2019 Mallorca Cycling Camp
What an incredible week…view the photos below and read the recap. The camp will open to the public mid-May 2019, so be sure to sign up for our newsletter for updates!
Official Camp Recap
Every year our trip to Mallorca is an incredible experience, and 2019 did not disappoint. We had more than 24 athletes riding across the beautiful terrain of Spain. The idea of doing a cycling camp in Spain seems far-fetched, but when we hit the ground and clip in all things are good. You can see all the things we did together in our official photo album: https://teamen.smugmug.com/Mallorca-2019/
Before I dive into the recap, I do have to be clear that there are so many things that need to go right for a camp like this to be successful. Huge thanks to all of our Campers for their patience and understanding on what it means to travel and train internationally on world-class terrain and climbs. Shout out to our partners at Mallorca Cycling Tours for creating an incredible on the ground experience for us each day. Thanks also to Pro Cycle Hire in Mallorca, as well as the Cabot Hotels for hosting us. Not to mention Palm’s Bar and Tolos restaurant for providing all the sustenance we needed outside of our regularly scheduled meals.
All told, the campers rode a total of five days. You will see each of the routes listed below including some of my bonus training. Without my family this year, I decided to go all in and put in plenty of time on the bike. The grand totals for me were eight days of cycling, 600 miles of riding and approximately 30 hours of total training.
It seems like a lot, but a cycling camp has that perfect balance of both work and recovery that a traditional “triathlon” camp does not. These camps are an opportunity to push your limits and to reach new levels of fitness. Beautiful Spain provides the opportunity to challenge yourself and to relax and have fun as well.
Note: If you are interested in being a part of any one of our future cycling camps, I encourage you to visit our official camp website and sign up for the newsletter for updates. We will also post them to the Team inside the forums, but the newsletter is a great place to start. Registration for the 2020 camp in Mallorca will open shortly and I want to make sure you can lock in your spot before it closes out.
Okay, enough of the overview… Let’s get to the details!
Mallorca Camp [Day 1]: Shake It Out
- Date: Apr 14, 2019
- Distance: 73.5mi
- Time: 3:49:02
- Elevation: 2,444ft
- Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/2289251883
First day of camp is our shakeout ride. This is a chance to make sure that everything that we’ve set up for the bike and the groupings is right. Riding a rental bike is pretty straightforward, but there’s always some tweaking to do. To keep things simple we picked a rolling course that would allow athletes opportunities to stop and make adjustments as needed. Our ride took us to the old town of Alcudia where we encountered some wins before we headed in land and found ourselves working towards the town of Petra. Here we regrouped to have coffee and a little bit of food, a daily practice with these rides.
Our goal with these camps to balance both work and social time, and the steps give a chance for all groups to reconnect regardless of ability and speed. The rolling terrain is also an opportunity for the guides to get to know each of the riders and their abilities as well as how the group itself was performing. After Petra we rolled to the town of Sineu and then began the process of circling Muro through Sa Pobla and returning back home again. This loop style allowed us to avoid any direct winds and gave us a chance to experience both open roads and some of the smaller country lanes that are a signature staple of cycling in Mallorca. All told, athletes rode between 60 and 75 miles on the day for a big healthy start to the week!
Mallorca Camp [Day 2]: Sa Collabra
- Date: Apr 15, 2019
- Distance: 88.8mi
- Time: 5:28:48
- Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/2292701218
Day Two was our trip to the infamous climb that is Sa Collabra. This is one of only a handful of climbs in Europe where the road circles back under itself and is renowned for the winding course that takes you all the way down to the edge of the ocean.
The hidden part of this ride is that there’s a fair amount of work just to get to the climb itself the work required to get to the start of the climb. It’s approximately 24 miles and took most campers approximately 2 1/2 hours to get to the point where they could do the actual climb itself. The descent down is great preparation for the return trip back up, but it’s really doesn’t stop people from hanging out at the bottom and taking pictures for a while in order to mentally prepare for the climb out.
The ride out takes anywhere from 35 to 85 minutes, depending on athlete’s strength and fitness. Given that there are so many people are riding the course it’s a great opportunity to test yourself against others and to enjoy the beautiful scenery as you suffer.
The return trip from Sa Collabra saw us stopping for lunch at a great roadside restaurant after enjoying a fantastic 8.5-mile descent. Even though everyone climbs at different speeds, the return trip on the descent is always a chance for folks to see just how good they are at handling a bike. After lunch it was a rolling return to town. There we could have a beer and share stories of the climb.
I personally rolled off again for another 20 miles to get time in the saddle in my continued quest to build some cycling fitness.
