The phrase “practice makes perfect” is the bedrock of preparation for any team within professional sports. Rally UHC Cycling looks to embody this mindset with their 2019 training camp, a 13-day event in Southern California designed to prepare the team’s 30 athletes to compete against the world’s best. Training camp begins in Calabasas, CA on January 3rd with a three-day mini-camp for the women’s team, their final training before the season opener in Australia at the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under on January 10th.
They are joined by the men’s team on January 5th for the team launch party at Pedalers Fork, an organic restaurant, coffee house, and boutique bike shop. While there, riders will enjoy hors d’oeuvres, participate in a team gameshow, and meet the team’s partners and fans for the first time in 2019.
“We’ve been doing our launch party at Pedalers Fork for a few years now,” said Performance Director Jonas Carney. “It’s a beautiful place with a relaxed environment that really matches the laid-back attitude of our team. It also helps that the owners are cycling fans who support the cycling community.”
The following day, team partners and supporters will join the team for a “Ride With the Pros”, a casual ride through the scenic, rolling terrain encompassing Calabasas. Once the excitement in Calabasas dies down, the team moves 45 minutes west to Oxnard, California.
Thanks to its proximity to the Santa Monica Mountains and the low key, oceanside atmosphere of iconic Silver Strand Beach, Oxnard continues to be the team’s perennial choice for housing. Oxnard is home to beaches that are seemingly endless stretches of soft sand, with over 32 km of breathtaking Pacific coastline.
“When our team was just starting, we wanted the riders to stay in a house together instead of hotel rooms as it really helps to forge relationships between the athletes,” said Carney. “We were on a tight budget and needed to find a location with affordable vacation rentals, good weather, and great roads for training. I stumbled across Oxnard and really fell in love with the area. This year marks our 12th camp in Oxnard.”
In order to push their endurance to professional standards, the team embarks on routes of varying intensity along Highway 1, a famous state highway that runs along California’s Pacific coastline and has access to some of the best road riding in the world. During camp, riders will face mock time trials, sprint leadouts, and, camp champ day, a competitive 10km winner takes all circuit on Mulholland Highway.
Last year’s victor, Nigel Ellsay, was presented with a stuffed sloth draped with a gold chain and cash in hand. While the directors may present a stuffed animal to keep things light, the real focus is growing stronger as a team.
The foundation of any quality program within the world of professional sports is proper preparation. You can count on Rally UHC Cycling to put forth an immense effort during these 13 days of training. If you see the team rolling through the sunlit Southern California roads, don’t be afraid to say hello, or even clip in and join us for a ride! Just remember, “there’s no waiting in racing”.