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UnitedHealthcare women's team train in Arizona - Gallery

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The Arizona roads around Tucson provide plenty of opportunities

The Arizona roads around Tucson provide plenty of opportunities (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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The long and winding road near the bottom of Mt. Lemmon

The long and winding road near the bottom of Mt. Lemmon (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Newcomers Lizzy banks and Leah Thomas fit right in with the group

Newcomers Lizzy banks and Leah Thomas fit right in with the group (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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A scooter provides the rabbit for the chase on this climb

A scooter provides the rabbit for the chase on this climb (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Katie Hall, runner-up last year at the Tour of California, leads the group on a ride

Katie Hall, runner-up last year at the Tour of California, leads the group on a ride (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Seven riders enjoyed the Tucson camp, while Rushlee Buchanan and Shawn Morelli trained for track championships

Seven riders enjoyed the Tucson camp, while Rushlee Buchanan and Shawn Morelli trained for track championships (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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The camp allowed riders to train and get to know each other ahead of the new season

The camp allowed riders to train and get to know each other ahead of the new season (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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One rider covers her face with a bandana, while the other flies the peace sign

One rider covers her face with a bandana, while the other flies the peace sign (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Beautiful scenery is just one of the benefits of team camp rides

Beautiful scenery is just one of the benefits of team camp rides (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Riders sail through one of the fast corners on a descent

Riders sail through one of the fast corners on a descent (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Lauren Hall throws up her hands after sprint practice

Lauren Hall throws up her hands after sprint practice (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Dialing in their speed before the season starts

Dialing in their speed before the season starts (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Intervals, intervals, intervals

Intervals, intervals, intervals (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Team camp is also a good time to get some sun during along winter

Team camp is also a good time to get some sun during along winter (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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UnitedHealthcare riders blur as they pass some local flora

UnitedHealthcare riders blur as they pass some local flora (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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A bit of gravel was on the menu for this training ride

A bit of gravel was on the menu for this training ride (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Eric Marcotte (background) joined the women's training camp for a ride

Eric Marcotte (background) joined the women's training camp for a ride (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Double pacelines keep the training rides organized

Double pacelines keep the training rides organized (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Cactus in the background let you know the team isn't racing in Northern Europe yet

Cactus in the background let you know the team isn't racing in Northern Europe yet (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Sailing over the pavement under the Tuscon sun

Sailing over the pavement under the Tuscon sun (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Katie Hall takes a break during a training ride in Tucson

Katie Hall takes a break during a training ride in Tucson (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Riders hit the drops as the pace picks up

Riders hit the drops as the pace picks up (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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The 2018 UnitedHealthcare women's team

The 2018 UnitedHealthcare women's team (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)

The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling women’s team united for an opening training camp in Tuscon, Arizona, this week. Newcomers Lizzy Banks and Leah Thomas joined the team for warm-weather training rides that included climbing the notorious Mt. Lemmon.

The team camp gave riders the opportunity to train and bond ahead of the new season, which started for UnitedHealthcare's women in Tuscon at the Valley of the Sun Stage Race.

"From cooking together and sharing meals, to spending hard days in the saddle, the team was excited to be together," the team said in a press release about the camp. "The new additions of Lizzy Banks and Leah Thomas fit right in with the close-knit team."

Also in attendance for the camp were Janelle Cole, Katie Hall, Lauren Hall, Lauretta Hanson and Diana Peñuela. A few riders from the men's team also joined in on some of the rides.

Rushlee Buchanan was not at camp as she is training for UCI Track World Championships with the New Zealand national team. Shawn Morelli was also unable to attend camp as she was competing at the US Paralympics Track Cycling Open, where she earned a selection for the 2018 Para-cycling Track World Championships with team USA.

Part of being at camp meant riders had time to dial in their new equipment: Orbea Orca road bikes and Orbea Ordu TT bikes.

"Training at the Tucson camp focused on both fitness and camaraderie. Each day involved a training ride, usually a rub from the team soigneur, and a shared meal. The whole Tucson area was fair game for the daily training rides, but some favorites were up Mt. Lemmon and to the Colossal Caves.

At Valley of the Sun, Thomas won the overall title, showing that she will be one of the top riders to watch on the US women's circuit. Thomas won the opening stage 1 time trial, Lauren Hall won stage 2, and Lauretta Hanson was third in stage 3.

"It was great to begin the season with a strong showing at Valley of the Sun. The team demonstrated unity and teamwork thorough out the weekend that allowed me to keep the leader's jersey and gave UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling stage wins and podiums through out the race. Team camp and this first race has laid a strong foundation that will be exciting to build upon through out the season," Thomas said.

Director Rachel Heal said in a team statement, "With the overall GC win, two stage wins, and a stage 3rd place, Valley of the Sun was a great way to start the season. The teamwork and momentum that we built during camp in Tucson showed through from the start and sets the stage for a great season."

To view images from the team camp, click on the gallery above.