Winter Training Camp – Alcudia – Easter 2014
We had read much about how great the cycling was on the island of Mallorca, and on separate family holidays had sampled a taster of what was on offer, and so a team trip was organised to make the most of the silky smooth roads, breath-taking views and many climbs!
We based ourselves in Alcudia, staying at the Daina Apartments. The trip was booked through lowcostholidays.com and worked out at £160 per person flying out of Manchester, 7 days self catering. The cost did not of course include transporting our bikes, and so we booked our steeds through Swiss firm Max Hurzeler (http://www.bicycle-holidays.com/en/) who have several bike hire locations around the island. We opted for the top bikes on offer, Di2 equipped Cube Agree’s and Litenings which worked out at around £160 for the week each. Road bikes were available from around £100/wk, and all bikes we saw were equipped with 34/50 and 11-28, so perfect for climbs. Once you returned the bike, you got given the nice saddle bag with spare tube and lever in that they provided with the hire.
Alcudia was a fantastic base for cycling, with the resort clearly full of cyclists. When we set off on rides, we were usually cycling alongside other groups, particularly on the fantastic 10km cycle path along the coast that links Alcudia to the main cycling hot spot Puerto Pollensa. Cycling in April was great weather wise, with temperatures normally topping out at around 24/25c.
Route 1: Sa Calobra Loop – 117km – Route: http://www.strava.com/activities/132213608
After cycling across towards Pollensa we enjoyed the near 20km climb to the top of the Col de sa Batalla. The climb is quite steady but does ramp up to around 7% in places. Once at the top we headed onto the monestry of Lluc and round to the top of Sa Calobra before descending down to the start on the sea front. We had lunch here in one of the many self-service restaurants (Spag Bol about €10)
Sa Calobra was full of cyclists and thankfully not full of tour buses which we seemed to avoid! The climb up is very much like the Alpine climbs we have done previously and is a good test of the legs, only its relatively short length (9.5km) letting it down. At the top we enjoyed the fantastic descent down to Caimari and made our way back to Alcudia.
At 117km we felt Alcudia was pretty much on the limit of the distance we wanted in order to avoid taking a car nearer to Sa Calobra and made for an excellent full day out on the bike.
Route 2: Puig Major and Soller 94km – http://www.strava.com/activities/132214047
We took the car and parked it up in Caimari, starting the ride immediately going upwards with the climb of the Col de sa Batalla, but from a different side to the previous ride. This side was very different, with many hairpins and mainly in the forest so somewhat shielded from the sun! A really nice climb! Next it was onwards and upwards to Mallorca’s highest point Puig Major, where many cyclists and Tri-athletes were training and gathering at the tunnel at the summit.
From Puig Major down to Soller is one of the nicest descents we have ever experienced, 14km of cycling heaven on the nicest surface of road you can imagine! In Soller we ate at a café with a ‘Cycling special’ – Spag Bol, Coke and a Cake for only €7! Can’t go wrong!
Next up was the Col de Soller, a fantastic climb of endless hairpin turns before reaching the summit with its 2 or 3 cafes (including one with a pool, and one with delicious Tapas). After descending down to Bunyola we took on the next climb – Col de Honor. We hadn’t thought much about this one, but it turned out to be a real tester! With steep sections around 10-15% and some nice 6 or 7% lengths it was a hidden gem!
From here we wound our way through the villages back to the car in Caimari, at a length of just under 100km it still took us most of the day given the climbs involved and a nice lunch stop.
Route 3: Cap de Formentor – 61km – http://www.strava.com/activities/132214385
Cap de Formentor is a must-do ride, with some brilliant scenery as you ride along a cliff face towards the light-house! The only downside is that the beautiful tarmac’d road ends shortly after the beach and becomes more like a British road with pot-holes and loose grit.
The route includes 2 climbs to get out to the lighthouse and 2 to come back, all good tests of the legs and with unlimited numbers of cyclists around! We had coffee and cake in the lighthouse, think the 2 cost about €7.