Cycling

Events in Mallorca, January 2018

11230863_10153554291537025_8774810223230386098_oYou may think that Christmas, and New Year AND the Three Kings are over, and that therefore everything is back to normal in Mallorca, but you would be wrong as we still have two more fiestas to go this month, and we love them!
First up we have St Antoni this coming weekend. You will be able to join in at outdoor barbecues all over the island on Saturday evening. Some of the best ones are in my neck of the woods which is Andratx and S’Arraco, but you will also have places like Sa Pobla, Felanitx, Muro, Santanyi, Sencelles, Son Servera, Pollensa and Binissalem to check out as well. They are spread out over the weekend with some happening on Friday evening as well. The fiesta is split into two halves: you have the barbecue where everyone steals everyone elses’ sausages and gets drunk, followed by the Corre Foc, the fire run where recently inebriated people are invited to participate with people dressed up in really scary devil costumes and play with fireworks. What could possibly go wrong? Then on Sunday you have to make your way to the church with your pet cat, dog, sheep, goat, hamster, whatever you have you should take along to be blessed. There are blessings in Biniali, Cala D’Or, Santanyi, Soller, and Andratx. Look out for the celebrations as well in Alaro with a parade, bonfires and a correfoc in the evening. You can also go along to Deya, Maria de la Salut, Muro, Sa Coma, Santa Maria del Cami, Soller, Son Carrio and more action in Sa Pobla.
Then all attention is focused on Palma for the big San Sebastian parties. The Fiesta Sant Sebastia is one of the biggest festivals in Mallorca and celebrates the Patron Saint of the capital. The big nights are around the 18th, 19th and 20th (the day of Saint Sebastian), with the main parties and concerts being held on the 19th. Various squares in Palma become the venues for different types of music, for example Plaza Cort will become the stage for electronic music and Porta Santa Catalina will be the Jazz Stage whilst Placa Rei Joan Carles 1 will be the ska and reggae stage. Other entertainments such as the Castellers de Mallorca and the fire runs (Correfoc – wear long sleeves!) are on the 20th January. There will be exhibitions, music and parades for the duration of the festival and you’ll find all the details in the Official Programme (available about a week before the event).
From January 12th to the 14th there is a very special opportunity for men to get involved with yoga. Run by David Lurey it is spread out over three days at Earth Yoga in Palma: Friday evening, all day Saturday and then Sunday morning. The programme is for men of ALL shapes, sizes, flexibility and health levels and is designed for men to introduce the body, mind and life changing practice of Yoga. During the weekend you explore yoga poses for Increased flexibility and health and lean into your edge as a man to learn about the body, mind, spirit connection

On the 16th of January you can have fun and raise money for animals at the first Bow Wow Bingo event. It´s being held at The Boathouse in Palma from 7pm so get down there and get dabbing!

On Friday the 19th if you don’t fancy the concerts in Palma you can hop over to Finca Can Corem in Campos where there will be a disco for people 40 plus.

On Saturday the 20th there will be a Surya Soma yoga class which includes dancing, singing, and meditating at the Pramu Yoga centre at Estudi Ciutat Antigua in Palma. Contact Claudia on 609063327.–

From January 24th onwards a local designer, Eli, is running Make Your Own Yoga Wear workshops where you will learn how to make your own leggings, leotard and top! You learn how to use an overlock and coating machine, how to scale a pattern to fit your own size, and at the end of the course you will have your own unique clothes and the skills to make more!  Find out more at http://www.sunvibes.com

From Thursday 25th to the 28th there is the 27th Vuelta of Mallorca which normally attracts several professional cycling teams to the island. On each day they race through different parts of the island with the final race on the Sunday being from the Playa de Palma to the finish line on the Paseo Maritimo in Palma.  You can get more information at http://vueltamallorca.com/challenge-mallorca

On Friday the 26th there will be another in the series of group discussions run by Glynis German about death. It will be in Verdeteja in Alcudia. There will be another workshop in the same place on the 31st run by Anna Digon about relationships.  And on the 27th at Son Barrina finca which is between Inca and Llubi there will be an introduction to Permaculture.

