The Mehlting Pot: Camp Report, Camp Report Day 9

Feb 1, 2007 - Today the boys had to wake up, eat breakfast and hop in the van for team medical tests bright and early as the camp winds down and all the necessary tests and data are collected at the only time of the year this much of the team will be together. With testing on tap the training ride start time was pushed back time and time again, but finally just after 11AM they rolled out for a good 4-5 hours in the saddle on a sunny but brisk day.

Late, late Friday night (actually Saturday morning) the three Kazakh riders who earlier had visa troubles finally arrived at camp. After a long journey that took them from Moscow to London to Chicago and then to Albuquerque, Roman Kireyev, Berik Kupeshov and Andrey Zeits were finally welcomed to camp. Surely suffering from jet lag and many hours of sitting in cramped airplane seats, the trio will join the rides at a more moderate pace while they make both the time and altitude adjustment to the area.

"Isn't it kind of late for these guys to show up at camp?" inquiring minds want to know. Well yes and no. With most of the team flying back to Europe on Monday, a handful are staying on in ABQ to continue training, especially those participating in the Tour of California so the new guys will stay on with this group and get some training in for themselves. Jani, Goose, Mizurov, and Ivanov will continue ramping up their training in support for Levi's bid to defend his title, while Iglinsky and Yakolev stick around awhile longer too. So in reality it has worked out quite nicely for the missing threesome: they didn't get the benefit of attending the entire camp but they are here now and will certainly make the most of it.

Wind tunnel testing is coming up too, as Jani, Goose, and Mizurov all fly to San Diego on Feb 8 to spend the next day in the tunnel. Horner will fly in to meet them as they all test their positions on their Trek TTX bikes in preparation for stomping the rest of the peloton in the upcoming time trials.

* In individual rider news Jani shared with us yesterday that he will become a dad for the first time in August and that he's very excited about this big upcoming event. A hearty congratulations to Jani on this news. Johan wisely told him the event will forever change his life, and truer words were never spoken, agreed? Plus Jani will have a new website up and running soon which will be in both Slovenian and English and hopefully will be online in time for the Amgen Tour of California, so watch for that.

Finally, in the Overheard in the Lobby News: Two women were walking through the atrium with one of them telling the other that a professional cycling team was holding a training camp and staying in the hotel. Her closing comment: "And that explains all the tight shorts!"

- Time for me to fly back to the west coast. It's less than two weeks now to the start of the Amgen Tour of California and something tells me the new Astana Cycling Team will be on fire at this race. Don't miss it and see you there.

Antonio Colom

Tomas Vaitkus

Sergey Yakovlev