Following an early-December meet-and-greet team camp for the 2011 Garmin-Cervélo squad at Grand Cayman Island, Tyler Farrar will fly to Maui with teammates Ryder Hesjedal and Christian Vande Velde for a tropical training camp as preparation for January’s Tour Down Under.
The December 4-11 Maui Cycling Camp, which is available to paying customers, is Hesjedal’s pet project. The Victoria, British Columbia, native has a home in Maui and spends his annual off-season training in the tropical paradise.
In 2009 Vande Velde joined Hesjedal in Maui in December to log base miles, and this time around, the Garmin GC leaders talked their top sprinter into joining them; it will be the Washingtonian’s first trip to Hawaii.
“I’ve been hearing from the guys over the last few years how amazing it is over there,” Farrar said. “I see it as a good opportunity to get in some good weather and some solid time riding in the sun and hills. We all get along well and race together a lot, we’re good friends. It will be a good group of guys to train with, and Ryder has the area dialed for all the different types of rides we want to do.”
Other athletes expected to make cameo appearances during the weeklong camp include top American triathlete Chris Lieto, Canadian Olympic mountain biker Seamus McGrath, and Hawaiian surf legend Laird Hamilton, who has a home in Maui and has trained with Hesjedal in the past.
“Riding in Maui is something I look forward to all year, no matter where I am,” Vande Velde said. “And in December, when Chicago is in a deep freeze and I’m riding the Road to Hana, there is no place I would rather be.”
Camp training rides will vary, with the option to include the infamous Haleakala Volcano climb, which gains 10,000 feet in elevation in only 37 miles. In addition to lodging at the Four Seasons Wailea, guests paying the $9,850 camp fee will be treated to full mechanic service, ride support, laundry service, meals and massage.
Camp director Cody Graham told VeloNews.com that spots are still available, and stressed that camp proceeds will support local charities both in Victoria, chosen by Hesjedal, and Maui, chosen by Hamilton.
“We’ll see what it grows into,” Hesjedal said. “It’s not really a business endeavor; I’m just happy I can share this with people, if they are keen to do it. This is just me wanting to have a nice time, and show people what the riding in Maui is all about. It’s our early-season training camp, we need this kind of crew behind us, and the location works out. It’s really just about good friends, good training, and having a good time in December.”
Prior to the Maui training camp, the entire 2011 Garmin-Cervélo men’s team will meet in the Cayman Islands from December 1-4. It will be the new team’s first official gathering, bringing together longtime Garmin riders Farrar, Hesjedal, Vande Velde, David Zabriskie and David Millar with several riders coming over from Cervélo, including Thor Hushovd, Heinrich Haussler and Brett Lancaster.
On December 2 the team will participate in an event titled Ride with the Pros, allowing participants to ride alongside the team; entry is $30, or $100 for a package that includes a limited edition autographed jersey. That evening, the team will attend a charity auction where several team bikes will be up for bid; proceeds from the auction will support the Cayman Islands Cancer Society.
Editor’s note: Discovering the redwood forest singletrack in Santa Cruz, California, was the beginning of a lifelong love affair for Neal Rogers and riding bicycles. He moved to Boulder, Colorado, in 2001 to take a three-month editorial internship at VeloNews. He still hasn’t left. In addition to traveling the world covering races, Neal can be found riding his bike in the mountains (during spring and summer), racing cyclocross (fall), and skiing or snowboarding (winter). Year-round he can be found cooking, or attending a concert.