We asked team rider, Nathan Hawthorn to write a short piece about his experience last weekend on the team training camp:
“On Friday the team travelled to MRTL (Manchester Regional track league) for a night of hard and fast racing where all the VCUK rider performed to a top standard.
As soon as the night had ended the whole team (with the absence of Tom) plus 1 of our two guest riders, Toby, travelled to the mountainous country of Wales for two hard and hilly rides over the wet weekend.
When we arrived at the hotel (Faenol Fawr, Bodelwyddan) we were all very impressed by the standard of the hotel facilities and all the staff were really kind and reasonable with us all, we were all extremely tired from our night at track so we all chose our rooms and went straight to sleep ready for a good day in the saddle in the morning.
The following morning we were woken by the sound of Andy banging on our door at 7:20am! so we quickly got ready and went down for breakfast. After breakfast we were told to get changed into our cycling gear, the weather was on a rest from raining so we decided it would be a good idea to hit the road early. Saturdays course was suppose-ably flat but when in Wales you cant expect much flat!.
When we completed the ride we went into the leisure center in the hotel, there was a sauna, gym and swimming pool which we all enjoyed for a good 2-3 hours.
After our relaxed afternoon it was time for ten pin bowling where it got a bit competitive but everyone, even the parents enjoyed themselves. At around 10:00pm we arrived back at the hotel and went to sleep ready for another tough, hilly ride the following morning.
At 7:00 we were yet again woken by Andy and it was time to fuel up for the long ride of our weekend, it was 9:10 and we were just about to depart and everyone was in a great mood because the sun was shining and was above 5oC so we hit the road.
At the half way point we were presented with jam sandwiches and a bottle refill but we all knew that we would need it because in front of us was the much dreaded sportsman’s climb. Myself, Lewis, Cory and Ollie our guest rider decided to go from the bottom while we had the wind behind us, when we were on the flatter section we topped 35 mph, either thanks to the headwind or we are all just tanks 😉
When we got back onto the hillier part of the hill Lewis decided to go for an attack, me and ollie held on but it was just a bit too much for Cory who had just done a huge turn on the front. when we reached the top lewis arrived first, me and Ollie still together, Dan close behind us and then Cory, Toby, Luke and AL. On the route back we encountered a couple more hills but none to match the spotsmans.
When we were nearing the finish of the 64 mile ride me and Lewis decide to go off the front and have a sprint but there was too much traffic so we just rode at a high pace together doing short turns on the front.
When we eventually arrived back at the hotel, it was time to cool off so me Lewis and Cory decide to go for a short swim in the pool. At 2:30pm it was time to depart from the hotel, i can honestly say i have never had such a great training weekend in my cycling life, thanks to our great team manager Jerrod Hartley for organizing this amazing opportunity for the team!