16 May 2013
IAM Cycling is preparing for its next challenges at their altitude training camp in Engadine, in the southeastern part of Switzerland.
Under the direction of Marcello Albasini, a dozen of the team members are training in the high mountains.
Housed at the Bernina hospice (2309 meters) and Pontresina, the IAM Cycling pros are putting in a load of climbing hours. Two days of the camp have already been covered. Smiled on by the sun, but training in temperatures as varied as between 4 and 25 degrees Celsius (39 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit), the team started its course on the Italian side.
Leaving the summit of the Bernina Pass, the group of riders tackled 150 kilometers which included 4000 meters of climbing, taking in the Aprica and Mortirolo passes before returning to the hotel.
Changing to Swiss roads on Tuesday, the teams task proved no less difficult. Nevertheless, the sun and strong winds did not prevent Löfkvist, Saramotins, Bandiera, Fumeaux, Schelling, Wyss, Goddaert and Pliuschin from riding for six hours; starting from the Bernina hospice, they took a 162.5 kilometer route that lead them over 3300 meters worth of elevation gain, and covered the Flüela and the Julier passes.
For Marcello Albasini, this altitude training camp will form an important foundation that will help the team be effective and well prepared for the Tours of Bavaria and Switzerland.
The goal is to increase their red blood cell count. Thatll give the guys more power once they return to the lower altitudes. It is important to consider that, though each rider reacts to these training programs individually, they can expect to feel the benefits of their increased red blood cell count gained through this altitude training camp around three days after and for as many as ten days. However, it is natural for a reduction in form to be felt between the fifth and tenth day.
The camp will continue for the rest of the week, though due to a pessimistic forecast, the program could be modified.
(see picture below, taken this morning…)