The Stevens women’s team gathered in Ottawa this past weekend for their third training camp since the 2013 roster was announced in the fall.
The first two camps had provided opportunities for the team members to get to know one another and gel as a unit. Camp number three upped the ante on the “training” part of training camp.
The camp combined cross-country skiing with more intense on-bike workouts. One of the challenges of training in a winter climate like Ontario and Quebec is that it is often challenging to get the necessary volume to prepare for the upcoming race season — mixing trainer work with outdoor cross training is a great way to work around this.
The girls were joined the first day by members of the men’s team who joined in for a ski in challenging soft snow that ranged between two and three hours depending on group and ability. While some of the group, such as Evelyn Gagnon and Braydon Bourne, are former ski racers, others such as Ruth Mclean had never been on skate skis before. The new skiers soldiered through the tough conditions and made some huge improvements in short time.
“Once you learn some basic technique, skate skiing is an amazing opportunity to get in some great full-body aerobic training while giving your mind a break from indoor riding,” said new skier and new team member Annie Forman-Mackie. “It was so much fun to be outdoors training with the team! I’m hooked!”
The afternoon saw the team return to the excellent Cyclelogik spin studio for a gruelling power-based 90 minutes of tempo and threshold workout. In the evening the team all received their now hot pink Rudy Project sunglasses that will match this year’s exciting new Biemme team kit!
On Day Two the girls headed out on the ski trails without their male counterparts. Conditions had changed dramatically overnight and what had been deep unpacked powder was now an icy crust. Two hours later the crew returned to headquarters (which doubles as directors Jenny Trew and Chris Reid’s house) for lunch before again heading off to Cyclelogik. While the afternoon session was distinctly quieter as the tired riders went through their paces, the team still approached the workout with full commitment, hammering out another excellent workout.
The squad would like to extend a big thank you to everyone that makes the team possible: The Cyclery bike show, Stevens Bicycles, Le Soigneur massage are just three of the supporters that we are proud to have on board. Special thanks to men’s coach Nick Vipond for putting his years of ski experience to good use in leading the new skier group.