King of the Volcanoes Camp 2019 – Day 1

The first day on camp, as ever started with a 30 minute sea swim. There are always a few nerves about this – for most people this is the first open water swim of the year …and in a few cases, the first open water – or indeed swim of any kind – IN a year ( i.e since last camp!! ) …and of course taking this year’s campers out for the first time, the coaches are presented with a fresh set of “conditions” to consider. Fortunately the sea was perfectly smooth, the water beautiful as ever…and both groups enjoyed a relaxed and social half- hour swim. Such a lovely way to start the day.

Following breakfast the ride was a return to an old EDT camp tradition, that we dropped last year in our trials of the new “hill climbing” format – and we were surprised at how much people missed the 10 mile “sporting” TT around the El Golfo Loop. So – it’s back. Actually, it is a great way to start the week…. a gentle spin out 3 groups leaving the hotel at 10 minute intervals, and meeting for the start of the timed section after a preview lap. Winds this morning were blowing from the south – unusual and usually associated with “Calimia” – hot dusty air blowing over from the Sahara. It certainly felt warm with a tailwind on our backs riding out of town.

Everyone put in solid efforts of our “scratch” race – although the times achieved today demonstrate that these winds were NOT favourable for this route… Matthew’s winning time of 30:04 would have ranked him 17th in 2014, and well outside the top 10 all time results. To be fair, that course has been ridden by enough participants on enough camps now, many of which were raced on “good wind” days, to make an all time top 10 ranking quite an achievement.

Provisional results were read over coffee, ice-cream and enormous slices of tortilla, before splitting into groups to continue the day on bikes according to the extra distance that people wanted. This year’s camp scoring system not only takes in to consideration points for positions in the handicapped KOV climbs, but also the accumulation of Training Points through the week. Day 1 seemed like a good chance to get a few under the belt early, whilst our legs are fresh… and following a few tactical discussions, we split with one o two heading directly home on the “standard” (3 point) ride, the majority opting for a single-point extension for ~100km and Emma took Matthew and Rob for a longer route to gain a further training point…

The standard run off the bike is 30 minutes, Steven and Jo lead a small group for an out and back along the seafront, whilst others elected to run solo at their own pace. Lots of Sunday afternoon fiesta activity to distract and entertain us …certainly pretty warm at that time of day…and then an hour or so to relax before pre dinner beers and day review.

The standings at the end of day one favour the faster rider – as we have not yet established handicap for the first ( scratch) event…so Matthew, always a big volume trainer AND one of the stronger riders on any of our camps …leads the table and wears the jersey on day 2.

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