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Kick start camp!
Posted on 11/23/2009 10:28:00 PM

Up at 6h15, one hour drive to Didier's house and 4 more hours of driving to our team headquarters in Vendée. We arrived just before 14h and dove into meetings with management and staff to debrief the 2009 season, go over new changes if any, and discuss future plans, camps, etc.

At 19h30 with zero battery left in my phone, little gas in the car, and feeling too lazy to do anything about it, I vainly set off in search of the hotel situated in a park about 30kms from team headquarters. I was about 5kms from the hotel at the opposite end of the park when I realized I may be spending the night there in my car unless I found a sign indicating the hotel or gas soon!

Suddenly I noticed headlights coming out of the park and I flashed the driver who, bless him, stopped! I asked him if he could indicate where the Villa Roma hotel was, and it turns out that's where he was headed. I walked into the lobby of this huge hotel, it had long corridors with rooms all along the way, and I found a few riders and soigneurs (fondly called swannies) already at the bar sipping beers.

The first day of camp is a lot like the first day of school. It's been a while since most of us have seen each other, so we exchange stories and catch up. We have a few new recruits on board, and one of the new arrivals treated each table to a bottle of red. His taste is suitable as the red he chose is from my neck of the woods in the Corbiere region of France!

Tomorrow is an early start with blood tests for all followed by breakfast. Some of the riders will get a bike fitting, and the others will do a light run and some lifting. The afternoon will be devoted to an easy endurance ride on our new EPS Colnago bikes!

Ill send a photo soon, as our Internet server doesn't seem to be happy with photos this evening, but trust me, they are beautiful bikes!

Cheers and thanks for reading,

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