The mission of the CCWT team is to give talented regional women riders a shot at landing an elusive pro team contract. It was with this mission in mind that we designed the camp structured for 2021. We wanted to give the riders a chance to put in pro miles and give them the off bike support they might find on a pro team. This was a challenge for our small, self funded team but an overall success nonetheless.
Camp began with the donation of housing from team sponsor Sky Ridge Yurts. This incredible backdrop in Bryson City, NC gave our riders the perfect place to relax and recharge after each day’s training.
Day 1 was a cool, cloudy day with a slight chance of rain. Katy, Merrill, and Florence headed out for a 50 mile ride that included two thirty minute climbs which added up to about 6000 feet of climbing. All was going great until the final 30 min when the sag wagon had to leave to pick up Sarah from the airport. It was a cold, wet, and miserable ride back home for the team.
We had planned the second day to be more skills based. The morning ride would be a lead out and sprint session, and in afternoon we’d turn some hot laps on a small circuit course practicing various race tactics. Unfortunately, our intel about the “flat road great for sprint training” was faulty and the route for the morning found us on another 10 mile climb that did not lend itself to great sprint training. We made the best of it getting in a few lead out efforts on a less than optimal road but overall it was a bit of a frustrating training session.
Thankfully we had “food mom”, (Betera Coach Kathy Goody) back at the yurts and we arrived back to a perfect post training session meal which picked up the mood and helped the riders recharge between rides. Leaving them happily snacking and napping, Team Manager, Shane Martin went out to find us some better roads for a real sprint practice session later in the day.
As we headed out, we were all feeling a bit uninspired. The weather was still grey and cold, the riders were fatigued from the previous two rides and I was feeling anxious about getting in a quality training session. We dropped the riders off and had them warm up along the 3 miles stretch of road that would be our training ground for the day. While we waited for them at the “finish line” we decided that we would split up into two teams and run four mock race finishing efforts with each team competing for the win.
The response, when we told them it was a race was immediate. “Oh heck yeah!” Said Merrill as the whole group went into competition mode. This was, for me the best moment of camp. All eyes lit up and it was ON for the rest of the session. If one of the essential traits of a pro peloton rider is an intense desire to win, our riders have this in buckets. They turned themselves inside out as they worked to manufacture wins for their team.
Camp concluded the following day on the Blue Ridge Parkway with a 5 hour, 10,000 foot grind. An epic ride on tired legs. In the three days of camp the team racked up 11 hours, 150 miles, and over 18,000 feet of climbing. They also consumed 4 batches of Coach Kathy’s sweet potato power cookies, 5 boxes of pasta, over 3 lbs of oatmeal and 2 boxes of B-Line Energy Gels. If that’s not pro, I don’t know what is.
Owner, Betera Coaching