Mallorca 312 entries open today – time to get prepared
With entries for the Mallorca 312 open from today, the Balearic island again finds itself firmly in the cycling limelight. Thousands of Brits make the pilgrimage to the island each year, and the 312 is fast-becoming the focal point – it’s now one of the most popular sportives on the European calendar, with no less than 6,500 participants taking part, despite being only 7 years old.
The 312 is what it says on the tin – 312 kilometres long, with over 5,000 metres of climbs. That’s the equivalent of cycling from London to Land’s End, whilst climbing Ben Nevis over three and a half times. The biggest ascents are those of the Tramuntana range, including Puig Major, the highest mountain on Mallorca at a cool 1445 metres.
Over 26 nationalities have competed in the Mallorca 312, nowadays including over 1,000 Brits, and the increased popularity of the event led to organisers introducing road closures for the first time in 2016. A staggering 96% rise from 200 riders in 2010 to 4,500 in 2017 is remarkable, and clearly demonstrates the need for such measures to be installed. In previous years, the ride was essentially a lap of the island, but now it goes back on itself, meaning a punishing additional 500 metres worth of climbs.
Miguel Indurain, the last person to win the Tour de France on five occasions, is a regular entrant, and 1987 Tour champion Stephen Roche has also competed in recent years. There’s no doubt that Mallorca has the pros under its spell, with many teams visiting the island in the winter for training programmes, including Team Sky.
Of increasing popularity among amateurs also is getting a winter training camp under their belt, the perfect way to get back into shape ahead of the new season, something we touched on in a recent blog post. Mallorca, unsurprisingly, is an ideal destination – 300 days of sun a year, roads that could have been drawn up by cyclists in a dream – the full package.
For those looking to compete in the 312, a spell on the island a few months before the April event is a wise idea, and plenty of companies run a variety of camps. Below is a short list of some of our suggested companies, many of which can also arrange places on the 312. It’s a good time too to sort out flights (before any more companies go bust or on strike), and book your bike shipment with ourselves at bagsolo.com.
SunVelo – Mallorca Winter Endurance Cycling Camps, January/February 2018
SunVelo have timed their endurance camps to be just a few months before the 312, and indeed they also provide places for the sportive. The camps are a minimum of 4 days, and are the perfect way to get conditioned ahead of the new season, with the format replicating what the pro teams do.
Velo Club Europe – Ride Mallorca in a Week/Weekend, January/February 2018
Velo Club Europe offer both long weekends and full-week trips on Mallorca, with their guided rides giving you the best possible feel for the island and its legendary tarmac, whilst catering to your preferences, whether it’s group riding, climbing/descending or fitness.
Love Velo – Mallorca Training Camps, flexible dates
With Love Velo your trip can be tailored to suit you, and you can both pick your dates and level of ride, with four categories offered. Furthermore, there’s also the option of a self-guided break, as well as the availability of private rides for you and your group.