2016 marks the 4th anniversary of the Swami’s Junior Development Elite Team. We officially launched the season with our traditional training camp. As a coach and former rider I always look forward to training camp; it’s a great time to get to know your teammates – both on and off of the bike — and plan for the coming season.
This year our pre-season camp was based in Encinitas, where we benefited from the support of Nytro Multisport and our local club members.
Friday, January 15 was our first day of camp. A few guys were still in school, but most of our new riders were there so we practiced leadouts on the coast. The highlight of the day was getting our new recruit, Julian Levy, to go so hard he lost his lunch! We all had a good laugh at his expense and valuable leadout skills were learned.
On Saturday we began the day with team pictures at Swami’s. For most athetes this was the first time they had done a photoshoot, so they were excited and but also antsy to ride. After plenty of mugging for the camera it was finally time to ride.
We rode Swami’s Saturday loop, but in reverse. The award for Ride of the Day went to Megan Jastrab, our first junior female team member. Megan is 14 and already a national champion; she hung with our top guys up the climbs and definitely established her cred for the season. You go girl! That night dinner was at Bucca Di Beppo in Carlsbad – THESE JUNIORS EAT A LOT OF FOOD!
Sunday was road race and TT/TTT training. We conducted two 10-mile race simulations on Fiesta Island. After practicing riding in the pack at race pace, we did more leadout drills. After two reps the athletes were tired! No time to rest, however; it was time for TT training. Everyone completed a 6-mile time trial on road or TT bikes to establish their baseline efforts and learn valuable pacing skills.
We wrapped up the day with a Team Time Trial experience. The TTT provided more lessons on pacing, teamwork… and how to suffer!
After logging over 50 miles on Fiesta Island at race pace we were done for the day, and the athletes headed home with big appetites and sore legs.
Monday was our final day of training camp and we opted for an easier recovery ride of about 37 miles. The team spun up the coast, talking about their weekend experience. We snapped a few pics in Oceanside and then returned to Encinitas.
Everyone agreed that the 2016 Swami’s Junior Development Elite Team Training Camp was a great success, and the riders are fired up about their upcoming seasoning. Thanks to all Swami’s members who supported our younger teammates!
– Chris Daggs
Swami’s Junior Development Elite Team Coach