The team met for five days in Le Boulou (France) to test the material it will use to compete in the world’s most important enduro competitions.
Want to know what it was like at TeamCamp? “This camp has been the first stone in a season we’re very excited about.” The voice of Julien Brugeas, team manager, reflects the intensity with which the Orbea Enduro Team lived its preparation stage for the enduro season that is about to kick off. Held on January 23-28 in this French town very near the Pyrenees (around 20 kilometers south of Perpignan), besides adjusting the Rallon to the characteristics and preferences of each rider (which we will tell you more about in the second part of this article), the goal of the camp was to do some team building before the new season.
This was one of the main goals Julien had for this stage, and in the opinion of everyone who was there, they did this and more. “It was a perfect week,” assured Thomas Lapeyrie, the French rider on the Orbea Enduro Team. “The TeamCamp was incredible, I learned a lot,” confirmed Gabriel Torralba, Spanish enduro (Scratch) champ.
The members of the Orbea Enduro Team were able to train together for the first time, learning and observing the way each of their teammates rides and offering advice to one another. Thomas, the rider with the most experience on the team, was the most active when it came to teaching his teammates techniques to go faster or find the best line. Julien defined Thomas as “very ‘PRO,’ he’s a top rider. He knows what he wants, how far he wants to go and what he needs to get there.”
“He’s devilishly fast,” is the verdict of Becky Cook, the Orbea Enduro Team rider who surprised the entire team with her way of riding. This was especially true considering this will only be her third season in the discipline. “Becky has left me speechless. When you talk to her, she seems shy, but when she gets on a bike, she’s super fast,” Thomas confessed. “She impressed us,” Julien echoed, and Gabriel also agreed. “She’s very fast and daring, and really eager to learn. She’s the person who most surprised me on the entire team.”
Gabriel Torralba will have a season full of firsts. It will be the year when he makes the move up to the international level, on board “one of the best teams in the EWS,” the biker himself said. “There’s a great atmosphere on the team and that makes you feel comfortable and makes it easy to work shoulder to shoulder,” he explained. On the bike, his teammates define him as a rider who is “precise, strong and capable of staying calm.” For Javi San Román, Spanish Enduro (Scratch) Open champion, “the TeamCamp was a brutal experience. I learned a lot.” He is the youngest biker and, according to teammate Thomas, “the most active on the bike. He likes to jump around everywhere.” Competitive even in foosball “We wanted to create a family atmosphere, that’s why we chose a large house where we could share space and time together. It wasn’t just riding bikes, but also as much as possible, to be a little family,” Julien Brugeas told us.
During the times spent together, language differences resulted in some very funny moments. And the nights of darts and table football showed what born competitors they all are. “Each night we held a tournament. They’re very competitive, which will come in handy in the races this season!” concluded the team manager. “Maybe we’ll enter the world table foosball championship, because we have shown that we’re in good shape,” Thomas joked. Thomas is also the one who best summarized what this week has meant for the members of the Orbea Enduro Team. “Competing on an international team like this is very gratifying: everyone has something to teach the rest. After these days together, all of us have learned something about ourselves and, of course, to be better riders.”
Debut in the Andes Pacífico Enduro Now each member of the team goes back home, where they will continue to prepare for the start of the Enduro World Series, along with their personal trainers. But before the EWS kicks off on March 24 in Chile, the Orbea Enduro Team will debut on February 12 with Thomas in the demanding Andes Pacífico Enduro. This demanding competition is held over five days: it starts off in the Andes and ends on the Pacific coast, and is part of the French rider’s preparation for the World Series. You can follow this competition on the Orbea Enduro Team’s Facebook and Instagram accounts and at orbea.com.