spain. We had super fun and intriguing conversations! The first night at the dinner table it was Jack, Tsgabu, Callum and I.

We were debating whether I spoke English or another language. It was actually pretty hilarious and they tried to encourage me to speak in dialect to see if they could understand. The most interesting moment for me was during the bike set up on the Tacx ergo, and randomly jumping on Jack’s bike and feeling dialed in as though it was mine!

Fun Fact: I have the longest saddle pole on the entire team. #whoops!

Everyone was super welcoming, professional and easy to talk to. It definitely did not feel like the first day of school!

Interesting fact, a few of the team members know about Trinidad and Tobago, have visited, and love the great Ato Boldon and cricket, of course! Heppy even brought a cricket ball to team camp. Too bad I didn’t have that extra energy in me to go hunting for a piece of wood to make a cricket bat!

The Girls:

At first I was super nervous, hesitant ... I think I repeated in my head what to say or do several times.

Should I go for an elbow or a knuckle bounce ... a sanitized hand shake or that weird cycling salute we all do when on the bike. After all, these are the girls whom I respect a lot in the peloton for their craft.

Honestly, I thought they were going to be super stern but they are actually completely hilarious human beings just like me. Always laughing, stimulating good conversations, lots of positive vibes and good energy! However, I am still not sure how they were talking so much during training on day 8; I was already a semi-dead fish!

Teniel Campbell

Teniel Campbell training with her Team BikeExchange in Spain (Image credit: Team BikeExchange)

Everyone is different in their own way. That’s what makes each individual unique and special. It is also what contributes to a good balance on a team.

They are all just soooooo jolly!

Not that I had any doubts but immediately after our first few conversations I knew I was about to gain heaps of knowledge from them.

A lack of experience is a part of the puzzle that is missing.

Having experience is an essential element, especially in this phase of my career. Therefore, to shadow my teammates, make mistakes, be corrected, understand, learn and execute the next time around is something I am actually really looking forward to!

It is such an amazing atmosphere here at Team BikeExchange and it constantly makes me excited for whatever is in-store for the season ahead! Every time I suit up and be around the team a great feeling of pride and excitement fills up within. This is a feeling that is also a bit rare to me so, at times, it is also followed by a pinch of nervousness and anxiety.

And what better way to continue my journey with the one who saw my potential from the start at the UCI World Cycling Centre: Alejandro Gonzalez-Tablas. An incredible and instructive coach who helps me understand my craft by allowing me to make mistakes, raise questions then explain it to me; teaching me in the process how to be a better athlete and to understand my training. 

Most times, I learn the hard way, but hey, I’m Teniel Victoria Campbell, and the hard lessons are always the best teachers!

TC

Cyclingnews' newest blog writer Teniel Campbell hails from Trinidad and Tobago and races for Team BikeExchange. She started her career in professional road and track cycling following a full scholarship at the World Cycling Centre (WCC) in Aigle, Switzerland in early 2018. Teniel has achieved success with the WCC programme, Valcar-Travel & Service, and with her national team. She is now making her debut with the Women's WorldTour Team BikeExchange in 2021. You can follow Teniel on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.