Stefan Denifl at training camp in Calpe, Spain © Aqua Blue Sport / Karen M. Edwards
In order to get back into regular training after the short recovery phase, Denifl spent between ten and 15 hours a week - two to three hours a day - from mid-November onwards on his ergometer exercise bike. He and his team then headed off to training camp in Calpe, Spain at the beginning of December. The time between the season ending and the start of training has never passed as quickly as it did this winter.
The first common training camp is always a bit more of a relaxed affair and is a combination of testing equipment, rides, photo shoots and team activities. Socialising together is another important aspect. You can get to know your colleagues better over a beer or glass of wine, says Denifl. Things usually gets more serious at the second training camp, which followed this year in January in Mallorca and centred on covering as many kilometres as possible.
Aqua Blue Sport from Ireland, for whom Stefan rides, is a young team that was formed in 2017. The atmosphere amongst the 16 riders is easy-going. A special concept is used for financing the team: unlike most teams, it has no main sponsor. “Aqua Blue Sport is a digital marketplace, a kind of Amazon, for cycling retailers selling top products, which is why we riders are also willing to advertise on our own behalf and thus secure financing," explains Denifl.