So here we are again, back on the island, much less of Lanzagrotte this year with the promenade along the front looking greatly spruced, gone is McD’s and in come some nice looking restaurants. The island is great for winter training, with almost guaranteed sunshine, very little traffic and the most stunning landscape. There’s a two rise policy on the island, instigated by Cesar Manrique to preserve the appearance of the island. So there’s no big tall hotels, just little white cube shaped houses. Great volcanoes jut out along the skyline, the south of the island being perdomenantly National Park, here the lava looks like it’s just set, the blue sea of the Atlantic crashes into the blackened craggy landscape.
I’ve been here quite a few times now, there’s a homely feel as we land and get greeted by Jo and Steven from EveryDay Training, who organise the camp.
Somethings are the same, somethings are different, Thomas the cat is still living in the hotel, only now he’s had his balls off and has lost half an ear and got tubby. Lounger number one is reserved by him each morning.
I still have the islands special personalised coffee filters, though I brought Exchange Coffee with me. Thanks for that Chris and Gillian (I knew Chris had sent it as he called you Gilly).
And the most important thing of all, the Kinesis UK GF-Ti is back out after it’s winter hibernation. Now I know I love this bike and often tell you so, but boy does it fly. The hiss of the free hub makes me smile, my hands sit on the FSA bars like they were made for me. Every pedal stroke pushes forward with little effort, it feels like I’m cheating. Want to see another picture? Here you go, nice bright white bar tape and fresh BBB cables too.
So enough of my ‘I love my bike’ and I’d better tell you why I’m really here. It’s to lead out the rides for Jo and Steven, we’ve worked together on the last two camps, my parter Ali comes along as the physio (and attempts to get us all to do our stretches). The camps are all about getting a high volume of training in. It’s a fairly relaxed atmosphere, knowledge is shared when requested from the great wealth of athletes that we have on camp as well as our good selves.
The first day sees the campers (and staff) take part in a swim, then a ride, then a 10 mile time trial and then another ride before going out on a run.
Jo and I have battled on the bike ever since we met all those years ago. I’d been feeling rather unfit after all the back and forth on the EVO5 CX bike of late (I’ve finally had to learn to improve my steering rather than just climb big hills). Jo however is a pro Ironman and is well under way with training for Ironman South Africa. Still it’s close, I roll in 5 seconds faster, I told you that bike was cheating! The stunner of the day is Mel on a very bling Cervelo TT bike whooping a huge amount of time from Jo and I to take 1st place. All good fun.
Here’s a quick film by Jo of everyone crossing the line. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMky6PTR84I&feature=youtu.be
It’s so nice to be hot in jersey and shorts after this winter. I can’t wait for tomorrow.