The team lineup minus Kristen in Portland at our first camp | © VeloDramatic
Just as the women are training their legs for France, it's time to start training my fingers for the tour. This is a test of how quickly I can process yesterday's images, preview the video interviews and companion audio (it worked!) and post something to the blog. Doing that in France each night with often spotty connectivity will be a big challenge. Time to start practicing.
OK, so if Alpinestars hadn't supplied the team with cavernous XL Excursion Rollers, there's no way we get out of the photo studio yesterday given how much gear we've been given. Usually you test the capacity and zippers when you return from a trip... not so in our case... we've not gone anywhere yet and the bags were called in to act like Thunderbird 2.
Gary and Nate from CAPO kicked off the day with a mountain of clothing. As you can see the team has a good conditioning base. Note, we were missing our sixth rider, Jennifer Cree, to a can't-be-missed work obligation. It was a timely reminder that these our women are balancing grand tour preparation with super busy lives. Eric from Giro took over next fitting Aeon helmets (in two colorways to coordinate with light and dark kits plus our custom CAPO kits going into production next week). Somehow miraculously, every team member can wear one size smaller helmet... Kate in particular was ecstatic about her new "Medium" status (flashing the Medium gang sign). Incidentally I got a new helmet too, and my head swollen as it is from all the team calculations, fits a medium. It's magic.
After the helmets, Eric fitted the team with Factress shoes. In women's sizes these shoes weigh about the same as the cleats beneath them. Alex arrived from SRAM and immediately pulled out the workstand and started tuning up the Quarq power cranks and giving the women's SuperSix platform the once over. Soon, Lyriel, product manager for Cannondale women's, and Rick from FSA were pitching in too. Lyriel is soft spoken but incredibly passionate about women's cycling and the objective of elevating the performance of women's specific products. Expect even greater things to come from Cannondale women's division.
We tidied and broke for a quick dinner at Justa Pasta round the corner from Upper Echelon Fitness. We owe UEF and Russell Cree (Jennifer's husband and fit specialist) a big thanks for letting us use UEF as our service course for this camp. The UPS and FEDEX drivers will appreciate the reduced volume of packages next week in our absence.
Right, I didn't time myself but I just wrote this in less than 30 minutes. Not fast enough for France during breakfast but it's a start. Time to shower, shave and get over to UEF for our ride prep.