Mallorca, the pearl of the Mediterranean, is far more than a holiday paradise. For cycling legends and newbies alike, the island has become a training mecca. The varied landscapes, from coastal plains to the rugged heights of the Serra de Tramuntana, have captured the interest of many professionals. In this piece, we’ll explore some of the most popular training routes of these sportsmen and weave in gripping anecdotes and tales to make the experience even more enthralling.
The Road to Cap de Formentor
The road that snakes along the rugged coast to the lighthouse at Cap de Formentor, is not only a photographic marvel but also a training circuit that cyclists like Bradley Wiggins regularly frequent. Wiggins reportedly referred to the route as his very own “cycling academy.” The steep climbs and swift descents challenge even the best cyclists. At the famous Mirador Es Colomer, he would pause to take in the breathtaking views and reflect on his training.
The Serra de Tramuntana
This mountain range provides one of the island’s most challenging routes and is a favorite haunt for professionals like Alberto Contador. The climbs of Puig Major, Sa Calobra, and Coll de Sóller are famous for their challenges and beauty. An anecdote goes that one day Contador encountered a local farmer during a training run. The farmer was awed by Contador’s speed and asked if he was in a race. Contador laughed and replied: “Every day is a race, my friend.”
The Pla de Mallorca
The Pla de Mallorca is known for its flatter routes and draws many professionals looking to work on their speed. Sprinting legends like Mark Cavendish are often found here. One of the charming local cafes, Ca’n Molina in Sineu, became an almost legendary spot for cycling fans due to Cavendish’s regular visits. There’s a tale where Cavendish questioned the bill for an espresso, and the owner replied, “For champions, there is a special price!” From then on, the “Cavendish Espresso” has been a common term among cyclists on the island.
The Secret of Serenity – Arta and Surroundings
Not far from the tourist masses lies the area around Arta, where Chris Froome used to make his winter training. The gentle hills and picturesque roads are an inside tip for those seeking tranquility. On one occasion, Froome was asked by a curious child why he always came back to the same spot. He looked out at the sea and responded, “This is where I find my inspiration. The road, the sea, the silence. It all speaks to me.”
Mallorca is not just a vacation destination; it’s a living part of cycling history. The routes we’ve explored are only a small part of what the island has to offer. Every kilometer tells stories of sweat, endurance, and triumph. It’s a place where legends are born and where any cyclist, professional or beginner, can be part of this extraordinary culture. The roads are waiting. Are you ready to follow in the footsteps of the pros?