HomeNewsA Week with Cynisca Cycling: Training Camp 2024

A Week with Cynisca Cycling: Training Camp 2024

Photos & Words by Grace Williams

The air is brisk, the darkness lasting until the clock hits 8 a.m. on the dot – when the mountains finally permit the sun to crest the horizon. The birds are chirping, the remnant smoke from nearby controlled burns adding a diffused, beautiful glow to the early light. Cherry blossoms and orange trees line the roads, glowing as the morning begins. Soigneurs Dea and Kate efficiently begin to fill bottles with hydration mix and water, packing everything into the team car. Mechanics Mathias and Mat prepare the Ventum bikes and load a spare onto the team car for the day ahead. As the day begins in Busot, Spain, the morning is already bustling with preparation.

The riders begin to awaken as the house comes alive with activity. The first ones awake are making coffee out of the tiny espresso machine with a Cynisca Cycling sticker attached to the side. Riders trickle down the stairwell and oatmeal, toast, eggs, and almond butter begin to make appearances on the the kitchen table. Some riders are working quietly on their computers as they eat – perhaps school, work, or just passing the time. Others are already social butterflies, enthusiastically discussing the day of training ahead. 

As 9:30 rolls around, the riders are kitted up, pockets full of Gu Energy and rice cakes made by the team nutritionist Julie Ors. Like usual, Sport Director (DS) Billy Innes gathers the team in the courtyard, cracks some jokes and nodules of wisdom, and gives a general run down of the daily objectives and plan. During camp, rides are typically between 2-5 hours, differing in sustenance depending on each day. Some days, it’s a race simulation. Others, a hill climb or working on lead outs for the sprinters. 

The point of each day is to both get more fit and learn how to effectively work together as a team. Road racing is all about team performance. If a team full of strong riders won’t work well together – the team won’t succeed. It’s all about communication, trust, and tactics. These are keys aspects that team camp focuses on, as many of the riders have been training on their own in their home countries and haven’t had the opportunity to get to know each other on the road.

Typically, DS Billy follows the riders in the team car with water, snacks, rain bags, and radio communications. This ensures that the team can have immediate feedback and direction, as well as support, just as if they were in a race.

Each day, the riders return to the house around 2 p.m. for lunch. Hungry riders head right to the food, often an array of rice, tuna, veggies, and eggs in order to get adequate protein in for recovery.

After the ride, Soigneurs Dea and Kate send out the daily schedule of massages. These are super important for each rider to maintain their health – to flush out inflammation, work on nagging injuries, and prepare for the next day of training. In many cases, these massages are also period of calm, rest, and decompression. While the riders wind down and begin to recover, the mechanics are hard at work cleaning, fixing, and adjusting the bikes for the evening. They do everything necessary to fine tune the bikes, constantly communicating with each individual rider on their fit, what works well, what doesn’t, and why.

A few days of the week, after napping, stretching, or perhaps working on homework or remote jobs, the riders re-kit up, and pose for photos for the year. This is also part of their job, alongside posting and sharing their lifestyle and product usage via social media. Media creation is a huge part of sponsor responsibility and sharing the unique lifestyle of a pro cyclist with the world is a great way to include family and friends, a sometimes very unknown and niche world.

Often times, as the day winds to a close, DS Billy will give a general recap of the day’s training before dinner, highlight the plan for the next day, and the staff and riders come together to enjoy a meal together. Laughter and smiles fill the hall, and it’s an early bedtime for the house.

Around 8 a.m. the next morning, the sun begins to rise again. The riders shuffle downstairs – ready for another day of training. And so it goes – for a full week of camp, the riders and staff, train, live, and learn together. Cynisca is ready for the season. 

Leave a comment