Rider Emerson Oronte wrote this recap of the Jelly Belly p/b Kenda training camp:
The 2013 season marks the 14th for Team Jelly Belly presented by Kenda—a feat which makes Jelly Belly the longest running title sponsor in all of U.S. cycling. As has been the tradition over that time, the guys met up for our first team camp in sunny San Marcos, Calif., for a few weeks of sponsor presentations, media training, photo shoots and training. Below is a collection of photos compiled by the guys over the course of our first week and a half of camp.
Upon arriving at camp, riders are assigned a time slot in which headshots are taken. In addition to smiling for the camera though, riders are also given free reign to pick and choose from a LARGE collection of Jelly Belly merchandise which Stephanie Scott, Jelly Belly’s Event Marketing Manager, brings for us each year. Fortunately, I was given an early time slot and, as a result, was able to snap a photo of everything before it was hoarded away. Each year, I tend to find one or two new items that I just can’t seem to stop snacking on. This year, I would have to say it was the Jelly Belly Sours. Out of fear of embarrassing myself, I will refrain from saying specifically how many of those things I ate. Needless to say though, it was a lot.
Following a day of outdoor photos (by Brian Hodes of Velo Images), the team assembled on day three for sponsor presentations and media training. In celebration of Jelly Belly’s 14th year as a sponsor, our team director, Danny Van Haute, decided to pull out some of the more prestigious jerseys won by Team Jelly Belly riders over the years. As the longest-running title sponsor in the United States, it goes without saying that there is a great deal of history behind this team and these jerseys are proof of that.
As luck would have it, despite being sunny and warm the previous three days, when the time came for us to finally get on our bikes and ride, rain decided to tag along with us. Regardless of the weather though, we managed to pull off a good ride—after all, misery loves company and who better to share it with than teammates.
Battling the elements would be something of a theme this week as, in addition to rain, we also endured a fair bit of snow at the top of Palomar Mountain a few days later while previewing this year’s Amgen Tour of California route. Based on the photos below, it’s clear some of us thoroughly enjoyed the climb while others…not so much.
As if riding for 4-6 hours wasn’t tiring enough, we then had to participate in our annual “team bonding event.” Over the last few years, Danny has thought of some pretty bizarre activities to bring us together as a team–a few years back, we participated in a three hour Navy SEALs boot camp, last season it was Go Karts and paintballing; and this year it was three separate, one-hour kickboxing classes spread out over three days.
Below, you can see our instructor—Marshall Hamil—teaching Alex Hagman the technique of defending against jabs to the upper body. Following the three days of training, we then got in the ring and applied what we had learned in various sparring matches against our teammates. When all was said and done, I had the distinct honor of being kicked in the neck by Brad Huff and punched in the face by Alex Hagman. At the same time, I’m pretty sure the punching bag that I used for practice inflicted more damage on me than I did on it. Hooray for team bonding!
With that, team camp has drawn to a close and the race season is upon us. Personally, I expect big things from the guys this season and I know we all share this sentiment. One of the goals of the team this year is to keep our fans and sponsors updated with stories from racing and being on the road. We hope you’ll check back to the team website frequently to see what we’ve been up to. At the same time, if you have any questions you would like to ask the team, feel free to post it in a comment below or shoot it to either our Twitter (@JellyBellyTeam) or Facebook accounts.
Until next time,