The 22 riders on the roster enjoyed mild January conditions as they built-up preseason mileage and broke in their new Fuji racing bikes during four-to-seven-hour training rides around Agoura Hills, California.
“We got the bulk of the administrative stuff done early on so we could concentrate a little more on training in the second week,” Champion System General Manager Ed Beamon said. During camp, riders underwent medical examinations, stress testing and bike fittings. Retül 3D Motion Capture bike Fit Systems was on-site for the fittings.
Herbalife24, the team’s official drink and vitamin supplier, held an information session with the medical staff, supervised by chief medical officer, Dr. Johnathan Edwards. “We were able to have some good dialog between our medical staff and the engineer and designer, Dr. John Heiss of Herbalife24, on how to use the product and how to combine products to optimize nutrition, hydration and muscle recover,” Beamon said.
On training rides, the team was split into different squads to allow for customized programs between groups. “We had the chance to do specific work with our Qatar and Oman squad, Langkawi squad and then get a good look at the rest,” Beamon said. “On some of the rides, we broke them into the three groups so we could do some time trial and paceline stuff.”
A few riders particularly impressed Beamon during camp. “I have a good feeling about Chun Kai Feng and Chan Jae Jang; both look really solid,” he said. “But the guy who really looks motivated and fired up is Matt Brammeier. Chinese national champion Gang Xu is showing even better form than last year, too.” South Korean road champion Jang and Brammeier, the Irish road champion, are both new signees to the 2013 roster.
A late signee to the team, Canadian Zach Bell, made his first appearance with the team while in California. The 30-year-old arrives from Team SpiderTech. The majority of Bell’s palmarès have been on the track, where the two-time Olympian has twice been runner-up at the UCI world track championships in the omnium (2012 and 2009).
“It is really exciting to have this late addition to the squad,” Beamon said. “Zach looks really fit and ready to tackle the road full-time.”