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Teniel Campbell: I'm honestly not in top condition

TIELTWINGE BELGIUM MARCH 01 Teniel Campbell of Trinidad and Tobago and Team Valcar Travel Service during the 16th Spar Omloop Van Het Hageland 2020 Women Elite a 130km race from Tienen to TieltWinge LottoCyclingCup BELCycling on March 01 2020 in TieltWinge Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images
Teniel Campbell (Valcar Travel & Service) (Image credit: Getty Images)

Teniel Campbell will restart the season at the Clasica Femenina Navarra in the Basque Country on Friday. The Valcar-Travel & Service sprinter told Cyclingnews that she is not in her best form after experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in Italy and that she will begin the revised calendar in a domestique role.

"My team and I restart the season in Spain this week," Campbell said. "I can confirm my participation for the second day, but I am still unsure about the third day.

The UCI announced the revised-late season calendar in May and the Women's WorldTour, while several events have already cancelled, it has retained 15 of the original 22 events. 

The top-tier calendar will start at Strade Bianche on August 1 but many teams and riders will test their legs at the three one-day races – the Emakumeen Nafarroako Klasikoa, the Clasica Femenina Navarra and the Durango-Durango Emakumeen Saria – that are held from July 23-26.

Campbell is from Trinidad and Tobago but she has made a home for herself in Bottanuco in Lombardy, where her Valver-Travel & Service team is located. 

Campbell told Cyclingnews that during lockdown she had almost no contact with anyone, since many of her Italian teammates lived at home with their families. Although COVID-19 public health restrictions have eased and Campbell has been able to train outside, she said she needs time to build her top-end form again.

"I am honestly not in top condition," Campbell told Cyclingnews. "For this reason I will be on domestique duties and I am happy with the team for understanding this. It also takes some pressure off of me as I lack a bit of confidence at the moment."

Campbell opened the season in February with promising results. She took two fifth places at the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana and the Omloop van het Hageland, and a third place at the Vuelta CV Feminas before the racing season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She is now setting her sights on races in September to give her time to train, race and improve her form again.

"My season goals are between September through November," Campbell said. "Within this period, I must be in the best form and condition. Mentally it is good for me. Within this period the races are on going and I prefer this constant flow."

That period of racing will include the Boels Ladies Tour, Giro Rosa, Flèche Wallonne and the UCI Road World Championships. October will include Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Brabantse Pijl, Amstel Gold Race, Gent-Wevelgem, Tour of Flanders, Brugge-De Panne, Tour of Chongming Island and the inaugural women’s Paris-Roubaix.

Campbell did not announce her race schedule but she indicated to Cyclingnews in an earlier interview that she wanted to contest the time trial at the World Championships in Switzerland, and she has a goal of winning a major Classic. 

Valcar-Travel & Service recently held a training camp in Livigno where Campbell said it was a good opportunity to build base miles and prepare for the three-month season ahead.

"We did a retreat in Livigno for two weeks, two weeks ago," she said. "I suffered a lot and the experience was harsh on my body. It was my first time training in high altitude."

Valcar-Travel & Service are registered to compete at the UCI 1.1 one-day race in Spain this week. The team has also received one of the 23 invitations to compete at La Course by Le Tour de France on August 29.

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Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in bike racing from the grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all cycling disciplines, edits news and writes features. Currently the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten coordinates global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.