AC TEAM CAMP
Presenting Above Category’s first-ever training camp experience: Our take on what a North American pro team camp should be – and more importantly, where it should be.
The contiguous United States is a difficult place for a training camps for cyclists in the earlier parts of the season. Unpredictable weather, a dearth of calm roads, and finding a decent variety of terrain can all prove challenging. Many professional stateside teams end up in an all-too familiar place: Tucson. We’ve been there. We’ve attended camps there. And we’re over it. Not enough routes, too many cars, and a full-scale metropolis all detract from the desert clime that makes Southern Arizona so attractive to ride in. Enter Julian, what we think might be one of California’s best-kept riding secrets – and perhaps the heir to Tucson’s throne. Sitting at an elevation of 1200m/4200ft in the lolling Cuyamaca Mountains an hour east of San Diego, its proximity to California’s second-largest municipality belies its remoteness. A local daytime tourist destination famous for its apple orchards, Julian (pop. 1502) sits at the crown of a vast array of roads that coast along the surrounding ridge lines and down into the vast Anza Borrego Desert, nearing sea level. A variety of long climbs up empty, incredibly scenic roads, as well as desolate flat terrain perfect for training all surround Julian in ample quantity.
APRIL 13-16 2017
PICK-UP/DROP-OFF AT SAN DIEGO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
THREE NIGHTS PREMIUM LODGING AT ORCHARD HILL INN (SINGLE ACCOMODATION)
RIDE-TUNED ORGANIC GOURMET DINING
DAILY MASSAGE & SOIGNEUR SUPPORT
SRAM NRS MECHANICAL SUPPORT & SERVICE COURSE
PROFESSIONAL RIDER/COACH MENTORSHIP/GUIDANCE
INDIVIDUAL TRAINING ANALYSIS BY SRM
FOUR DAYS OF RIDER-TAILORED SKILLS WORK AND TRAINING
DAY ONE: Boulder Creek Shakedown
DISTANCE/ELEVATION: 35km/640m (22mi/2100ft)
A perfect warm-up spin looping around Julian after getting off the plane and transferring to the AC Service Course. Tranquil roads, beautiful vistas, and good company.
DISTANCE/ELEVATION: 146km/2500m (91mi/8100ft)
A hard day awaits with an ascent of one of California’s most famous climbs – Mt. Palomar, followed by a long descent into the beautiful Anza Borrego desert where we’ll have the opportunity to work on skills on the flats like pacelines, echelons, motorpacing, and more.
DISTANCE/ELEVATION: 92km/1500m (56mi/5000ft)
Today runs down the remote Sunrise Highway, a stunning ridge-top road with incredible views out into the desert and surrounding mountain ranges. We’ll loop around up the single-lane Pine Valley road to climb home up a deserted route you’ll remember forever. For the intrepid, an additional mileage option into Anza Borrego is also available today with our ride leaders.
DISTANCE/ELEVATION: 25-30km/500m (15mi/1700ft)
Before we transfer back to San Diego for flights home, first we’ll work on descending skills on the curvy Banner Grade, just outside of Julian. Offering perfect apexes and smooth pavement, Banner is an ideal place to cap the weekend.
Orchard Hill Inn, a premier boutique lodge hotel, serves as our Service Course for the duration of the Camp, with all rides departing and returning directly from the front door of the main lodge. Orchard Hill’s smaller size gives the Camp a distinctly “Pro” experience, with the great room of the Craftsman-style 10-room building encouraging camaraderie and a welcome spot to wind down the day with late afternoon hors d’oeurves, beer, and wine. Additionally, our SRAM Neutral Race Support Service Course will be located directly on-site, providing close access to equipment being cleaned and tuned nightly. All rooms are single-occupancy, and a special couple’s rate is available.
While Julian is a small, country burg, our dining options are a divergence from what most would assume they’d find on arrival. We’ll enjoy most meals in Orchard Hill’s acclaimed dining room, with organic, locally-sourced food built into a rider-oriented menu. Individual dietary accommodations are not an issue, given the curated nature of the menu.
COACHING/SUPPORTCoaching will be provided by SRM, with in-depth file analysis and field testing. On-bike skills and training drills will be conducted by Above Category and former professional cyclist Kemi King, with a SRAM follow car at all times providing mechanical support and hydration/nutrition.
Back to Journal