AG2R-La Mondiale completed its first training camp of the 2011 campaign on Friday. France’s sole ProTeam licence holder got in ten days of warm weather miles in Salou, Spain.
“The weather conditions were better than in France,” AG2R directeur sportif Julien Jurdie told L’Équipe. “We were able to do all the training that we had planned.”
26 of the team’s 27 riders took a full part in the camp, which included a full series of physical tests and three rides of five hours or more. The only absentee was John Gadret, who did not take part due to his cyclo-cross commitments, although the Frenchman did come to Salou for the team’s official photographs.
The camp also saw the team’s new signings meet their teammates for the first time and Jurdie was pleased with AG2R’s first outing. “There were no health problems,” he said. “It was a big success.”
FDJ in the ice and snow
While AG2R rode under the Catalan sun, their fellow French squad FDJ trained in the cold of northern France. As per tradition, FDJ’s first training camp took place at Moussy-le-Vieux, home of the team sponsor, and saw the riders divide their time between cyclo-cross and the road.
In the mornings, the FDJ riders took in cyclo-cross rides in the park of the Château de Moussy, before spending their afternoons on the road. The wintry conditions curtailed their training, however, and Olivier Bonnaire and Nacer Bouhanni were among the riders to fall on icy roads, albeit without serious injury.
“It was cold but at Het Nieuwsblad it will be 5°C too,” manager Marc Madiot told L’Équipe.
There were two absentees from FDJ’s 27-man line-up at the camp. Wesley Sulzberger is at home in Australia, while veteran Frédéric Guesdon was at the French national sports centre INSEP, where he is studying for a certificate in sports coaching.