Mallorca Camp [Day 3]: Sineu to Randa and Back
Date: Apr 16, 2019
Day Three is officially Team Picture Day and as you can see from the picture above, we did not disappoint. It was a rolling day today to recover from Monday’s ride and to make room for tomorrow’s ride, more on that soon. This ride took us from pious to Sineu to Randa and then back again. The faster group had an opportunity to do an 800 foot climb in Randa. This bug-infested challenge was about a 15- to 18-minute effort but was a great test of fitness on an otherwise rolling day.
Coming down from the climb we had the chance to regroup and Randa for our team picture and enjoy a little bit more food. By this time in the week we were getting better at managing our calories so that we could continue riding, a constant challenge with all the amazing food available in Spain. The goal here was to keep our legs loose because of changes in the weather.
The roads in Mallorca are limestone and very slippery when wet. With both Thursday and Friday looking wet we decided that the upcoming Wednesday ride would be a big excursion. This is another reason for keeping things straightforward here on our Tuesday although, it’s fair to say that the mileage was certainly still up there! Just another great day in the saddle.
Mallorca Camp [Day 4]: Four Amigos, Three Excursions
Date: Apr 17, 2019
Day Four was entirely new adventure for our camp, one that will definitely return in future camps. This ride saw the group break into two subgroups using a shuttle service for a point-to-point ride. One group went to the town of Valdemossa which ended up being a 4 1/2 hour ride with about 4000 feet of climbing. The other group traveled further down the coast to Andratx and get a ride that was approximately 80 miles with 8000 feet of climbing.
In both cases, athletes rode along the coast amidst beautiful scenery that is the edge of the Serra Tramuntana mountain range. This ride included climbing along the coast and the ascent of the Puig Major. This climb is a 9-mile effort with approximately 2800 feet of gain. The average gradient is approximately 6 to 7% and, despite a short break in the middle, is an incredible test of will.
You can see athletes of all abilities spread out across the mountain struggling to maintain their pace and make it to the top for the incredible view. After regrouping, athletes ride through a long tunnel before descending down the other side where the road intersects with the path to Sa Collabra.
Some of us opted to take in Sa Collabra again while others continued on in the return trip home. Regardless of the option that athletes took on the day this was absolutely a stunning experience. Not just from the work of riding the bike but the reward for completing each climb in terms of the amazing scenery. This was, by far, the most epic day of our camp. People will be talking about this one for a long time… Or at least until we return next year!
Mallorca Camp [OFF Day]: Spinning Legs to Binissalem
Date: Apr 18, 2019
Thursday was officially a rest day. After four straight days of cycling, including the epic climb on Wednesday, athletes needed a rest. Campers broke up into smaller groups and took various excursions around the island to explore the culture and scenery that you can’t experience on a bike. It’s a great reminder of the history of the island as well as just how unique a place this island holds in our hearts. From different foods to different types of drinks to different accents, it was clear that there’s so much more to learn here. Campers enjoyed an informally organized dinner in order to share our experiences traveling the island.
Some of us opted for another ride, to continue the streak of adding miles in the quest for building a great cycling base. It was a windy day, but temperatures were just right enough to get the work done. It was also an opportunity for us to be able to explore new part of the island at our own pace was quite welcome after significant struggling.
Mallorca Camp [Day 5]: Two Climb Friday from Muro to Inca
Date: Apr 19, 2019
Day Five was our official final day on the bike. The weather was too windy for us to attempt to ride to the Cap Formentor (akak the Lighthouse), so instead we headed inland and climbed Two short efforts on the path from Muro to Inca. We were able to see some preparations for Good Friday and the unique celebration that is held here on the island each year.
This ride was the perfect balance of recovery and work as athletes took turns sitting on the front and blocking the headwinds for the rest of us in the group. Was also another opportunity for us to practice pacelining and improve our group riding skills. If anything, returning from this camp has renewed my love of riding my road bike by 1000%!
It was a bittersweet ride as returning home meant turning in our rental bikes in beginning the process of collecting ourselves for the final effort to head home. Our wonderful guides at Mallorca Cycling Tours organized a camp closing dinner where we celebrated our individual accomplishments and recognized a few campers for their achievements across the course of the week. It was the perfect end to an incredible week.
Mallorca Camp [Bonus Day]: One More Time:, Mr Holmes
Date: Apr 20, 2019
While others were heading home, I Had just enough time to sneak in one more ride. Even through Mr Holmes was navigating, and the winds were howling, we were able to keep rolling. Disappointingly, we were unable to find any gravel without my input, but regardless we found a great climb through the town of Alaro. And we managed to do the full session without a single coffee stop…perhaps the most impressive feature of the day!
The trip to the airport saw me fall asleep instantly in the car, a clear sign the work had taken its toll. I can’t want to see what the fitness brings!
If you are interested in the Mallorca Camp, it will be open to new campers in early May. Sign up for the Camp Newsletter. We sure hope you can make it!