Incredible Finale Ligure, Italy was home to the Cannondale mountain team camp the final week of February. Twenty-five journalists from six countries were introduced to the international Cannondale Factory Racing XC team and the Cannondale OverMountain team, making for a week full of interviews, riding, friendly competition and camaraderie.
The Cannondale mountain team is split between four Cannondale Factory Racing riders that will race at the World Cup XC level, and four OverMountain riders that will compete in the Enduro World Series along withvarious other Enduro events around the globe. The Cannondale Factory Racing team is made-up of Olympic bronze medalist Marco Fontana from Italy, along with Germany’s Manuel Fumic, American Keegan Swenson and Anton Cooper from New Zealand. France’s Jerome Clementz and Americans Mark Weir, Ben Cruz and Jason Moeschler are the OverMountain team focusing on the Enduro segment.
“Cannondale team camp was a great experience,” said Fumic. “One of my favorite parts was uniting with all of my teammates and sharing the passion we all have for riding mountain bikes. It was amazing how the team came together as a family, whether on the trail or over dinner.”
Racing can be serious stuff, but you wouldn’t have guessed it that week. Nights were filled with Italian cuisine, wine and antics, while XC and Enduro riding and racing took place during the day. There were smiles all around as the riders and journalists broke into eight, four-person teams and got the chance to race their Cannondale bikes during a XC relay race, which ultimately came down to a sprint for the win between XC specialist Manuel Fumic and Enduro star Jerome Clementz. The fun continued the following day, as team members, journalists, and Cannondale staff competed in an Enduro race hosted by promoters of the Enduro World Series. After three stages of racing their Cannondale Jekylls and Trigger 29ers, Ben Cruz took home top honors from the ‘pro’ division.
“What a great way to start the season. Having a blast in one of the best riding areas of the world with my teammates, Cannondale staff, journalists, and the sun was super fun,” said Clementz. “Spending the week taking pictures, making videos, interviewing, doing fun races and goofing around could not motivate you more for the season and make you love your job even more. I’m already looking forward to the 2014 team camp.”