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Ahead of the Spring Classics season, we joined Cylance Pro Cycling at Cambrils Park Resort just south of Barcelona for their recent camp, where intense training went hand in hand with a focus on cementing the riders' relationships.
Their 11-strong team comprises national champions from Spain, Israel, and Serbia as part of the roster, and we've already seen a strong showing from the women at the Santos Tour Down Under. One of the most exuberant characters, Sports Director Manel, is keen to see how the team will fare after spending the winter honing their fitness and race skills. "We're really excited to get properly started, especially after Sheyla Gutiérrez's breakthrough season last year when she won Le Samyn. Then, of course, there was Lauren's strong performance at the TDU, marred by a crash on the final stage, but she's already expressed just how much more exciting it is to race with the help of such a strong team of riders.”
Speaking to Gutiérrez immediately after a mountainous 100km ride with uphill efforts, she explained how she's tried to mirror each of her training sessions from the previous winter, so that she'll hopefully arrive in Belgium in the same condition. “I've been with the team for three years now; they believed in me right from the beginning, so it has been a great place for me to grow as both a cyclist and a person. As a team, we've gained so much more experience in this period, and now it's time for us to get the results," explained the powerful Spanish rider.
Giorgia Bronzini, former World Champion, sprinter extraordinaire.
“I'm stoked to be on Cylance Pro Cycling this year because they've really offered me the opportunity to be a full-on sprinter once again. I might have lost some power in recent years, but I've honed my endurance and climbing strength to make sure I can always keep with the group. Now I've just got to bulk up and get powerful once more. I'm eyeing up the Giro and preparing to be present at my home race; that's why I'm already looking forward to the end of spring and start of summer. Another great aspect for summer races is that your suitcase is typically lighter, and packing is easier-for the Spring Classics I'll literally be taking absolutely everything, even for Strade Bianche, where you might expect warmer conditions. Gilets are my go-to item, as they're just so versatile that it makes them perfect for racing in spring. I'll almost certainly be starting the Classics in Arm Warmers, Knee Warmers, and gloves. Racing in ASSOS this year is great because I've always loved their chamois; most of the time I'd get them put in whatever kit I was riding.
Spring is tough because there are always more crashes in the earlier races. No matter how prepared you are to start the season and compete, there's a nervousness in the peloton that means your race could be really affected.”
“Racing in ASSOS this year is great because I've always loved their chamois; most of the time I'd get them put in whatever kit I was riding.”