In April and May Sky Velo headed back to Mallorca for a couple of weeks of sunshine and amazing cycling, and the island didn't let us down! Mathew, Steven, Sean, James H, Thomas, Pete, Alex, Anna and Caroline all racked up some huge miles on some of the most beautiful roads in the world. Five of the team also took on the challenge of the Mallorca 312.
With everyone arriving and leaving the island on different dates, Mathew and Steven were the first to land and settle in to the Sky Velo apartment. An introductory ride to Cap de Formentor lighthouse eased them into things before meeting up with James and Thomas the next day for a big ride to Soller. We went up the Col de Femenia for the first time before climbing further to Puig Major ahead of the 14 kilometre descent to the lunch stop. Our group's numbers were swelled by our friends from Alnwick Cycling Club - the Geordies certainly made their mark!
Next to arrive was Pete who also brought the rain with him on his epic 12 hour journey from Malta (via Barcelona). Forced to stay on the flat roads by the weather we ventured back into the mountains on the Friday, now with Alex in our ranks too. This time we headed up the Col de Sa Bataia for one of many stops of the famous petrol station.
Saturday was the day most of the group had been preparing for - the Mallorca 312. A very early and wet start from Plajta de Muro saw Sean, Pete and Mathew go for the 232km distance whilst Steven and Alex opted for the 167km route. A huge day of riding followed on closed roads through the Mallorcan mountains, and thankfully the weather improved throughout the day too. All of our Veloists completed their challenges - chapeau to all five!
Sunday turned into a well-deserved and rather boozy rest day! But it wasn't long until we were back on our bikes. Monday was "Sa Calobra Day". For many in the group, it was the first time they had ridden this unbelievable stretch of tarmac and after the amazing descent we stopped for a coffee and cake stop at the bottom to gain the strength to climb back up. Some impressive climbing saw Pete lead us over the summit in 42:12, although Sean managed a hugely impressive 38:47 later in the day!
Alex was the first of the group to head home on the Tuesday, but he was quickly replaced by Anna and Caroline. Their first ride was to be an epic. Mathew, Pete, James and Thomas had booked themselves onto the shuttle to Andratx and rode from there to meet the rest of the group for lunch in Port de Soller. We thoroughly recommend taking the bus and riding from the southern end of the island - it's absolutely beautiful! The lunch stop was followed by one of the toughest challenges of the week - the 14km hors category climb of Puig Major.
There was one more ride left for Mathew and Pete as they rode with Caroline and Anna up the Col de Orient, Col de Honor and Col de Soller. But after the boys left on the Thursday and Friday, the girls continued with the mega mileage. Not to be outdone they too took on Sa Calobra, took the shuttle to Andratx and rounded off an amazing fortnight of cycling with a trip to the lighthouse.
It had been a fantastic fortnight of cycling with plenty of eating, drinking and socialising included! We must mention Rob, Tim and Ian from Alnwick CC in the North East of England. Links have been formed between our two clubs and, who knows, we may try to organise a Sky Velo trip to Newcastle sometime soon! No doubt we'll all be back in Puerto Pollensa the same time next year.