Training Camp, Spain
Great training in Spain, big thank you to CHS for your mint hospitality.
3am...they all say good holidays start with an early get up! That's what got me out of bed anyway.
I had something to eat and packed the car and we were off to the airport. Most of the journey to the airport was filled with me wondering what I would have forgotten when I reached Spain but I knew as long as I had my bike I'd be okay. Once we arrived at the airport I met up with Ben and Lewis and we checked in. Then it was time for the security check ...Lewis looking like the fishy character that he is had his bag checked and with the last call for our gate ringing in our ears it was time to get running. When we had finally made our way to the gate we soon boarded the plane. Adios!
Once we arrived on the Spanish tarmac it was time to make our way through the airport to find our lift. After a good laugh on the escalator (and Ben realising that his Bike Box will not fit through every space) we arrived at the van. It was at the vans when Lewis realised 'shot gun' doesn't always work.
We got on the road for an hour long journey over to Callosa d'en sarria (or near enough). At the camp Nozad and Jubi were very welcoming serving a proper Spanish lunch to set us up for the first ride.
Then it was time to quickly set the bikes up and get our kit on ready to get off for our first ride. We had a short 2 hour ride where we familiarised ourselves with the area. It was a nice simple route up to Guadalest (a town on a mountain) and back. With everyone in search of some morale as the ramp started so did the hurt. The downhill home was much easier.
Then once we got back we were well looked after, we were given recovery drinks and then we got our swim shorts on and went in the Sauna. After about 10 minutes we got out and jumped in the pool. The following 30 minutes was fairly repetitive... sauna, pool, sauna, pool etc
After this we got showered and changed ready for tea. The 3 course meal was much appreciated followed by a course of banter and then it was bed.
Waking up to some decent looking weather was a nice change. Then it was down for breakfast...porridge followed by 2 poached eggs on toast. Next we got our kit on and went out on our bikes. 7 of us made the journey up into the mountains. Cheers Chris for the class route, going over some big climbs and up the well know Col de Rates and back to base. Followed by the same routine as Saturday.....it was time for the sauna, tea (3 courses of course) and then sleep.
After a good nights sleep and breakfast we met up with Flavio and the under 23's. Out and back to Tudons with a bit of Team Time Trial in between which was nice and grippy. Accompanied by some rain. Unfortunately Jake crashed on the slippy Spanish roads and broke his elbow, (heal quick mate). Then it was time to leave the under 23's and make our way home, cheers Flavio for the ride. No need to say what happened next as you've already established our evening routine.
Another good day in the saddle. Some roads still a little wet from yesterday's rain (so basically an ice rink). After descending Tarbena at the end of our big loop we received a phone call from Callum to say he'd been knocked off by a car. The good team mates we are ;-) we rode back up the hill to make sure he was alright. After this we rode down to a Caf and with our eyes being bigger than our bellies we ordered half the menu. Feeling refuelled and fat we started the ride back to camp featuring a dirty hill known as 'red road.' Once we arrived back it was sauna, eat, sleep, repeat.
Today was our rest day (easy day). Caf and back day. Today was the day when we had to find the well known Origen Caf. After a successful Caf hunt we tucked into our meals. Definitely worth the find. Straight after eating we were onto the beach for a proper rest day chill. Then it was time for a cruise back up the hill. You guessed it ...same again, (routines and that).
Back on the hard days it was a loop round over Tudons and back over Guadalest and down to our favourite Caf to finish off the ride. Since the sun was out we soaked up a few rays with Lewis and Callum having a competition of who could tan the best. The rest of us managed to improve our tan lines. Followed by the usual.
This was set to be the longest ride of the camp where we headed through Calpe and over to the Cumbre Del Sol, ( finish of stage 9 of the Vuelta 2016). After a nice effort up there it was time to do what Tourists do best and take a few photos. Then it was back down and on to the rest of the ride. Trying out some different roads for a bit of fun this ended up taking us onto a few drive ways before heading back up the Col De Rates. Then it was time to drop down back to our favourite Café where we had quickly become regulars. After another good refuelling session we headed back and once again started our evening routine.
This was our last day on the bikes and it was time to have one last blast. We did the same route as Thursday which was a fun route to finish off with and why not finish off with a trip to the sweet shop at the top of Guadalest and back to the Caf (they're gonna miss us). Followed by one last ride up to Callosa. And onto the last night...what better way to spend it than the same routine followed by a trip into the Town for the night.
Morale was low as we knew the English sun (rain) was awaiting us. Then it was time to pack our bags and say our goodbyes. A big thanks to the guys at CHS for a great week. And to the lads for some good company and banter.