(I know I'm way behind in posting about camp. I have tons of stories about camp and all kinds of pictures still too. So I hope you'll forgive me for the delay and continue to be patient as I continue this epic tale.)
Next up on the hit parade are the sponsors who were able to attend the training camp. Note; a couple folks from Abercrombie & Fitch (Al Bellon especially) had intended to come to camp, but thigs didn't work out. We sorely missed their presence and look forward to meeting them some other time.
The sponsors who were able to attend were a good crew. I have to say that I was so happy to see that these guys are all as passionate about what they do as I am about what I do. All this passion running around made for some great conversations and some really cool presentations.
In alphabetical order;
(This pic is just too funny not to use it again... that's Tom giving Jered a bike fit.)
Tom Coleman is the founder/ owner of Wobble Naught. Wobble Naught is a bike fit specialist. Well, not just bike fit, but a lot more. The premise is one of attaining the proper fit to allow the rider to not only increase comfort, but also pedaling efficiency and increased wattage output. The laser fitting was insanely precise. I doubt that many riders/ teams in the Pro Tour have ever been fit this thoroughly, but it it won't belong before they are... especially if Tom gets five minutes of their time. Honestly, I don't know if I've ever run into another person in cycling with so much passion for what they do. Tom is so sure of his theories and is supremely confident. Admittedly, some people might not like that, but I thought his fittings were incredible and his passion is impossible to dispute. The most impressive part of the fit was an electronic analysis of the leg muscles using EMG sensors to actually capture the way the muscle fibers/ groups fire during the pedal stroke. This was then analyzed on the computer to isolate the inefficiencies in the rider's pedal stroke. THIS was absolutely amazing to watch. Each rider was given this thorough fitting- how many pro teams can make that kind of claim?
(That's Dave at the back there. Sorry Dave, I'm looking for another shot I know I have. For the record, we were both at the back at that time.)
David Parrett is officially the marketing manager for Thomson, the stem and seatpost manufacturer. Dave was a big part of the fitting deal with Tom. They've done this kind of thing together a few times before... Dave came to the camp with a gigantic box full of every conceivable length and rise of stem and multiple seatposts with or without setback. All of this to insure that each rider was set up with the proper bike fit. How cool is that? Dave also rode with us each day that he was there and spent time with the team hanging out. It was pretty cool to watch him and Tom going over each rider and swapping stems, changing stem height, adjusting saddle position... like a pair of NASCAR mechanics in pit row.
(Dr. Stoddard is the tall guy at the front of the room- I have a better picture somewhere... And that is Darren at the back with me... I have another better picture of him that I have to find too.)
Dr. Douglas Stoddard and Darren Zielinski were there to represent eLoad. eLoad is the hydration system used by the team. Dr. Stoddard is the mega-genius who created the product and began Medion, the company that makes eLoad, eMend and Zone Caps. Darren is currently one of the sales reps responsible for getting the team working with eLoad. Dr. Douglas gave an impressive presentation about the products and how they work and why. He's a sports medicine physician, so he knows his stuff. What is it about Canadians? They just might be the nicest people on the planet... he really is an awfully nice guy, one top of being a true genius. Darren is a super nice fella too. Darren also rode with us each day and can attest that the pain and suffering I felt during the ride was not unfounded. Even using the eLoad product, the riding was very "hurty" as my daughter would say. The eLoad, by the way, was great. The flavor is very light, not too sweet, and the product seemed to do what it is supposed to do. I was very impressed. Darren and Dr. Stoddard both hung around for the "after camp" party on Saturday night after their presentation at the conference room (more details on that in a later post).
All in all, these fine folks helped to make the training camp a big success for the team. All of the riders benefitted from them being there and I was truly pleased to meet them all. I'm pretty proud to be associated with them and look forward to watching the team get great results and sharing in that pride with them.
From me- thanks to each of you for being involved with the team and I look forward to seeing you all again.
(Next up is the day by day breakdown of camp activities, an introduction to the camp support staff and the "after hours" low-down!)