Fresh Brew: ABQ Camp - Day 4
- by Chris Brewer

Jan 29, 2008 - Greetings from - New Orleans? No, the Astana Cycling squad has not left Albuquerque, rather I have joined my other team, the Lance Armstrong Foundation. It's a very noble project indeed as Lance and the entire staff flew in to lend a hand and a hammer to help build three houses for cancer survivors in the local area. Cathy Mehl will be in ABQ on Wed and have some on-the-ground reporting in the days ahead.

So here's what the boys have been up to since we last spoke. Yesterday was a day to get in the frist really long ride of camp as they headed out still in mass group mode from 10:00 - 3:30. Lunch followed soon after and they all got a nice break with no team media or marketing requirements - just put your feet up and wait till dinner. To keep the good karma going they all got out of the hotel, too, as Johan took the team out to eat at an Italian restaurant, good to go somewhere different for a change.


Some of the team's fans meet the guys before the ride

Today was cold - very cold - so much so that last night there was a dusting of snow and ice and the team's "formal ride" was cancelled for safety sake. Snow is pretty rare for Albuquerque and there is nothing really on the ground now, but even the schools were closed.

It wasn't a pure day of though as riders like Levi and some the other guys racing at the Tour of California went out for some training by themselves. However some of the guys bee-lined for the Apple store and Best Buy, etc taking advantage of the strong Euro and stocking up on needed techno toys.

Media day #1 took place this afternoon and included a press conference with Levi, Alberto, and Johan. The TV channel Versus (many will recall used to be called OLN) is also here getting all their Tour of California and Tour de France preliminary footage. So while yesterday afternoon was a definite day to kick back, there was no rest insight for the riders as interviews were conducted with a bunch of the guys and then doing Versus got all their specialty / b-roll footage at Albuquerque Main Studios (a huge local "Hollywood Studio" - many thanks to them for hooking us up with the space!).

- And after that, it is time to rest up, fuel up at dinner, and wake up tomorrow and get back to training!

* You can write to Chris Brewer any time at chrisbrewer62@gmail.com

PS - don't forget the team presentation, Jan 31 5:30pm at the National Hispanic Cultural Center box office located at 1701 4th Street SW - details at www.itsatrip.org/astana!