A week in the mountains

(Written by Ross Fawcett)

So since last Saturday I’ve been in Calpe, Spain. As I was arriving on the coach I knew this was ‘the place to be’, when I saw a mini BMC peloton followed closely by a team car.

If it’s good enough for the pro’s it’ll do for the not-so-pro rider from Suffolk.

I met up with hitters Ollie Jones (OnForm) and Sam Henning (Richardson Trek), who would enjoy smashing me to pieces throughout the week.

Day 1

Sunday we did 4 hours which included a power profile test, this would later prove how much work was needed to become “racefit”. I did however produce a new PB for peak power, at least the little gym work I did over the winter gave me a little bit of sprinting gains. Something that was definitely required.

We also got to try out our new little toy (see attached photos), the GoPro has had mixed reactions but the locals seemed to enjoy a quick photo as we caught them on the Spainish roads.

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Day 2

Monday was a big day! Well actually basically everyday ends up being a big day! But hey that’s what training camps are for ah?

We had 6x 6min efforts to do so why not climb a big old mountain before doing them? The climb was so much bigger than expected and the wrong turns didn’t help the matter. The first section wasn’t so bad (about 6% for 2.5miles), the second section, however, wasn’t quite as easy (11% average and highs of 25%)…it was this point I regretted the 39-25 ratio!!

The view from the top made the 6min max effort worth it though. Cue the selfie stick…

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Day 3

Today we were a little smug because although rain was due in Calpe, we were hearing back home that the white stuff had fallen and my Instagram feed was filled with snowy pictures of the Suffolk countyside. The ride consisted of a 67mile loop to Denia, out through the mountains and then along the coastal road back to Calpe. We meet up with the Catford boys for a coffee in Moraira in possibly the most expensive café in Spain! €13 for two smoothies, get out! The coffee itself is so cheap though (around €1.50 for a standard cup), so yeah we’ve been making the most of that.

Day 4

REST DAY! Tanning time, we cruised out to Altea and made the most of those cheap coffees while getting maximum tanning gains. Today was actually the first day I managed to head out in shorts – tan lines have now improved as much as my fitness for the week.

Day 5

  • 4 x up Col de Rates, yep you guessed it! Big day!!

Power numbers weren’t too bad, managed to just about sneak up in under 17mins, which was the goal for the week at an average power of 357watts. Considering how the legs were feeling I’m pretty happy with that. I kept the other efforts over 330watts, so maybe the racing legs aren’t as far away as I first thought. The two lads kept the climbing interesting with attacks and lots of banter.

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Day 6

Me and Sam met up with fellow PPRT rider, Josh for 100miles of what can only be described as a climbers day. It seems Josh has been very sensible over the winter and can definitely call himself a mountain goat! He happily cruised up Cumbre del Sol and left me and Sam grinding.

Up the climb we had a bit of banter with some young Denmark riders, who annoyingly could climb very well. One passed me doing the ‘Peter Sagan running man’, the cheeky little…he soon got overtaken again.

In all we did 100miles at 18mph average with a fair amount of climbing; so in the evening being the last night and all, we treated ourselves to a big steak (don’t tell coach).

I left Spain the next day finishing with a chilled out one and a half hour ride to take in the amazing views just one last time.

In summary, my legs are wrecked, many gains have been made and I’d like to come back next year…maybe as a team?

22hours of riding and 400miles later I feel leaner and maybe a little more prepped for the racing season.

See you soon guys/girls,

Ciao!

Ross

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