They Train In Spain, But Rarely On The Plane.
I've just returned from a training camp on Spain's east coast,
in the Costa Blanca town of Calpe.
Don't feel too jealous, we did one mountain pass in a blizzard
and a temperature of -2º. To be fair that was a freak occurrence
and a tweet from a UK pro the day before showed him and the team
atop the same pass in shorts and jerseys.
At this time of year spotting pro teams in that area is not
difficult. To quote Daniel Friebe from the Telegraph Cycling
"Calpe has become more and more popular every single year and it
seems to be almost de rigeur now as the place to go".
Search the Cycling News archive for "Calpe" or "Altea" and see how
each winter draws the WorldTour teams in like road grit to an oily
chain. Katusha, like plenty of other Russians these days, seem to
live there. Etixx, Astana, BMC, Cannondale-Garmin - seven WorldTour
teams in the winter of 2015. While they might be racing now their
places have been taken by semi-pro teams from across northern
Europe. Flemish is probably the area's de facto first language each
Pro-spotting out there is easy: look for the weirdly thin
riders, fully clad in winter gear when it's 20º, an eerily shiny
aura about them. Head to toe Lotto-Jumbo kit is a clue, too.
Mallorca has the reputation but Calpe is where the teams
actually go for training camps. Even Mallorca's most notable
devotees, Sky, have those who abscond to the mainland instead: my
apartment's cleaner almost ran Chris Froome over a couple of years
back. After Giant-Alpecin's mega crash out there in January we can
surmise that British drivers are the greatest threat to cycling
teams on Spanish training camps.