Pre-season prep: Snowstorms and sandy beaches

Stevens Team riders have been hard at work recently, participating in a variety of both provincial- and national-level training camps.  Adrianne, Catherine and Ariane all participated in the Quebec Provincial Team Track and Road camp in Florida while Carrie and Annie attended the National Development road camp in South Carolina (where team DS Jenny Trew was the assistant coach) with Annie also attending the Team Ontario Camp in California (where Trew was again a staff member).

Next week will see most of the team gather in South Carolina for the Team’s own training camp in South Carolina before kicking off the 2013 race season just two weeks later!

Update from Annie Foreman-Mackey:

Annie Foreman-Mackey and Carrie Carthill in South Carolina.
Annie Foreman-Mackey and Carrie Carthill in South Carolina.

For many of us part of Stevens Racing p/b the Cyclery, the start of February meant
heading south in search of iceless roads and a little more sun. I was incredibly fortunate
to have the opportunity to attend two incredible training camps, the first in Seneca, SC
with Cycling Canada and the second in Oxnard, CA with Team Ontario. Mother nature
decided to celebrate our departure to the sunny South with the largest snowstorm in five
years. While Jenny and Carrie managed to escape early before the worst of the storm
hit Ontario, I was held up for 2.5 days before finally making it down to join the rest of the
crew. The one consolation for the change in travel plans was classic skiing out my door
and through the streets in Hamilton, using a pair of retro classic skis I found on the side
of the road in August!

Riders hailed from all over Canada (BC, AB, SK, ON, QC, NB) to take part in Denise
Kelly’s and coach Jenny’s wonderfully welcoming and informative camp. We were
well supported with experts such as Rob Rupf to help us make sense of our power
data, Shawn Marshall with his Di2 info sessions and mechanical support, and Craig
de Veer as masseur, soigneur and self-proclaimed “mother”. Trionne Moore – cook
and nutritionist extraordinaire – also joined us for a couple days to help us perfect our
pre-, during, and post-ride nutrition. It was great to get us into a routine right of the bat
of post-ride smoothie stations and, of course, a massive batch of steel cut oats each
morning. We even had a couple of recovery yoga sessions in the basement of our
house overlooking Lake Keowee.

This was my first time riding in South Carolina and many sources had spoken of the
lovely roads, great climbs, and – of course – dog chases! The lack of long descents in
Southern Ontario quickly became evident as I struggled to stay on the group on the
downhills. Definitely a learning point, but I’m glad that I realized this now so that I’ll
be able to improve this weakness pre-season as opposed to mid-season. While still
not “shorts-and-jersey” weather, SC was a welcome break from the frozen extremities
of Hamilton winter riding! We got in some beautiful rides over the course of the week,
including the ever-popular Sassafras Mountain. I also experienced my first – and
hopefully last – bonk of 2013; not my brightest moment. This camp also marked my first
(outdoor) ride on my beautiful Stevens Xenon team bike, and I’ve already fallen in love!
(Thanks Vince!)

After a week in SC, Jenny and I continued on to the Team Ontario Canada Summer
Games U23 camp in California. A 2:30 am wake-up call made for a long day of travel,
but it was all worth it to step out into the sun at LAX. Under the guidance of Mike

Garrigan and coach Jenny with support from Alex Sanna and Greg Rawson from the
OCA, the week’s focus was on getting in some kilometers in the sun to prepare us for
the season while building our team morale and group dynamics for CSG 2013. We also
had brief visits from Anne Guzman who helped us with nutrition and Scott Kelly with
his trusty Retül bike fitting apparatus. An array of great rides we to be had this week,
including the well-known Gibraltar climb, a loop around Lake Casitas, and coffee rides
through Ventura. Making use of the vast sandy beach that was our backyard for the
week, the coaches hosted the 2nd annual Canada Games simulation, including events
such as a “musical-chairs”-esque boogie board criterium points race, a crab walk and
wheelbarrow race (i.e. MTB eliminator), and “three-legged” relay. While we were all
quite sad to leave the California coast, our sore legs reminded us of our adventures.

I’m now back in Hamilton for a couple of weeks to recover as I madly catch up on
schoolwork and try to gather as much data for my 4th year thesis as I possibly can –
EEK! Just one more week until the Stevens team is together in South Carolina for some
team training and bonding, and just two weeks until the first race of the year! Where did
the off-season go? I couldn’t be more excited for the start of the season; I think there
are big things in store for Stevens Racing p/b the Cyclery 2013!!!!!

Update from Adriane Provost:

Adriane Provost at the velodrome in Florida.
Adriane Provost at the velodrome in Florida.

Camp d’entrainement sur piste, avec l’équipe du Québec, en Floride, à Fort Lauderdale, du 2 au 15 février 2013. Le vélodrome est vraiment le meilleur outil du cycliste pour développer sa vitesse et ses habiletés à vélo. Nous avons pu apprendre et nous élevé d’un niveau, avec l’entraineur Pascal Choquette. J’ai pu tester mon entrainement hivernal sur la route aussi, c’est concluant pour la saison 2013, l’entrainement sur piste va surement entrer dans mon programme cette été, qui sait peut–être quelques courses en vues pour cette été ! Merci à l’équipe du Québec pour le support et l’encadrement génial que vous offrez aux athlètes et merci à l’équipe Stevens, by Cyclery de me supporter tout au long de mon cheminement!!