The Mehlting Pot: Camp Report, Thursday

Jan 31, 2007 - Clear blue skies, bright sunshine and temperatures soaring all the way to..well, maybe 30F today for the boys in blue as they took off at 10AM for a three hour training ride on Day Eight of Albuquerque Training Camp. A few guys were stuffing newspapers down the front of their jerseys for added warmth, with everyone bundled up from head to toe with only their eyes peaking out from their face warmers and hats. With cold air waiting outside the boys gathered in an area close to the kitchen where the bikes, equipment, beverages and nutrition bars were on hand for the boys to load up on before they ventured out into the cold.

A handful of fans gathered outside, braving the cold air to seek an autograph or two as the guys finally came out to wait for final instructions from Allain before heading out on the day. Graciously signing autographs and posing for a few photos, it was only a few minutes before the boys were back on the road again for the day's ride. Reports came back later in the day that while it didn't snow on them it was much colder than yesterday..brrrrr. I've been inside all day!

Earlier in the day the medical team was busy gathering rider data, drawing blood, and getting the basic information on each rider needed to build their rider medical profiles. Andreas Kloden is definitely feeling better and everyone else seems good as well. A few are dealing with dehydration and are being reminded to drink plenty of fluids. A few others are having difficulty with the adjustment to the altitude, but in general they are a healthy group and getting some valuable kilometers in their legs by now.

Andreas Kloden

The Embassy Suites Hotel has a lovely atrium in the center that everyone passes through on their way to the rooms, the convention halls, or to the restaurants and bar. The public dining areas are all located out in the open here, as well as the section reserved for Team Astana. With a simple sign stating that the area is reserved for the team, the guys are easily visible when they are taking their meals. If you were to walk by during mealtime you might just glance over and there in front of you would be Levi or Alberto loading up on carbs. It's a casual, no pressure atmosphere for the guys.

It's time to get ready for the Team Presentation so that's all from day eight with plenty of scoop coming tomorrow on tonight's activities! - Cathy

*I spent some time this morning taking photos in an attempt at getting to know some of the unfamiliar faces, so in an effort to help all of us be able to identify the guys, here are two for the day (and I hope I got them right!).

Switzerland's Gregory Rast

Kazakhstan's Maxim Iglinsky

* I have to thank Johan for looking out for me. At one point I sat down at a dining table with my laptop and managed to knock over not just the salt shaker but the pepper as well. Johan quickly jumped up and threw a sample of both over my shoulder, protecting me and everyone else from any bad luck. Thank you very much!