It's only been a few weeks since the 2013 road season came to a conclusion, but teams have begun their preparations for the upcoming 2014 season in earnest. US-based WorldTour squad Garmin-Sharp recently conducted a mini-camp in Boulder, Colorado, where new riders joined the staff for an outdoor wilderness team building adventure.
New hires such as Janier Acevedo, Nathan Brown, Phil Gaimon, Lasse Norman Hansen, Ben King, Tom Jelte Slagter, and Dylan van Baarle and team staff including Bingen Fernandez, Geert Van Bondt, Eric Van Lancker and Charlie Wegelius joined several current team members such as Alex Howes and Tyler Farrar in Boulder for several days of rappelling, hiking and team building exercises.
The camp attendees' team building opportunities included a role-reversal where riders became staff for the day and staff became riders. The role reversal was designed to build a better understanding for riders and staff about each other's roles - staff were divided by riders into teams and the riders, playing the role of directors, soigneurs and mechanics, designed training routes and team rosters and were responsible for everything for the ride - from bottles to bikes.
The camp also featured the Colorado Argyle Challenge which consisted of a wilderness course more than 8.5 miles long, including 3,000 feet of elevation gain, and involved challenge checkpoints that required skillful communication, leadership, and the ability to work together efficiently and effectively to solve problems. Riders also went on a New Balance trail run, designed by the sponsor, with elite New Balance athletes Tony Krupicka, Jenny Simpson and Emma Coburn.
Click here for a photo gallery from the Boulder mini-camp.