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Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling Belgian Training Camp: Day One

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling is in Ghent, Flanders, for the first training camp of the year, with the aim of welcoming the new riders to the black and orange team, and having some fun, along with the serious business of preparing for the season ahead.

Belgian Champion Jolien D’hoore leads her new Wiggle Honda teammates around her home roads

The first order of the day was to welcome Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s latest World Champion, Australian Nettie Edmondson, who struck Gold in both the Team Pursuit and the Omnium at the UCI Track World Championships this week. Nettie stayed in Paris with the Australian team last night, and travelled across to Belgium by train early this morning, but was ready bright and early for the first ride of the week with the rest of her teammates!

Chloe Hosking puts in a long effort on the ride back to the hotel

The ride was just to be a gentle spin on the flat roads around Ghent, as a foretaste of the sterner challenges to come later in the week, as well as those of the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad – the first race of the European season – on Saturday. It was an opportunity to spin stiff legs, particularly those of Edmondson, Giorgia Bronzini and Jolien D’hoore, who spent some hard days on the track, and Japanese Champion Mayuko Hagiwara, who only flew in from Tokyo yesterday.

Former teammates Emilia Fahlin and Elisa Longo Borghini are reunited once more at Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling

For some riders it was also a chance to hone their position on their brand new 2015 Colnago V1-r bikes, with many of them riding the Italian legend’s latest frame for the very first time.

Jolien is apparently happy about winning a mid-ride game of scissors, paper, stone…

Following a healthy lunch the afternoon was given over to fun, team building activities, with so many of the riders new to the team; although some of the newcomers have already raced in the black and orange jersey in Australia or Qatar.

Eileen Roe shows her teammates how quickly they can change their tyres in Scotland

The first challenge saw a repeat of one from the 2014 training camp in Italy, with a race to see which rider could change an inner tube the fastest. Olympic Champion Dani King redeemed her Italian performance with an impressive time of three minutes, eight seconds, which proved hard for the other riders to match.

Not to be outdone, Amy Roberts shows how fast they can do it in Wales

Clearly in a winning mood this week though, Nettie Edmondson added a title arguably even more prestigious than her two rainbow jerseys (bragging rights over her teammates that is!). Last to take on the challenge, alongside Mayuko Hagiwara, Nettie managed to remove and replace her inner tube, reseat the tyre and pump it up to 100psi again in a frankly impressive two minutes, 48 seconds!

Nettie Edmondson is in a Championship winning mood right now!

The second of the day’s technical challenges was one more likely to face the riders in a race situation as they were charged with removing and replacing both wheels of Team Manager Rochelle Gilmore’s own Colnago V1-r!

Eileen Roe and Dani King get the wheels in and out pretty quickly…

Working in teams of two, one rider would remove the wheels, before switching over for the other rider to replace them. Drawing on the skills and experience that makes them both such great champions, Giorgia Bronzini and Jolien D’hoore completed the challenge in an incredible 51 seconds; a time that nobody else was able to beat.

… but nobody can match the speed of Giorgia Bronzini and Jolien D’hoore!

The reason for some riders taking longer than others in both challenges is of course that, because the team races on Vittoria tyres and tubulars, the riders hardly ever get punctures!

Team Manager Rochelle Gilmore gets her bike back, and reckons she can do it quicker on her own.

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