Gallery: Cavendish and Sky practice leadouts

Team Sky is making the most of the warm weather and the variety of terrain on the picturesque Spanish island of Majorca this winter, as our exclusive gallery from their training camp shows.

The British team are in the middle of their second stint here, having had a large block of training in the northern resort of Alcudia before the Christmas break. With a team of mechanics, doctors, nutritionists, masseurs and coaches here every base is covered. The team chef has even taken over the kitchen in the hotel, ensuring that all the food the riders eat is carefully monitored.

Majorca is an ideal place to train and offers opportunities for climbing, rolling rides and flatter speed-based rides. There was a focus on lead-out training yesterday, as you will see from the gallery, while today the team are off on a serious climb that will test out the quads and the lungs to the maximum.

The mood in the camp is largely relaxed, with games of pool going on during leisure hours and plenty of banter during meal times. The camaraderie between the team will be a pleasing sign for the coaching staff and all of the riders have so far agreed that team spirit is at an all time high within the fledgling team. The business done in the off-season has been crucial to this, with contract extensions to important incumbents complemented by key new faces that have settled in quickly. And the coaching staff are steadfastly implementing the riders’ collective and individual targets, preaching the need for patience and careful piecemeal planning.

Yet there is also an inescapable sense that the riders are desperate to be unleashed and test themselves against each other and the rest of the world in proper race conditions. 2012 is set to be the biggest year yet for the team and that sense of excitement, opportunity and responsibility is definitely bubbling beneath the surface. It appears at this stage that the often elusive pre-season balance between measured circumspection and the harnessing of pent-up aggression and enthusiasm has been found by the men and women behind the scenes. With such a long season ahead its importance cannot be understated.

Images provided by Robin Moore.

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