Ribble Pro Cycling – Training Camp, Calpe 2019
Jack Rees-Ribble Pro Cycling Team Rider takes us through Ribble Pro Cycling’s plans for their annual pre-season training camp in Calpe.
Given the tough conditions faced by riders training through a typical British winter, warm weather training camps are almost essential for today’s UK professionals.
As with previous years, the team look to finalise their preparations for the 2019 season in Calpe, Spain. Having visited this part of Spain multiple times in previous years, it’s an area they know pretty well and can plan their training regime (and cafe stops) accordingly.
Spanish hotspots such as Mallorca, Calpe and Girona are exceedingly popular choices both for pro teams and amateur racers alike. Such destinations are chosen because of their long climbs when compared to the shorter, sharp climbs that we experience in the UK. These longer Spanish climbs are better suited to help build fitness levels and form.
“These climbs are important as they offer a platform on which structured training efforts can be performed.”
Team training camps also provide the perfect opportunity for riders to test themselves and their new equipment ahead of the first races and get to know each other, both on and off the bike. Such team bonding and spirit is especially important when competing in Pro Continental races when so much time is spent in each others company.
Y Viva España
This year thirteen riders and three staff traveled to Calpe on Spains Costa Blanca for a 10 day training camp. With its quiet, smooth mountain roads and warm, sunny climate, it was the ideal place for the Ribble Pro team ahead of the first major races of the 2019 season.
Shortly before leaving the team collected their new rides for 2019 in the shape of the brand new Ribble Endurance SL R Series in a new glittery Blue livery. As one of the main opportunities to work on specific race elements and train, develop as a unit and test out their new bikes, the training camp really is invaluable.
The camp itself is split into blocks; 2 x three-day blocks of work, separated by two recovery rides. These recovery rides typically involve a long and easy afternoon outside a café (coffee and cake, everyone’s favourite!).
The rides would also give the team the opportunity to practice sprint lead-outs, ride as a chain gang, feeding, and utilizing team car support, to take on board nutritional products from Secret Training.
Each day within the block focuses on a specific element,
- Day 1 was VO2 max, maximal aerobic power over short durations.
- Day 2 was some team time trial efforts in groups of 4/5 (allowing a higher work rate and also to incorporate some competition between groups) on varied terrain.
- The final day was a hilly endurance ride, ridden as one group with a short race simulation exercise in the middle with different groups having different objectives within it.
Following the first block the riders took the opportunity to unwind with an Indian meal and to build some team spirit. They were then joined by some of the sponsors, before heading into a relaxing day on the following day.
The second block of work is delivered by Team Manager-Matt Cronshaw. Focusing on a number of race scenarios and simulations played out over a range of terrain. But before that, the dreaded CP20 test.
CP20 Test…But with a twist!
Day 5 – The team conduct a CP20 on the climb of Val D’Ebo. Based on the 5 min efforts from Day 1 and one of Dan’s (Dan Bigham) renowned spreadsheets. The plan was for the riders to start the climb of Val D’Ebo in reverse order of power to weight. The rider with the most watts starting off last and having a number of carrots dangling ahead of him!
This was then followed by a short race creation effort on a small climb near Parcent. The final effort of the day was on Zwift and this being a 16 minute pyramid from Z4 through to Z5.
Day Six – Today’s session involved two evenly matched teams aiming to work collectively to get their rider (nominated because they don’t have the highest threshold) to the top of the Coll du Rates in the fastest time, an exercise to develop communication and teamwork on the road.
This was followed by a fastest attempt ascent by Zeb with the team combining to provide pacing for him up the climb! #TeamRibble
Onwards and Upwards
It’s been a great camp so far and the new Endurance SL R’s have not only been put through their paces but received a number of admirers each day.
We can’t wait for what is surely set to be another great year for Ribble Pro Cycling’s riders, staff and sponsors, so stay tuned!