Valentines Mallorca Sunshine Romance is alive in Mallorca this Valetines Day – I expect if you did not love Mallorca before, you will with the glorious day today. Clear blue sky, very warm sunshine and fantastic scenery and views. A leisurely lunch on a terrace looking at this…..
Now I have to admit this was not the view for virtually all the riders today. This was the day for the very big rides for Groups 1 and 2 – 85 to 105 miles with several big climbs to navigate. As usual it was a 10am start – the Juniors – with Dexter, Max and Nesta – going off first followed by the U16’s. Darryl (Ciclosol) took an adult group to follow the U16’s for what was to be an epic day. Heading out of Alcudia towards the Orient climb before then riding in the direction of Coll de sa Batalla. This was another big climb reaching a well deserved cafe stop at the top. The U16’s route followed a figure of eight they ended with Darryl guiding the riders back to Alcudia through quiet and peaceful lanes.
The Junior group took in a number of climbs with the support car driven by Bob and supported by Ryan providing much needed bottle top ups, bars and gels.
A small group of adults and club riders enjoyed a ride out to Campanet stopping in the main square. There the group split with the Lloyds heading towards Coll de sa Batalla and the same cafe stop that the U16’s made. The remainder of the group headed on to the caves where another cafe stop provided the view you see above.
Valentines Day ended with the team meeting and a challenge game organised by Jo and Andy where riders were split in to teams – then issued with spaghetti and marshmallows – to build the highest tower in a set time.
A fantastic Valentines Day all round.
Rest – or was that just a ruse…….
You know the drill by now, 9.45am meet ready to ride at 10am. This is Day 4 of the training camp, Wednesday. Today was not about hard training or going as fast as possible, no today was a rest day. A gentle ride they said, no more than an hour out, cafe, and an hour back for the U16’s. The Juniors – again with Nesta and Dexter – were going a little further, 75 miles, expected to average a “gentle” 18mph, with a nice little climb up to San Salvador at the end of the outward leg. A rest day they said.
The Juniors kept a steady pace on the way to San Salvador, reaching the 6.4km climb with a 6.8% gradient in around 2 hours. There was a slight delay en route as Joe’s Garmin took the riders and support car down at first a track leading to a rather large puddle come lake. Riders attempted a number of ways navigating this not unsubstantial hurdle. First James tried to ride around it, but his bike quickly sank in to the thick mud. I have seen less mud on the brakes on a very muddy cross course. Then Dexter and Sam tried a different direction and also ended up caked in mud. Nesta then attempted the ‘straight through the water hazard’ approach that actually worked a treat! The remaining riders followed except for Joe who decided to sit inside the car whilst holding his bike outside the car as it navigated the lake size puddle!
After a cafe stop at the top of the San Salvador climb, the riders made there way back to Alcudia via Petra and Santa Margarita. At about 15 km to tag to the hotel, the ‘rest day’ was forgotten, the pace quickened with a few sprints and breaks – certainly not a rest day finish to the ride!
The U16’s headed along the coast road to Petra, before turning towards Petra. The route back took in Munro and Sao Pobla before taking the marsh road, past the power station and then in to Alcudia. I don’ know about anyone else, but that marsh road is soul destroying at the end of a long ride. The power station land mark can be seen for miles, but it takes a long time to physically reach it – I am sure it moves further away the closer you get!
Today there was the second birthday of the week – this time it was Jemma who celebrated with a cake and the whole restaurant joining in with ‘happy birthday ‘.
You might see the Team Sky bottle in the picture – they are staying about 200 metres from our hotel and trying to copy our training camp format!
The day ended with the usual meeting, followed by a fascinating talk by Ian about psychology and how training the mind can positively affect around 20% of a riders performance. I expect all the riders are rehearsing and visualising as this is written their mountain time trial scheduled for tomorrow morning.
Rest day or not, it really is time now to put the feet up for an 8 hour kip!!