I took a couple of days off work this week to go out to Mallorca with my brother and our friend Andy. This time last year we were in Belgium riding the Tour of Flanders sportive. This year we wanted something a little warmer and I need climbing training. So a plan was hatched in the middle of winter to head out to Mallorca and spend a few days riding around the Serra de Tramuntana mountains that rise from the northern coast of the island.
This time instead of travelling with our bikes we opted to hire bikes locally on the island. Chris and I rode Trek Emonda S6, whilst Andy was riding the S7. This made the transfer from the airport a lot simpler than having to move three bike boxes as well as ourselves. We based ourselves in Porta Pollenca close to the mountains and stayed at the Hosposa Sporthotel, a hotel specifically designed for active holidays, one of the key features is an excellent bike locker
Day 1 – Cafe stop spin up to the lighthouse at Cap Formentor and then along the bay to Alcudia, overall 60km and 1000m of climbing punctuated by a cafe stop or two…. Very pleasant.
Day 2 – Before the others were awake, I went out for a sunrise spin back out towards the Cap. It was still pitch black by the time I reached the top of the climb so I had to wait for the sun to rise before attempting the descent.
After getting back to the hotel and grabbing some breakfast we headed west steadily climbing along the valley floor before turning north Selva and over the Coll de Sa Batalia (8km, 5.5% avg gradient) before descending towards Sa Calobra. A short break there before turning around to face the bucket list climb out, 9.4km long avg 7% but with the top 3km kicking up to 13%. A monster of a climb and superb training. From the top of the climb the road then rolls up and down until the main 15km descent back to Pollenca.
Overall 130km for the day and 2500m of climbing.
Day 3 – After the pain of day 2, day 3 was always going to be a challenge and this was the essence of the trip for me. How do I handle a couple of big days in a row. Our plan for this day was to again head out west along the valley steadily climbing through Campanet, Selva, over Coll De Orient into Bunyola and then turning north over the Coll de Soller. Then into Soller for lunch before tackling the long climb up to Puig Major (14km, Avg 6.5%). We would then join up with the road at the top of Sa Calobra and follow the same route back to Puerta Pollenca. It was a hard day with another 2500m of climbing and 135km of riding. I had a brief conference call that I had to join so had a little extra time for lunch and I am sure that helped. It was a real wake up call to what is ahead of me on the Haute Route.
Day 4 – Heading back home and so just a short recovery ride out in the morning just to keep the legs turning. 25km with 400m of climbing, bringing to end a 400km, 7000m week. My muscles were tired and a little tight, there is a lot of work to do before the Haute Route in August. As a comparison the haute route is 7 days, 900km and 22,000m of climbing. On the haute route I will do nearly the same distance and as much climbing that I have done this week in the first 2 days. It is no easy task.
For more information on why I am doing this click here. Please support me and this charity, your donations provide me with motivation to do this. Please note that all of your donation goes directly to the charity Team Type 1 Foundation. www.justgiving.com/MarksTT1Fundraising