Episode 24

Team Camp with Axeon Cycling Team

In January, David joined the Team Hagens Berman Axeon's training camp in Healdsburg, California. “Axeon,” is a U-23 cycling development team founded by Axel Merckx in 2009. David talks with Axel, along with several riders on the Axeon team that evoke the joy, promise and struggle of being a hugely talented work-in-progress, with your athletic life ahead of you. 

There are 12 riders on this year’s team. They range in age from 19 to 21 and hail from 6 different countries. They all hope to eventually be picked up by UCI World Tour teams to ride in the Grand Tours and National Championships. Axel and the teams’ other directors—who also rode professionally—help them get noticed and prepare them to be successful at the highest level. 

This year’s squad has 5 new riders meshed with the 7 vets.  The week-long training camp is the only time all 12 riders will be together all year. Once the camp ends, the team splits up to race on the UCI Continental Circuit, traveling all over Europe, Australia, Japan and the United States.  

Following camp, their season started well, with a 125-mile race in the Netherlands on March 8th. Jarrad Drezners and Cole Davis both finished among the Top 20, and the team finished 7th overall.  

And then, coronavirus. The rest of Axeon’s season, like the seasons of athletes around the world, is up in the air. So each of the riders has gone home, and doing their best to stay healthy. They’re keeping up with their training, and they’re still bonding. Most of important of all, they’re still dreaming, still looking toward a future that can’t arrive soon enough. 

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