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Gallery: Cannondale spices up its winter training in Tuscany

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Team three gets ready to roll

Team three gets ready to roll
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The music was pumping but Basso prefered his own tunes

The music was pumping but Basso prefered his own tunes
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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by Guoqiang SongTour of Hainan

by Guoqiang SongTour of Hainan
(Image credit: Cannondale Pro Cycling)
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Peter Sagan on the rollers

Peter Sagan on the rollers
(Image credit: Cannondale Pro Cycling)
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Another day, another training ride

Another day, another training ride
(Image credit: Cannondale Pro Cycling)
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Smile Peter!

Smile Peter!
(Image credit: Cannondale Pro Cycling)
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by Guoqiang SongTour of Hainan

by Guoqiang SongTour of Hainan
(Image credit: Cannondale Pro Cycling)
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Peter Sagan makes a solo effort

Peter Sagan makes a solo effort
(Image credit: Cannondale Pro Cycling)
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Training was combined with the occasional stop for an espresso

Training was combined with the occasional stop for an espresso
(Image credit: Cannondale Pro Cycling)
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Here comes the Cannondale team

Here comes the Cannondale team
(Image credit: Cannondale Pro Cycling)
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The full 2014 Cannondale team

The full 2014 Cannondale team
(Image credit: Cannondale Pro Cycling)
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Cannondale will again be the green team

Cannondale will again be the green team
(Image credit: Cannondale Pro Cycling)
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A classic Tuscan landscape

A classic Tuscan landscape
(Image credit: Cannondale Pro Cycling)
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Another day of training in the sun

Another day of training in the sun
(Image credit: Cannondale Pro Cycling)
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Viviani, Ratto and Bodnar lead the team

Viviani, Ratto and Bodnar lead the team
(Image credit: Cannondale Pro Cycling)
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Elia Viviani works on his sprinting

Elia Viviani works on his sprinting
(Image credit: Cannondale Pro Cycling)
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The 2014 Cannondale kit will again be green and white with a vertical stripe

The 2014 Cannondale kit will again be green and white with a vertical stripe
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Elia Viviani lead team one

Elia Viviani lead team one
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Ivan Basso lead team two

Ivan Basso lead team two
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Peter Sagan does his turn on the front

Peter Sagan does his turn on the front
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The aim of the ride was to work efficiently together

The aim of the ride was to work efficiently together
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Matej Mohoric leads the line

Matej Mohoric leads the line
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Team three in tight formation

Team three in tight formation
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Peter Sagan shows his power

Peter Sagan shows his power
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Ivan Basso has been working on his time trial position

Ivan Basso has been working on his time trial position
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Juraj Sagan (Cannondale)

Juraj Sagan (Cannondale)
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The riders rotated between the rollers, core work and gym work

The riders rotated between the rollers, core work and gym work
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Elia Viviani balances core work with strength work

Elia Viviani balances core work with strength work
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Ted King works hard on the mat

Ted King works hard on the mat
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Peter Sagan does some leg squats

Peter Sagan does some leg squats
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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7:30 but everyone is in the gym

7:30 but everyone is in the gym
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Camerun Wurf works on his core strength before breakfast

Camerun Wurf works on his core strength before breakfast
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Each rider's power levels are fitted to their bike

Each rider's power levels are fitted to their bike
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The riders get ready to ride out from their hotel under a stunning Tuscan sky

The riders get ready to ride out from their hotel under a stunning Tuscan sky
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Samuel Marangoni talks to Moreno Moser and Peter Sagan abot their training ride

Samuel Marangoni talks to Moreno Moser and Peter Sagan abot their training ride
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)

The Cannondale team is about to wrap up its pre-season training camp in Tuscany after 11 days of intense work that included quality training on the bike under a warm winter sun but also early morning gym, core and roller work.

Peter Sagan, Ivan Basso, Moreno Moser and Elia Viviani will again be the team leaders, chasing success in the Classics, the Giro d'Italia, Tour de France and the sprints.

The 20 riders retained from 2013, including Ted King, Canada's Guillaume Boivin and Australia's Cameron Wurf, were joined by new recruits Oscar Gatto (Vini Fantini), promising Kiwi George Bennett (Radioshack), Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil-DCM), plus neo-pros Matej Mohoric, Davide Villella, Alberto Bettiol and Davide Formolo.

Cannondale now owns the team entirely after buying a major stake from long-time owner Paolo Zani, but the team remains registered in Italy for 2014, with riders and staff switching from English to Italian and back again throughout the day. The team colours remain the same bright green and white, with vertical stripes on the chest.

Weber combines science with competitive training

Cannondale recently announced Sebastian Weber as the team's new head coach but he and assistant coaches Mattia Michelusi and Samuel Marangoni have been working with the riders since the end of October, when it previous coach Paolo Slongo left to work with Vincenzo Nibali at Astana.

Weber's discipline, eye for detail and scientific approach were easy to see when Cyclingnews visited the team on Monday. The riders were clearly motivated and enjoying the added dimension of competition and rivalry Weber has combined with the use of power data during daily training.

Everyone was already working hard at 7:30 in the morning, either waking up their metabolism with 30 minutes on the rollers, strengthening their core muscles or working on their muscle strength before breakfast. Nothing was left to chance, with Weber leading the core exercises like a school gym teacher. A second class was held after breakfast, with training rides rolling out on time at 10:30.

The training load consisted of three days of specific work, divided by rest days. The rest of the time was filled with sponsor presentations, bike fits, training discussions, meetings, video and official photographs.

One day of training included a 12km road race between three teams of riders. On Monday the first half of training was about team time trials, with focus on instilling a sense of unity, team spirit and balance of effort.

The coaches divided the riders into three mixed ability groups based on body surface area and they raced on a 12km flat course near the Tuscan coast. Each team had to ride faster than 47km/h, with the team producing the lowest average number of watts declared the winner.

Peter Sagan's team won the TTT test and so enjoyed bragging rights at the dinner table and a prize of some prosecco wine paid for by the losing team.

Following the camp the riders will head home for some recovery and some time at home before the start of the 2014 season. The team will hold an official presentation in California in early January, with riders then heading to Argentina for the Tour de San Luis and Australia for the Tour Down Under.

Cyclingnews will have a series of exclusive interviews with Peter Sagan, Ivan Basso, Ted King and many other Cannondale riders in the days ahead.