Road racers are not the only pros who spend pre- or early season time in Mallorca. Cross country mountain bike world champion Jose Antonio Hermida travelled to Mallorca, where he is spending the next 10 days with his Multivan Merida Team.
The Multivan Merida Team has spent the past several years meeting up in Mallorca before the European mountain bike season kicks off. 2011 marks Hermida's seventh year racing with the team, and he remains under contract with the squad through the end of 2012.
"Mallorca is the first contact between staff and team after the winter break. This is where we get the official material of the season, and it is the time to do long-distance training sessions with the teammates," said Hermida.
The training camp marks the countdown until Hermida's first days of racing in 2011. Those initial races will all be part of the build-up to the opening cross country World Cup on the final weekend of April in South Africa.
Just prior to the Multivan Merida team camp, Hermida completed physical tests to help him measure his form. He reported good results including being within 100g of his weight of last year, producing higher wattages and less lactate.
"I feel like a junior," said the amiable Hermida. "It seems that I am getting better as years go by and this reassures me that cyclo-cross is a great way to maintain a good level during the winter months, as I have done in recent seasons."
Hermida spent the winter racing cyclo-cross and finished second in the Spanish national championships in that discipline.