Sponsored rider Tom Sturdy had a mid season break in Spain – here’s his report (and congratulations on getting married too!)
Having taken a bit of a mid season break from the bike (to get married) I kick started my preparation for the upcoming races (including a couple of grueling stage races in the Welsh hills) with a short training camp out in Spain. I was staying in Antequera and the centre of the southern province of Andalucia and the plan was to head for the hills and get some good solid rides in my legs. Living in Wales I am all too used to vertical mileage but I have to admit that it is a whole different story over there! So different in fact that it almost felt like a different sport. The steep, relatively short climbs (the longest around these parts is about 7km) that I am used to were replaced with climbs of 20km or more heading up to well over 1000m in altitude regularly. Steep descents with blind, off camber corners were swapped for sweeping hairpins that allowed you to make your tyres squeal for 30 minutes of exhilarating speed at the bottom of which you had to gently coax your legs back into action. Then there was the heat! I have never been good in really hot weather and found myself drinking more bottles than I thought possible, especially on the exposed ridges or planes where there was no escape from the sun’s glare. I certainly became adept at hunting out the public fountains in the picturesque villages that dot the dramatic landscape!
I was out there for 5 days and managed to get a good series of rides done with a LOT of climbing leaving the legs feeling suitably numb. It must have done me some good already though as I raced the day after getting back and managed a strong 7th place despite not having any worthwhile finishing kick! I’m pretty confident that I will be well prepared for the upcoming stage races once I’ve properly recovered! Stay tuned for updates in the coming weeks!