Another day in Portugal-Blog by Gillian Carleton

Well, this is it. It’s 9:20PM and I’m setting my alarm for the last morning yoga session of Team Specialized-Lululemon’s 2013 Portugal Camp. The past two weeks have flown by in a haze of photo shoots, video interviews, and long rides in the beautiful, hilly roads. As a new rider, my first day at camp (although exciting!) had its fair share of anxiety- and nervousness-inducing moments: will my teammates like me? (the most important). Will my director and I get along? (second most important). Do I even know how to ride a bike? (technically, I guess this is the most important).

I’m happy to say that after just a few hours spent with the amazing people involved with the team (be they sponsors, riders, media crew, family, or just promoters of women’s cycling), any worries I’d had about not fitting in went straight out the window.  All my new teammates (and the staff!) are quite possibly the most interesting and downright hilarious group of people I’ve ever had the privilege to ride with.

So, about that cycling thing. After a few easy days spent getting fitted and adjusted and set up perfectly on our new equipment by the wonderful people at Specialized and Speedplay, we headed up into the hills to start a solid training block. It’s been a while since I logged a 5 hour day, but I’m proud to say that my track cyclist legs haven’t failed me yet, even if Evie did have to give me a Powerbar less than 10 minutes from home, to stave off my imminent bonk.

After tomorrow’s yoga session and morning ride, we will all be heading separate ways again for a short while. However, seeing the dedication and positive energy and from everyone on this team in the past two weeks has made me so excited and inspired for the 2013 season. I cannot wait until we are all together again and ready to race some bikes together