The BMC Racing Team began two weeks of training and preparation for the 2011 season earlier this week with the opening of its training camp in Denia, Spain, near Valencia.
Eighteen of the team’s riders gathered for a training camp focusing on both volume and intensity. Several riders were excused, a team spokesman told VeloNews, including Americans and Australians who are not racing at the Santos Tour Down Under or the Tours of Qatar and Oman.
Americans George Hincapie and Taylor Phinney are not attending; neither is 2009 world champion Cadel Evans. Swiss riders Danilo Wyss and Steve Morabito were also excused from camp, in order to fulfill annual Swiss military training obligations — akin to training for the U.S. National Guard.
Team director John Lelangue said the riders who are at the camp are using the time to build volume and intensity, test equipment and acquaint themselves with new teammates and staff. Training is arranged in four-day blocks — three long, hard days, ranging from four to six hours, followed by a rest day. The team is divided into two groups — those heading to the Tour Down Under, and the cobbled classics group.
“This is a good ‘bridge’ camp between the end of the season get-together we had in Italy and the start of our main pre-season training camp in January,” Lelangue said.
The BMC Racing Team’s assistant directors are using the time to meet individually with riders to discuss their training programs. Folks from bike industry suppliers, such as SRM and Training Peaks, have dropped by to meet with riders and management, and next week BMC owner Andy Rihs is expected to visit the camp and join in on a training ride.