Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
1 May 2024   |   Uncategorized   |   

“Riding the Mallorca 312 may as well be the Tour de France” – David Millar

The Mallorca 312 is one hell of an event. 8,000 people taking part, sold out in minutes (although Sports Tours have places guaranteed), the option of three distances: 167 km/ 225 km/312 km – with the added appeal that you can choose on the day (during the ride) which one you commit to dependent on the feels.

I was fully committed to the 312. I would never do that distance on my own, but alongside thousands of others on closed roads with feed stations and all logistics taken care of by the Sports Tours team on the ground made it seem possible.

On the way to the airport on Thursday I had the pre-race vibes that I haven’t felt in years. These days doing something like the Mallorca 312 may as well be the Tour de France. That might sound ridiculous, but ultimately any challenge is relative to ability and preparation. The 312 is right on the outer edge of what I can do – which is how it felt going to the Tour de France with the ambition of winning stages.

From the moment I arrived in Mallorca it was like being a pro again, where I could turn up to the race and not have to think about anything except the performance. I was taken to my hotel only a couple hundred metres from the start/finish, checked in and connected to all Sports Tours event info through the QR code at reception. I built my bike up the next morning, and met the team, staff and fellow riders for a little shake out ride.

There was a Sports Tours mechanic on hand helping those who had issues. My fear incited OCD preparation meant my bike had never been more ready. I used a Factor O2 VAM, a climbing/all-round bike, and mixed it up by using Black Inc 48/58 fast wheels and narrow 38cm handlebars and 140cm stem to optimise aerodynamics. I put a small frame bag on to carry extra gels, and instead of a spare tube I went for a Muc-Off Bam that I attached to the seat post.

 

We did a gentle 40km ride and I got to mingle and chat during the ride. There were people from everywhere, UK, USA, UAE to name only those beginning with U. After the ride I checked out the event expo and picked up some last-minute things that I didn’t realise I wanted or needed.

As for race day itself, it was amazing. We rolled out at 6.30am and there were organisation cars holding back the “peloton” for the first 20km until we hit the foot of the first climb. It allowed for a controlled start before allowing those who wanted to go hard to be unleashed on the first climb. I found my own rhythm and by default a group that suited my abilities.

I latched on to some serious Belgian Gran Fondo riders, all on the same team, and with what seemed like constant roadside support. I rode conservatively, always respectful of the distance, yet even doing that there were moments when I wasn’t feeling good. I can narrow this down to around 180-230km, those were not fun.

One of the best parts of the day was when we’d found a good group and pace. It felt like the calm in the middle of a storm. There were about 30 of us in the group, and it was only after we’d been together for about an hour that I recognised Alberto Contador as one of the “random” riders. The moment of recognition happened to us at the same time. It added to the brilliant madness of the day. I also met Sean Yates’ son, Jesse, for the first time – which was lovely – we had a good chat and he sent a selfie of us to his Dad. As I said, that was the moment of calm.

The rest of the day, once exiting the Sa Granja feed zone at 158 km, was through-and-off. First of all with the Belgian Granfondo nutters, then after having to leave them to refill bottles I joined forces with a Norwegian and eventually a German. We spent the final 100km getting it done.

I had a mission to finish in under 10 hrs, and I’d set a timer on my watch counting it down. Although I was capturing and monitoring all data on my Garmin, in truth the only thing I cared about were the hours, minutes, and seconds ticking away on my wrist. I crossed the line with 15 minutes to spare, and came to a standstill, fist bumped my brothers-in-arms before they disappeared, and collapsed on my handlebars.

It was an amazing experience, and I was in awe of anybody who had the energy to socialise. I rolled the few hundred metres back to my hotel, had a shower, and collapsed in bed. I didn’t sleep, I didn’t move, but holy wow, it felt so good. I was reminded how important it is to be taken out of the comfort zone, to do hard things, because that’s where we experience things so much more vividly. Don’t get me wrong, you might not need all 312 km to get the same sensation, but it’s a sure-fire way to guarantee you will.

 

Guarantee your place on the Mallorca 312 start line in 2025 by pre-registering here now!

 

The stats:

Distance: 309.16 km

Time: 9:35:51

Moving Time: 9:34:19

Official Time: 9:45:36

Avg Speed: 32.2 kph

Avg Moving Speed: 32.3 kph

Max Speed: 81.6 kph

Total Ascent: 4,507.0 m

Avg Power: 208 W

Max Power: 784 W

Max Avg Power (20 min): 334 W Normalized Power® (NP®): 249 W Intensity Factor® (IF®): 0.782 Training Stress Score®: 586.2 Work: 7,184 kJ

Avg HR: 133 bpm

Max HR: 171 bpm

Avg Bike Cadence: 86 rpm

Max Bike Cadence: 135 rpm

Total Strokes: 44,718

Avg Respiration Rate: 28 brpm

Min Respiration Rate : 12 brpm Max Respiration Rate: 50 brpm

Weather: Cloudy, 14.0 °C (Feels like 14.0 °C). Humidity 89%. Wind 13km/h from South with gusts up to 40km/h.

Official tour partner for the biggest races on the planet