Team Sky fine-tune at Valencia training camp
Team Sky at the head of affairs in Qatar
Team Sky are in the final throes of their second training camp in Valencia, where they have been fine-tuning their preparation for the rest of the season.
It is both a smaller - with some riders racing in Oman - and more serious affair than their first camp six weeks ago.
Team Sky race coach Rod Ellingworth was pleased with how things went. "Everyone's enjoyed it and, at the same time, we've done some good, hard work. The place has worked out well too," he commented.
In sometimes-drizzly weather on the Spanish coast, the squad did more high-intensity workouts and time-trial efforts than at the January gathering.
"It was a good mix of work, also trying out different equipment. Everything's moving along quite nicely and are healthy, and everyone's coming along well," Ellingworth added positively.
The camp signals a tipping point for Team Sky, serving as a last opportunity to build rapports and tweak preparation, tactics and logistics before the European season gets underway in earnest.
The squad has had a bright start to the season, claiming a stage apiece in the Tour Down Under, Tour of Qatar and Tour of Oman. However, they will be looking to erase the errors, which saw Edvald Boasson Hagen relinquish the race lead in both Arabian races, in the upcoming cobbled Classics.
One team has left for the south of France for the two-day Tour du Haut Var, which starts on Saturday. Tomorrow, another group is making the shorter journey west to Jaén for the opening stage of the Ruta del Sol.