Words: Conan Marshall
Photos: Mark Thomas/Pixabay
Mallorca has it all for the cyclist. Located in the Mediterranean, this island is the largest of the Balearic Islands that belong to Spain. In recent years it has become a popular destination for European riders, and its not hard to understand why.
Stunning scenery is something that all will associate with the island. There is a great variation of terrain, from dramatic mountain roads for the climbers, to more forgiving flat routes. You do not have to travel far until you come across small clusters of riders, both amateur and professional, enjoying the warmth on the road.
The Balearic island is home to team Sky and Astana’s pre-season training camps. With the most popular time to cycle there being in the winter and spring months. But it isn’t just a mecca for pro-cyclists. Over 150,000 cycle-tourists visit each year, with the northern part of the island appreciated most by cyclists.
With all the cycling hype in Mallorca, it is fitting to know that the island is home to one of the toughest sportives on the cycling calendar, the Mallorca 312. This is the longest amateur European cycling sportive around, offering three routes of 167, 255 and 312km. There is also the bonus of no traffic, as the route is closed off from the public.
Mark Thomas, an endurance athlete from Cornwall, England took part in this year’s Mallorca 312. We talk to him about his background, experience and ambitions...
“I love taking on long distance events, I like the challenge of pushing myself, taking on long distance endurance events helps me escape my busy working life, it keeps me level headed and helps me to focus on future plans.”
The short flight from England makes this race especially popular amongst British riders. “My experience of Mallorca 312 was just breath taking, perfect roads, very well organized and some great climbs. The weather conditions on the day where just perfect, there was a total of 8,000 riders on the day. I would highly recommend Mallorca 312 to any keen cyclists.”
“I have never done the Mallorca 312 before, the reason I went this year was part of my training for Ironman Lanzarote in May. I am part of the Mounts Bay Harriers and they organised the trip, 22 of us went to Mallorca to take part. I did the 104-mile distance because this was close to my Ironman bike distance, I also did a 3-mile run off the bike at the end as part of my training.”
Visit these links to find out more about cycling in Majorca: