bagSOLO’s 5 favourite winter training camps
The days are becoming shorter. Rain leaves the roads soaked. The glorious August Bank Holiday now seems a long time ago, and it won’t be long until the British winter curbs training time on the bike.
For many, this seasonal shift is the prompt to book a training camp, somewhere where the sun shines, the roads are smooth, and the climbs are long. Camps aren’t just about escaping the wretched winter weather though – crucially, they offer a fantastic opportunity to clock up mileage ahead of the spring return to sportives and racing, and also revitalise your winter training.
Below is a selection of our favourite training camps, all of which will see you spend valuable winter (and warm) hours in the saddle. Once your camp is selected, all you need to do is arrange flights and book your bike shipment with BagSOLO.
Stephen Roche Cycling Lighthouse Tour, Majorca, 21st-26th October
Is there any better place to cycle than Majorca? Long known for its roads and climbs, it now has a cycling infrastructure to match, and 1987 Tour de France winner Stephen Roche’s Lighthouse Tour is a fantastic way to enjoy the island.
Covering 450km, and 7,000 metres of climbing, the tour encompasses both the famous Cam de Formentor and Sa Calobra. Lead motorbikes, support cars and ride captains (for all 3 categories of groups), not to mention the 4-star hotels and optional massages, give the Lighthouse Tour that professional feel.
And with the average late October temperature being around 21 celsius, it’s a perfect combination of winter sun, and winter miles.
Bikecation Lake Garda Training Camp, Northern Italy, until 31st October
This is the perfect option for a more relaxed camp, from a Thursday to Sunday, with 2 days of cycling in between. The lakes and mountains in this part of Italy are some of the most beautiful in Europe, and the fantastic routes and climbs are devoid of tourists in October.
Bikecation’s accommodation of choice is based on the shores of Lake Garda and, best of all, it’s a dedicated cycling hotel, including its own mechanic, bike storage and daily laundry services.
Of course, it’d be wrong to mention Italy without reference to the gastronomic delights – breakfast and lunch buffets are created with cyclists in mind, with traditional Italian delicacies for dinner.
Viva Velo Cycling Camps, Majorca, 8th-28th October
Those who can’t resist the many lures of Majorca, but are seeking a more personalised trip, need look no further than Viva Velo’s Cycling Camps. The camps can be booked for any 7-day period between October 8th and 28th, and include accommodation at a four-star hotel in Porto Pollenca.
Customer comfort is at the heart of Viva Velo’s camps. Free use of the spa and swimming pool is available, and they’ve even been known to ride with their customers in the UK before they fly out, to help create the best-fitting itinerary possible.
A word of advice – book soon, as these trips always sell out quickly.
Mollydoo Winter Cycling Training, Costa Daurada, October to November
Catalonia is fast becoming the professional’s choice of winter destination, and Mollydoo offer camps, over a week or long weekend, south of Barcelona along the Costa Daurada.
There’s a reason behind the increased popularity – notably quiet, recently surfaced roads snaking through a myriad of scenic locations, including forest, hills and vineyards. Giant-Alpecin and Team CM are among the teams that have been using the Costa Daurada during the last few years, a clear sign of the regions suitability for cyclists.
Mollydoo’s tours include 4-star accommodation based in Cambrils, Salou and the surrounding area, as well as personalised rides, gym access, nutritional advice and both breakfast and dinner.
Andalusian Cycling Experience Winter Training, Andalucia, October to December
Until recently, the southern Spanish region of Andalucia has been unappreciated by cyclists, with the mountainous Sierra de Grazalema, where Andalucian Cycling Experience base their winter tours, perhaps the jewel in the crown of this diverse region.
The average winter temperature is above 20, and with road traffic at a premium, it’s perfect for cycling, no doubt big factors behind the presence of several pro teams here in recent years.
The town of Ronda features in the Andalucian Cycling Experience winter camps, with its famous cliff offering a wonderful vista out over the mountains on which the rides will take place.