Written by Steven Cozza
Team NetApp’s first camp was held at Hotel Chartea Crawhez in Clermont on the border of Belgium and Germany. I flew all the way from Petaluma, California, where I live, for the camp. The first Team Camp is always very important because its where you meet your new teammates, do team photos and get fitted for all the clothing.
The Belgian weather was at its best with freezing wind and rain. The freezing temperatures made it a challenge for our team photos. This was not a photo shoot for runway models. Only true warrior athletes like my teammates could handle a photo shoot such as the one we did at camp.
The Chatew Crawez setting was perfect for our team camp. At least inside that is. It was a very cozy and intimate environment – perfect for us all to get to know each other. Warm soups were served for lunch and gourmet German/Belgian dishes were served at dinner such as deer with knodli. Knodli (my favorite), I later learned is a typical Bavarian dish. After meals, the team all pitched in to get the dishes done. Washing dishes as a team was actually really fun and a good way to work on teamwork. I figure if we can all do the dishes together, racing together will be very easy! Ha ha.
Other activities we had were meetings, health tests, fitness tests and interviews. The first meeting we had was with the Anti Doping Control. We have all heard this speech every year, but its important for them to continue to educate the riders about the process and how to keep them informed on our whereabouts.
The second meeting was with Hohenbalance, an altitude training system company. Team NetApp is making two of the rooms at the Team house altitude rooms. The speaker explained to us how the system works and when and how to use it to best increase our performance. It was all very interesting and exciting that the team is investing in healthy, natural ways to improve our performance.
Next, each rider had an individual meeting with directors Ralph, Jens and Enrico. This meeting was to discuss with us our job on the team as well as our race schedule for the coming racing season.
The health checks we did were done by our team doctors and it looked like a science project. During the ECG test, I had wires attached all over my chest and back to monitor my heart’s functions.
The most painful part of the camp, even more painful then the photo shoot, was the fitness test. XP sports group is working with the team along with SRM, so they decided to come to camp and torture us with a physio test. We had to ride on the SRM fitness bike for over 20 minutes with the watts increasing every 3 minutes by 40 watts. Congrats to Jan Barta for destroying the test with the greatest power output. I’m glad Jan is my teammate this year! All the guys did extremely well, especially considering it is only November.
With a great November camp completed, I am now headed back to California to train for the winter and be with my family, fiancee and friends. I will be back in Europe for the team presentation in Amsterdam on the 12th and 13th of January. The teams first real training camp will be in Majorca from January 17th to the 30th.
I leave this camp and my teammates with great excitement and motivation for the coming season.
Thanks for reading,