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Liqugas-Cannondale take to SRM and physiology tests

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The Liquigas-Cannondale riders underwent incremental lab tests

The Liquigas-Cannondale riders underwent incremental lab tests
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Ted King works on his Italian by reading Gazzetta dello Sport

Ted King works on his Italian by reading Gazzetta dello Sport
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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A mechanic checks the number of a new race frame

A mechanic checks the number of a new race frame
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Senior mechanic Giuseppe Archetti has all the small parts he will ever need

Senior mechanic Giuseppe Archetti has all the small parts he will ever need
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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This team truck will soon be full of bikes and wheels

This team truck will soon be full of bikes and wheels
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Daniel Oss and Sylwester Szymd hogged the wifi in the hotel reception to use their tablet computers

Daniel Oss and Sylwester Szymd hogged the wifi in the hotel reception to use their tablet computers
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Francesco Bellotti's shadow confirms he has a flat back

Francesco Bellotti's shadow confirms he has a flat back
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The Sagan brothers: Peter (left) and Juraj (right)

The Sagan brothers: Peter (left) and Juraj (right)
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Vincenzo Nibali sneaked in a short ride before his test on the rig

Vincenzo Nibali sneaked in a short ride before his test on the rig
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Each bike is carefully built up to a rider's exact measurements

Each bike is carefully built up to a rider's exact measurements
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The team is sponsored by Sidi in 2011

The team is sponsored by Sidi in 2011
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Eros Capecchi gets a massage as jazz plays quietly in the background

Eros Capecchi gets a massage as jazz plays quietly in the background
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Paolo Longo Borghini relaxes with his Mac

Paolo Longo Borghini relaxes with his Mac
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The riders did daily stretching and relaxation sessions

The riders did daily stretching and relaxation sessions
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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A rider collects his clean kit after it has been washed by the soigneurs

A rider collects his clean kit after it has been washed by the soigneurs
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The staff studied how they can improve Peter Sagan's position

The staff studied how they can improve Peter Sagan's position
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The medical and coaching staff study the data from a rider's lab test

The medical and coaching staff study the data from a rider's lab test
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Three mechanics were busy building the team's race bikes

Three mechanics were busy building the team's race bikes
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The rider's training bikes fill the rack

The rider's training bikes fill the rack
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The biomechanic measures exact leg length

The biomechanic measures exact leg length
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)

The Liquigas-Cannondale riders are working on their endurance at the team’s first training camp in Sardinia but part of each day is spent on other complimentary, and equally important activities, such as work in the gym, stretching and balance work, physiology testing, planning race programmes, massage, introductions to new sponsors, media interviews and even English lessons.

A December training camp is vital for making sure everything is in place before the racing begins and riders and staff are scattered around the globe at races. It is also the right time for riders to tweak their positions on the bike, and work on their core strength and flexibility.

To fit in all the extra activities, some riders, including team leader’s Ivan Basso and Vincenzo Nibali set their alarm clocks for 6:30am so they can go to the gym before breakfast.

The training rides leave the hotel at 9:30 and then other activities fill the rest of the day until dinner at 8:00pm.

Lab tests

There was no training ride programmed for Tuesday because every rider underwent a physiology test in a temporary lab set up in one of the buildings. Vincenzo Nibali sneaked out for an hour on the bike but most riders saved everything for the test and then rode on the rollers to recover from their effort.

The tests were done under the watchful eye of team coach Paolo Slongo and technicians from power metre specialist SRM.

The test lasted 45 minutes, with the riders told to increase their power output by a few watts every three minutes. The riders were wired up to a computer and their breathing capacity was also measured.

The stretching and relaxation classes were done in groups of six or seven, while the soigneur were kept busy rubbing the muscles of the 30 riders on the team.

Liquigas-Cannondale intends to be a more global team in 2011. The Italian squad has added Ted King, Timmy Duggen and Cameron Wurf to their roster but also made the other riders study English during the training camp. Many will need more than a few hours with a teacher before they are fluent but the team hopes it will make them understand the global importance of the sport and the need to speak in English.

Mechanics busy building new bikes

Three of the eight Liquigas-Cannondale mechanics were in Sardinia and have turned a large room at the Geovillage resort into their workshop. They built the rider’s training bikes and time trial bike before the camp and were busy building their first race bike. Senior mechanic Giuseppe Archetti told Cyclingnews that they will build at least 160 bikes during the season, with riders having a training bike which stays at their home, a race bike, a reserve bike, a time trial bike and probably further new bikes during the season and special bikes for the pave races.

Staff from Cannondale, new drive train and brake supplier SRAM and Speedplay pedals were all at the camp, helping the mechanics and riders fine-tune their bikes ready for the rapidly approaching 2011 season.