18-year-old Flora Perkins is one of our eight journal contributors in 2022. In her first entry, the Le Col-Wahoo rider reviews the highlights from her debut team camp…
I recently experienced a pro-cycling rite of passage: the team camp. Here are some of my highlights.
The only downside to this is the rude awakening you get when you arrive home and the magic washing up fairies disappear
1. You don’t have to lift a finger
Okay, that’s an exaggeration. I did have to do some stuff for myself. But the nitty-gritty stuff that no one enjoys, like making your recovery drink, checking your bike, cleaning your bike, prepping your food… are all done for you by a lovely group of mechanics and soigneurs. It makes training so much more simple when all you have to focus on is riding your bike. The only downside to this is the rude awakening you get when you arrive home and the magic washing up fairies disappear.
I really enjoy meeting new people and so the first Le-Col Wahoo team camp back in December was exciting for me. However, there was something really lovely about coming together again in February, having already met. There was a sense of familiarity and, I hope, mutual enjoyment in the team environment. It was a great opportunity to come together ahead of the season, to get to know each other better, and get some miles in the legs.
3. Beautiful training roads
It was my inaugural trip to Calpe and it certainly lived up to expectations. I’d argue that it’s perhaps not the most beautiful area to ride your bike, but by no means ugly. What really sells it though is the great range of terrains, fair weather and smooth, wide tarmac roads. I can see why it is such a popular cycling destination. On the last day, we even got a glimpse of the sea.
There’s something about putting on the team jersey that really makes you feel like you’re part of the team
4. The stash
Potentially the most exciting aspect of the camp was the stack of Le-Col kits we were given. There’s something about putting on the team jersey that really makes you feel like you’re part of the team. My favourite piece is, strangely, the base layer. They’re made of a beautiful soft thick knit which manages to provide warmth and protection whilst also wicking away sweat. It’s cut perfectly, not gathering up in strange places or pinching on the shoulders. And to add to that, it comes in a lovely pale blue colour which really complements my hair, if I may say so myself.
5. Learning new skills
One of the most valuable aspects of this camp was the descending/cornering workshop we received on our rest day. We started the day with a presentation delivered by Johnny Towers, a MotoGP rider [Ed: teammate Alice Towers’ father]. He touches on the fundamental aspects of descending. We then went out and put what we’d heard into practice, receiving feedback and following Johnny’s lines. I felt I made real progress in this area as a result. I was able to put what I’d learned into practice at Omloop Het Hageland, and although I’m far from having mastered the art, I am much more confident in the skill.
Featured photo: Honor Elliot
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