The AG2R La Mondiale team once again hit the French Alps this week for their first get-together ahead of the 2020 season.
While riding bikes will come next month at a more traditional training camp, the rendez-vous in Vaujany is a chance for preliminary meetings and team building exercises.
The camp was also an opportunity to set out race programmes for the coming season, and Romain Bardet announced he will skip the Tour de France to instead focus on the Giro d'Italia, Olympic Games, Vuelta a España, and World Championships.
Pierre Latour will lead AG2R La Mondiale at the Tour de France. He finished 13th overall in 2018 and won the best young rider's white jersey but endured an injury-hit 2019 after fracturing both his wrists in February.
This year, the riders and staff didn't board the cable car that heads up to the snowy mountain-top, but tried their hand at curling, archery, ice skating, and shooting in the village sports complex.
On Tuesday, they went out for an 11-kilometre hike, taking in 2000 feet of elevation gain.
"My legs are ruined," new recruit Harry Tanfield joked. "It's all the muscles you never usually use - I've never walked that far before in my life."
Tanfield was also enthusiastic about the camp, which takes place a lot earlier than most WorldTour teams.
"I’d much rather have this, to meet everyone, to get to know everyone, to have a chance to speak to everyone, and learn people's names. You can sort everything out, like kit sizing, plannings, doctors' meetings. It's better to do it all a month earlier."
Click or swipe through the gallery above for a selection of images from the camp.
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Deputy Editor - Europe. Patrick is an NCTJ-trained journalist who has seven years’ experience covering professional cycling. He has a modern languages degree from Durham University and has been able to put it to some use in what is a multi-lingual sport, with a particular focus on French and Spanish-speaking riders. After joining Cyclingnews as a staff writer on the back of work experience, Patrick became Features Editor in 2018 and oversaw significant growth in the site’s long-form and in-depth output. Since 2021 he has been Deputy Editor - Europe, taking more responsibility for the site’s content as a whole, while still writing and - despite a pandemic-induced hiatus - travelling to races around the world. Away from cycling, Patrick spends most of his time playing or watching other forms of sport - football, tennis, trail running, darts, to name a few, but he draws the line at rugby.
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