Oliva Nova Team Training Camp

Day / Dag 1 – Tuesday

Day one of our training camp – where to start? So much has gone on … as I am writing this it is 16:10 so I have nearly been awake for 14 hours, my normal school day hours. Yes if you are a mathematician you can work out the waking time, but those of you who are not quick with their calculations, I woke up at 2:30 in the morning in order to get to the airport at 4:30 (reminds me of my Swimming days). This combined with rare Spanish rain did not bode well for the coming ride. The pace started steady but quickly got really fast on the smooth, slick Spanish roads. Then came the rain, and as many of you see on the roundabouts in races like the Vuelta a Espana, it is like riding on ice when the rain sweeps standing dirt and grease onto the roads. Inevitably I slid out and landed on my arse, I was alright but my Isaac cycles bike was heavily scuffed. There were some hills, but nothing too significant yet. I have a feeling they are saving something big for later on in the week. To top of the day we went in completely the wrong direction and ended up doing a completely different route that of what was planned.

Day / Dag 2 Wednesday

Today was a hilly affair, with 1759 meters elevation. The first major climb was the infamous Col de Rates. For regulars to Calpe it is a must to have an effort up this climb. We did just that, but with individual efforts rather than competitively racing each other. On this climb I went 3 minutes quicker than when I went out last year with Josh Copley. Three whole minutes, and with a block headwind as well. The effort was hard but the numbers were good. Of course I cannot put these on the internet for all to see, and they remain between my coaches and team managers at Spiderking-Soenens. Unfortunately later on into the ride, Mathias was feeling a bit under the weather, partly due to the efforts, but partly because he ate some chicken that wasn’t cooked through, i.e. only the outer layer had been cooked. It felt like throughout the day we were constantly climbing, in fact by the time we reached 1500 m climbed we had only descended half of the total elevation. Fortunately we descended from the final climb for about half an hour. I have just been told we have to ride today’s route in reverse!!

Day / Dag 3 – Thursday

Day 3 was interesting yet hard. Yesterday we finished with a 30 minute descent into Pego … yeah we had to go up that today. It was a steady hard pace, and took us around an hour at a high speed due to the low average gradient. Once we got to the top of that climb, the fun began … for me anyway. Firstly today was the first day it was warm enough to take my leg warmers off, Wahoo!! But also there was a hell of a lot of descending down some sweeping roads. The descent before we headed down the 30 minute descent, Yaaron my teammate crashed heavily into a small cave located just to the left of the road after hitting a sign. Fortunately his bike wasn’t too badly damaged, but more importantly his head was not. He got back on and finished the ride! Credit to him. I then bombed it down the descent home going just under full gas… well, because of the traffic. You must, first and foremost, be safe! A little loop closer to home was completed and then we were home. To end the day was a nice massage by Fred and some good news from Trainsharp.

Day / Dag 4 Friday

With two days remaining of my training camp, we had a well deserved Rest day. A short 1 hour ride to the café, in Denia. As normal I ordered a cappuccino, this as with all European Coffees was stunning, that accompanied with the intense heat meant for a very good day out. I realised as well why I don’t have rides on my rest days because I always ride to intensely so it wasn’t really a recovery ride.

Day / Dag 5 Saturday

The day started out with a visit to the reception of the main hotel of Oliva Nova beach and Gold resort. Now this place was absolutely stunning, the design of the place mixed with the warmth gave it a good vibe. The manager was really kind and we got some good shots on the doorstep. After this a hard ride was in store … 6×10 seconds max sprinting up a hill (3% gradient) and in the 52×16. At first I thought we would never get on top of the gear, and then to my surprise I actually set some new power PB’s, on ALL of the sprints! Afterwards a short, but slightly intense ride to the loops were we would complete 3×8 minute efforts, in a chain-gang. The first one of these was very hard because my legs were asleep and I had nothing to match the intense pace. But a short talking-to and I was back on the efforts and ripping it up. We finished the ride with an extra 40 minute loop round Forna which I was riding hard on the front to try and make up for my lost efforts on the first of 3×8 efforts.

Day / Day 6 Sunday

The last day started well, setting my second best 10 minute power in as little as 3 days. Basically, the management had created a ride out and then three long loops of 25km, with a major hill of 5-10km at a steady gradient. A short plateau and then down the other side until we got to the climb again. As I have said the efforts were strong the first and second times. But I just couldn’t quite hold Axel’s wheel, doing the same power as me but a good 8 kilograms lighter. At first I thought this ride would be no more than three and a quarter hours (3hr15min) and I had filled my pockets with the correct amount of food and even judged my intense efforts for this 110km day. But then after my last effort up the climb, where I tried to hold Axel’s wheel to intensely I blew up. This was planned because I thought we would only have 30 minutes after the effort to shortly find that we actually had 1 hour left. That was 1 whole hour in intense swinging pain. This made the day 133km and 4 hours long with an elevation gain of just under 1500 meters. Get this we averaged 33km/h in the mountains!!! Must have gone down hill insanely quickly hey 😊. To top of the day, it was nearly 28 degrees and I got a descent tan to take back home to some freezing winter-like conditions. Come on spring, don’t leave it too long!


Spiderking Soenens for the amazing trip and getting me into some form for first couple of UCI races of the season, and please check out their new website!! Looks great!

Trainsharp for the continued support… if you have any enquiries into what their training is like, please send me an email via my website.

Pedal Potential for their support in my 2019 season