Around this time last year, I wrote an article on what training in winter looks like for those in the Northern Hemisphere. Not that I’ve had to endure such hardships, although it did get a little windy the other day. I spoke of skiing as one alternative to riding that could tick some pre-season goals such as endurance and chiselling the quads for a hard summer of racing. But what else is there to do when your world turns to a winter wonderland?
Obvious answer… Go to a tropical island with palm trees and volcanoes!
So, as last year, I’ve stalked the Euros on the interwebs, essentially what I do when I’m not riding anyway, and I’ve come up with some highlights from their travels. So from Majorca to the Canary Islands and all the way down to South Africa. Let the journey begin!
— Ben Thomas (@benthomas88) January 1, 2016
One of our Pro contributors and British Marathon champion, Ben Thomas of the Mountain Trax Vauxhaul team has spent his training camp before the Costa Blanca stage race on the small Island of Majorca (or Mallorca). Sitting just east of the coast of Spain, it isn’t so far south to completely escape winter but it is a good alternative for those not wanting to travel further afield. Olympic Champ Jaroslav Kulhavy also used Mallorca to escape his snowy Czech winter. ‘Jaro’ was also joined by other top riders from the Topeak Ergon team and Team Bulls.
Next up on our winter vacation trip is the Canary Islands. West of Morocco, the Canaries are a popular destination for cyclists and tourists. Starting us of is Tenerife and its very own volcano, Mt Teide. I’m sure like many I’d never heard of this oasis before Team Sky came along. With its warm weather and big climbs, it makes for a perfect winters getaway.
Heading a few hundred kilometres to the east brings us to seemingly the most popular island of the Canaries, Gran Canaria. Social media and Strava seems to be flooded this time of year with gorgeous pictures of the Pro’s hard training loops around this beautiful Island. One of Marathon MTBs favourite Pros, Alban Lakata of Topeak Ergon, is one of many who spent his winter training camp there this year.
The best training camp
Finally, if you want a real summer, why not go to where it’s actually summer! All the way down in the Southern Hemisphere lies South Africa with its full blown summer and dusty trails waiting to thaw out and excite anybody with a bike from up north. With the Cape Epic coming up it’s also a great place to ‘train what/where you race’ and get used to the heat before it’s #FullGas time!