Annemiek van Vleuten blog: Training with the men at Mitchelton-Scott

I had a great team camp with the guys in January. It was the second time that my team Mitchelton-Scott has organised this camp for the guys and the goal was to accumulate time on the bike – and it was very challenging.

It was my sports director Gene Bates' idea that I join the guys at the camp. He made the suggestion last October or November, when I was still sitting at home in a chair with my leg straight because of my knee injury. He knew that I was disappointed because I couldn't go to Australia this year, but he said the guys were going to do an awesome training camp, and that maybe I should join them. I liked the idea because it sounded like an adventure-style training camp.

We started in Portugal and made our way day-by-day towards Andalucia, just like a stage race. On average, we rode about 200km per day over the course of nine days, which was 1,800 kilometres in total, with 30,000 metres of climbing.


During the camp we took two rest days: we had four days of training and then the first rest day, then three days of training followed by the second rest day, and then we trained the last two days, which were epic, with 230km of riding and almost 5,000 metres of altitude gain.

I was also able to use my time trial bike at the camp, which was the first time I've been on it since the World Championships in Innsbruck. It felt like nothing had changed, and so that was good. I had nice feelings. I was curious to see how it would go, but I didn't have any limitations, and I was able to get in about 300km on the time trial bike.

My goal was to see how I would go and how my knee would feel after coming back from my injury. I had only been training for six weeks when I joined the guys for this epic camp, and so initially I was afraid that it might be too much, but it was good.

Altitude training in Tenerife

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