Heads up, Waterford Racing Club will be having a training camp in Gran Canaria sometime in mid-February 2012.
We will be looking for numbers and hoping to book in the autumn. This camp makes a huge difference to your fitness and race sharpness and will be run by Robin Kelly who has been doing this particular trip each year since he started cycling. Usually we go out Saturday to Saturday with 6 full days of cycling comprising 4-7 hour rides on a combination of rolling coast roads and high mountains (rest day on day 4 which is usually an easy 2 hour ride). Usually we would average 25-30hrs of training in total for the week.
The whole week works out extremely cheaply, not just because we book out of season, but also because you will just be training, sleeping and eating. One expense is that you will have to either transport your bike over there or rent one (the rental bikes are excellent, here is one of them below).
To wet your appetite, here are some admittedly pretty poor random images from some previous camps which I attended but they will give you an idea of the type of terrain and weather to expect.
One thing you don’t expect in Gran Canaria is the height of the mountains. The highest climb is higher than Alpe D’Huez and when you consider that Alpe D’Huez starts at 800m, whilst this one starts on the beach, it’s effectively twice as long and high in terms of metres ascended (see below for an image taken on the way up).
Below Quigley and Nugent begin the fearsome VOTT (Valley of the Tears) climb. Nugent wasn’t smiling for long. You can see by the position of the riders behind just how steep this 25% beast is.