Where The Pros Train in Winter
The pro cycling season is one of the longest of any sports around especially if you include the Tour Of Down Under and the Abu Dhabai Tour, there are very few months where there isn’t an elite level race going on. And when the pros aren’t racing they are of course, training.
The entire peloton spend the winter months chasing the sun to rack up the miles ahead of the season. And it’s not only the pros that you’ll spot decked out in lycra riding around Southern Europe, Winter training camps and vacations are becoming increasingly popular with amateur riders. In fact, according to a recent report by World Travel Market, cycling holidays have overtaken golf breaks in terms of popularity.
The problem is, there are so many choices when it comes to places to ride so how do we know where is best? Simple- follow the pros.
We’ve rounded up the top winter training destinations based on where the 9 pro cycling teams we sponsor choose and the reasons why they make ideal riding spots.
Gran Canaria, Spain (December)
The Anfi Resort in Gran Canaria is a favourite of Tinkoff-Saxo’s. It offers a wide variety of terrain alongside endless sunshine and it’s also pretty quiet in the winter meaning you get to climb and descend in peace.
Tinkoff-Saxo spent two full weeks on the Island last year and the year before and are planning on returning again this December to take advantage of the warm weather. This camp isn’t just about time spent on the bike, the team also do lots of strength and conditioning work as well as improving on bike position, pedal stroke & riding technique. You can actually sign up to attend this training camp and ride with the pros for one of their two weeks here!
Porec, Croatia (October)
A new addition to the training camp schedule. Croatia is not just an increasingly popular destination for tourists but also for cyclists. With a favourable climate all year round and well marked cycle routes including the trail that was used for the second stage of the 2004 Giro d’Italia.
Girona, Spain (February)
The home or ‘second-base’ of 5 Orica-Greenedge riders makes a great spot for winter training. In fact, there are around 70 former and current pro riders who live in Girona including Dan Martin, Jack Bobridge & Michael Barry. A perfect mix between warm weather and light traffic makes Girona a hotspot all year round. There’s a good variety of routes for all levels and the town itself is a lively place with lots of nice bars and shops and is within spitting distance of Barcelona airport.
British Virgin Islands (February)
If you’re looking for something a bit further afield then why not follow in Cannondale-Garmin’s tire tracks across in the Caribbean? The team hosted their ‘team-building’ training camp here which included not only time in the saddle but also sailing and other adventure activities. The terrain is extremely varied- from the pan-flat Anegada to the peaks and troughs of Ridge Road in Tortola.
Mallorca, Spain (March)
Possibly the most popular cycling destination in Europe with pros and amateurs alike. IAM, Orica-Greenedge, Team Sky, Trek Factory Racing, Movistar and Lotto-Soudal are also big fans of the Island. With a number of climbs including the famous Sa Calobra, it makes a great place for climbers to train alongside offering the Classics riders enough flat roads to satisfy.
Tuscany, Italy (December)
If you’re an Italian team why travel elsewhere to train? Lampre-Merida have got everything they need on their doorstep. They usually head to Tuscany December time with it’s endless rolling hills. It’s a region famous for it’s beautiful scenery, architecture, food & drink and culture making it a top vacation destination on and off the bike.
Costa Blanca, Spain (December)
Costa Blanca includes Benidorm and Calpe which are resorts popular with Etixx-QuickStep, Astana, Katusha as well as Trek Factory. Costa Blanca offers a great many climbs to train on and located near Alicante airport which offers flights to and from a huge number of destinations which is ideal for a team like Trek who have riders from all corners of the globe.
Alicante, Spain (March)
Easily accessible and with temperatures of around 15°C in March it’s no wonder that Alicante is a popular training hotspot with pro teams like Cofidis, Orica-Greenedge, BMC Racing & AG2R La-Mondiale. This area doesn’t offer the biggest climbs but offers plenty of undulating terrain further inland and the road infrastructure is great. It’s also easy and cheap to fly to both Valencia and Alicante airports.
Pack Safe & Ride Fast
If you’re planning on embarking on a two-wheeled winter adventure in the sunshine then make sure you #packsaferidefast like a pro.
All the teams above travel to and from their training camps with their bikes protected in Scicon bags. There are actually a grand total of 20 cycling teams in the pro cycling peloton who are choosing to travel with the AeroComfort 2.0 TSA bike bag.
But why do so many teams choose to fly with Scicon?
Have a look at our product illustration below to get a better idea:
From professional mechanics to pro riders to cycling tourists, the AeroComfort 2.0 TSA is the number one choice in bike transportation worldwide with good reason.SHOP NOW
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