The riders and staff arrived in Sicily on Friday and did their first ride on Saturday, giving their new bikes a shakedown and enjoying the quiet but hilly roads on the slopes of the Italian volcano. Only Michael Rogers, Christopher Juul-Jensen, Manuele Boaro, Jesper Hansen, Michael Kolar, Pavel Brutt and Evgeny Petrov were missing from the camp because they will ride the Tour Down Under in Australia. Despite being locked in a legal battle with the UCI regarding an alleged Biological Passport violation, Roman Kreuziger is at the camp and training hard with his teammates.
The training rides are planned and monitored by new head coach Bobby Julich and new directeur sportif Sean Yates. The riders face daily sessions in the gym before breakfast to work on their core body strength. The training rides are followed by massage and recovery.
“A camp like this allows us to fully concentrate on training – both as individual riders and as a team,” Julich explained in a statement on the team's website.
“The trip to Kilimanjaro was about getting together and building a strong team spirit, while the first camp at Anfi on Gran Canaria was used to lay the foundation after the off-season. But this camp on Sicily will be much more specific, getting the riders up to race speed, simulating race situations and pushing the general condition further. Already now, when I look at the team, I see a unified group with a very solid team spirit. So during the more intensive rides, we’ll have the opportunity to make sure that everybody knows how they can help each other even when they’re put under pressure.”
“We’ll of course make a smooth transition to avoid overtraining or sickness. But for sure, we’ll kick up the tempo in the second part of the camp. The season is upon us, and we’re all very excited and ready for the big battles.”
Alberto Contador will target both the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France in 2015 and make his season debut at the Ruta del Sol (18-22 February). Peter Sagan is expected to make his race debut in the bright yellow and blue Tinkoff-Saxo colours at the Tour of Qatar (February 8-13).
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