Team Camps and other Time Killers

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12/20/2011| 0 comments
by Neil Browne

Team Camps and other Time Killers

The off-season is over and pros are back training as well as doing other activities.

The off-season is over and pros are back training as well as doing other activities.

The off-season is officially over. Riders are back training either at home or in some camp under the watch of a retired drill sargent. As usual, teams have subjected themselves to all sorts of team camp shenanigans from being led blind through the forest to exploring the local sewer systems. Yeah, good times indeed.

However, not all time is being spent training. For Belgium's Philippe Gilbert he's spent the past couple of months collecting trophies. Recently the classics superstar won the Velo d'Or - a very prestigious award given by the French magazine Velo. But in addition to the "Golden Bike" trophy he was named Belgian athlete of the year. No surprise there. Gilbert posted 24 wins and started his streak in February at the Volta ao Algarve. From there he continued winning in some of the most prestigious races: Amstel Gold, Fleche Wallonne, Liege-Bastogne-Liege and a stage in the Tour de France. So this begs the question: can he do it again in 2012 with the BMC squad?

The term "super team" has become synonymous with BMC as well as Team Sky. I'm not going to get into a whole big money/benefactor argument because at this point that ship has sailed. Über rich fan boys are going to sponsor what they like and in this case it's cycling with a few fortunate teams able to benefit from this arrangement.

But since we brought up BMC Racing Team, some of those riders are keeping busy before they ship off to races. Taylor Phinney and new recruit Tejay Van Garderen have started blogging. Unlike their counterparts who also write about their training, they have taken a different tack - they are offering advice. To quote from the site, "We thoroughly entertain ourselves with our own problems and our own opinions, now just imagine adding OTHER people's relationship - sex life - biking issues/questions?"

I know what you're thinking, "How could two guys who are barely out of their teenage years offer advice?" I think you're missing the point. No offense to either of them, but I'm not going to follow their advice, for the aforementioned reason. However, I think it will be an interesting time suck for me between deadlines and I've added them to my list of sites. It also beats the hell out of trying to decipher Ivan Basso's tweets. I'm just hoping they have the energy to continue to dispense advice on crucial topics as how to deal with a zombie apocalypse.

Also showing some activity off the bike is another BMC rider, Manuel Quinziato. That guy has hit Twitter with full force to the point of asking, "Tell me if I'm tweeting too much! Actually after training I haven't much to do!" Let me pitch an idea to his younger BMC teammates - get Quinziato involved in the site. I'm going to use a stereotype, but as an Italian I'm sure Quinziato has plenty of love advice. At least that's what I've heard about

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