I and a few of my friends booked to go away to Spain on a training camp with
traininthesun in February 2014 I would like to thank Roger who organised the trip the area we were staying was ideal for riding your bike, the choice of terrain was fantastic whether it was a steady ride to the numerous coastal resorts or a hilly ride out through the national parks that surround the area we stayed. Rogers experience and knowledge of the area was exceptional on every ride he would always manage to find a great cafe stop or eating place. He made us all feel really welcome throughout the holiday/ training camp, on the nights he would offer us a great selection of local eating places all within a stones throw of the apartment complex. The apartment we stayed in was comfortable clean and tidy with plenty of room overlooking two swimming pools all in all the organisation from start to finish was first class. A massive thank you to Roger for a memorable and unforgettable week of training in Spain.
‘This was my first time on a training camp, I was pleasantly surprised by how relaxed it was. I found the training very well organised, the routes were well planned but flexible, with great places to see and fabulous food. The accommodation was clean and comfortable with great views. I would recommend it.’
The Murcia training camp with Roger Godley proved very demanding and beneficial to all who attended:
Paul Sill, Ben Reynolds, Chris Sleath, Simon Massey, Christopher Tiddand Paul Godley.
Day 1 started sensibly with Z2 thru and off for 20 miles but secretly increased in intensity the further we travelled. Then we hit the incline over to Mazarron and Paul Sill was immediately dropped as the rest flew over the 1100 Ft col and down to the port’s picturesque marina and coffee stop.
A climb out over an adjacent 1000 Ft col provided a downward false flat were a combined effort from Ben Reynolds and Chris ‘Dura-cell’ Sleath had us speeding along at 30-39 mph for 10 minutes. Chris and Ben rounded the days efforts by powering us home into a head wind at 24mph giving no one else a chance to come ‘thru’ and landing everyone on the rivet.
Ben and Chris each going like a train….
Day 2 headed out in different direction as Paul Godley joined us. He lead us through a very scenic and twisting rock valley to Valverde’s home and training ground over-looking Murcia. Ben and Chris flew ahead to the top of the ‘Valverde’ climb to take advantage of their great form and the chance to get some ‘selfies’ in before the riff-raff arrived.
After some urban traffic light ‘stops and start’s we returned to our base via a long and spectacular climb through a mountain range. A great decent brought us to a coffee stop were most retired for the day in anticipation of the ‘Espuna’ tomorrow while Ben and Chris ‘I want to die on my bike’ Sleath went for an extra ‘Valverde’ ascent and 20 mile loop.
Ben and Chris still full of beans. Chris Tidd sneakily improving….
The Epic Day 3 in Sierra Espuna had us out on the same route as the day before and over the ‘Valverde’ climb to Murcia. There was rapid and disciplined team thro n off at 22mph Av for 24 miles to get us to the foot of the 5000 Ft climb.
The Espuna is a massive 14 mile climb starting at 4-7% at the bottom then increasing in gradient to the last 4 kms of 10-15% in the thinner cold air . The road is in good condition and everybody made it to the top. Chris Sleath in The Espuna has a fantastic descent full of switch-backs with Paul Godley caning everyone from the viewing point to the café. Some sustenance and multiple café Bom Bom’s were little consolation for when we got going though as a strong cold head wind challenged us all the 30 miles back to Roldan. Many thanks to Chris ‘I love my bike’ Sleath again as he pulled a lot but only a little more than Chris Tidd and Simon Massey to drag us all home.
Team going like a Train….. !
Day 4 was a recovery day. Despite the shortest of rides to a local café in La Tercia it was the one where we got soaked. Chris ‘I melt if rain touches me’ Sleath went back in Roger’s car and alternatively Ben, Chris T & Simon ying and yanged Sleathy by adding a longer way back to the villa….
Team wet … but at leisure….. !
Day 5 had a chill in the air but remained sunny. Heading out the opposite way over Day 2’s second climb the long descent was amazing except for the point where a walkers dog ran down an embankment towards Paul while doing 35 mph….. He survived his TdF moment by closing his eyes in hope rather than skill-full manoeuver’s.
We pushed over rolling roads to the Embalse De La Pedrera reservoir and turned towards the coast where we encountered character building rain and hail stones. The cold and wet served us to step it up a notch as we raced into Torre De La Horadada and the attraction of café con leche, cafe Bom Bom’s and ice creamed pancakes…. Just ask Ben’ two portions’ Reynolds how nice they were….
No one looked forward to the wet and cold way back but as we got going everyone found enthusiasm and we managed to race away from the chasing black clouds and their contents. Chris Tidd was noticeably going well with the usually efficient and un-fussed assistance of Simon Massey.
The final 12 mile north through the lanes finally produced an effort to speak of from Paul who’s ethics seemed to be lacking as he ramped up the pace straight after Roger’s big turn at the front. Chris Sleath continued the 27 mph pace all the way to the turn for home and a breather.
Day 6 had us out in reverse of Day 1 through a mountain range to a different coffee stop at Mazarron. A punishing head wind was debilitating on the climb out of Mazarron before the gradient steepened significantly to 12-15%. What was a pleasure to descend on day 1 was a struggle with tired legs up the way on Day 6. Speed picked up though along the slightly downward rolling route to dinner at sea port of Cartegena.
Everybody worked well together back to base but I do recollect a memorable stint by Chris Tidd for 10 mins of 23 mph into the wind showing how much he had come on in 6 days. After we made a turn north the temptation to thrash the same last 12 miles of lanes as yesterday was apparent in some especially Chris S & Simon but the elder statesmen had tired legs so we spun the remainder instead.
Day 7 Before packing to go home we had a relaxing spin for a light breakfast at Los Alcazares coastal resort. On the way back a little extra was added around Roldan as a recce for local TT or threshold loops next year.
A fantastic cyclist’s trip where everybody’s riding improved significantly during the week but we need to be careful of overdoing it while going well.
I would hope for better numbers in 2016 for a week that could set up the team’s whole racing season rather than the huge attendance at a cycling sabbatical at the end of it.
More focus on how we recover after rides with regards to food & rest.
Get a 27 sprocket fitted before going…. Paul
Chris Tidd great kitty runner
Wear appropriate clothing on the deceivingly cold sunny days
Two big mountain climbs of Espuna or equivalent for 2016
Total cost of trip £550….. Total miles for week 430….. Total ascent 23000 Ft approx.