Life on camp can be great; especially when you know and love the area you’re training in. Limoux in the South of France is a hidden gem of a training location. The weather here has been crisp, for the want of a warmer word. It’s been mainly dry, but I agree with the philosophy of training in better conditions than home, but don’t put yourself into shock when you start the classics season in Belgium having trained in the sun all winter.
Our first race with Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, in Belgium on 28 February. That’s just a month away. I’m in the selection for the race as part of the classics squad. I won’t be leading the team, that’s likely to be Lucy Martin or Christina Siggaard but I want to be in the best shape possible to help them get the results I’m sure they’re capable of.
That means using these camps the maximum, and the training here has been good. I’ve been a little ill, so have been forced to miss a couple of sessions, but the structure was set in general by James Spragg, who is the coach on the team. Chris Georgas who is our 2nd director has been out with us on a daily basis to ensure we keep the plan and to make sure we get his input when it comes to things like TTT efforts.
Missing sessions, and training is stressful. I have to be honest about that. I want to perform to my best, and I want to be able to help the team win. We know as a team we need one rider at the finish line, but I’m determined to be one of the riders that can be relied on to get that leader the line. So I’m going to keep working on getting healthy, and ensure I can be the best I can.
I hadn’t really thought about it too much, but TTT work is a major difference from last year as a non-professional team. We need to keep on top of the TTT work as it forms a huge amount of potential work we’ll be doing. As a pro team, expectations are higher, we’ll need to be working at the front, maybe working in breaks, and of course, we’ll be potentially doing TTT’s in stage races, or even the World Championships. Working on the front is the same effort really, so getting used to this, and getting better at this is going to be very important.
The terrain here is good. There are flat roads, particularly in the valleys, but there are also really varied climbs, and if you wanted you wouldn’t need to ride the same roads twice. If you’re ever in the area, here’s a route we’ve used. And you Strava folk, there are plenty of KoM’s to be had on the way. I’d recommend Limoux to anyone who wants a training location with a difference. We used this route for some TT and TTT efforts.