Then on the weekend of the 26th a great musician, Luis Paniagua, will be visiting Palma, firstly to accompany a yoga class at Earth Yoga with Mirjam Wagner on the Friday evening 7 to 9pm and then on Saturday 27th January he will present his Sacred Music Concert from 7pm to 9pm.
Finally on Saturday January 27th you will be able to visit the Tira’m Els Trastos which is a second hand and vintage market. It is open from 10.30 to 2.30pm and you can find it in front of the PAC in Santa Catalina, on Glorieta Pau Casals.

 

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The Serpent’s Sting

By Vicki McLeod

Photos: Taz Darling

The Serpent (PHOTO CREDIT TAZ DARLING)

As the traditional family summer holiday season in Majorca gets shorter so the cycling season is getting longer. Dan and Emelie Marsh run Marsh-Mallows,  which is Majorca’s premier luxury cycling concierge service. They’re a registered tour operator based on the island,  attracting guests mainly from the UK.  Recently they ran the first ever Sa Calobra Time Trial which attracted a good mix of professional and amateur riders to the event. I went along to meet Dan to find out more.

Vicki McLeod: Tell me about yourselves.

Dan Marsh: I have always been actively into team sports.  About eight years ago, I got into cycling and when we moved here from London in 2010, I discovered a true passion for cycling amongst the inhabitants of Majorca.  My background as a director in the hospitality industry in London led me to setting up a luxury cycling company with a bit of a difference. I cycle with virtually all our groups and am still incredibly passionate about food and drink.  This island is addictive and I love nothing better than showing my clients the spots you would never normally find. Emelie is the brains behind the operation, she’s a professional show jumper, originally from Stockholm.   

 

VMc: So how would you describe the business?

DM: We create bespoke cycling trips for private and corporate guests.  We host luxury cycling holidays in Majorca and run a number of charity cycling events on the island.  We also organise trips to a number of sportives both here and in Europe.  

 

VMc:  Is it a training camp or a luxury cycling holiday?

DM: Definitely a holiday. Generally our daily rides are about 100km/60miles, we always include some challenging climbs (total ascent +1500m/5000ft) and we love non cyclists. Most trips are perfect for couples and groups of friends that want an active break.

 

VMc: Why the Sa Calobra TT?

DM: Sa Calobra is without doubt, the most feared climb on the island and a must do for many cyclists.  The route is 10km of tarmac draped off the side of a mountain. The 26 hairpin turns, climbs 668 metres from sea level, at an average of a 7.1% gradient.  The final hairpin is so extreme it does a full 360° turn and heads back over itself! It’s nickname is The Serpent, and it’s certainly got a sting in its tail.

 

I had been working with Bernat Vallori from the Escorca council to look at ways of creating a cycling event that encompassed Majorca’s most challenging and iconic climb.  This year we tested the format with about 30 cyclists with a view to developing it into a viable fundraising event for the future – the money would go to two cancer charities ASPANOB & Cancer research UK.

 

The vision is to create an event that has a community and inclusive feel but has a competitive element. I want it to involve professional and amateur riders and be a vehicle for raising the  profile of young riders from Majorca. Because of the way that Sa Calobra is we would never be able to have more than fifty participants at a time so it will always feel special and won’t be a mass participation event. And I wanted it to promote the true culture of Majorca and the Tramuntana.

 

VMc: Ambitious!  

DM:  We were fortunate enough to attract a great deal of professional cycling support and interest. We welcomed to Majorca:  Veit Hammer, the Marketing and Event Director of the MTN Qhubeka team, Barbara Guarishi from the Velocio-Sram Cycling team, who was returning from Richmond as one of the World Champions in the Team Time Trial, Joan Horrach who is from Majorca and for the last thirteen years has been a professional rider from 2000-13 riding several Tours de France, Giros and Vueltas, George Harper, Chris Opie and Sam Williams from One Pro cycling, Guy Andrews, the founder of Rouleur Magazine and publicist, James Golding a three times cancer survivor and cycling world record chaser who had just returned from completing the Haute Route triple crown and Jakub Pieniazek, the current coach of the Active Jet Pro Continental Team.  

 

VMc: Wow! That’s impressive.  How did the day work out?

DM: We were really happy with how it was received and how the day went, so a success I think. A coach and bike shuttle service transported the bikes and riders from Port de Soller to the Gorge Blau lake. Everyone hopped out and cycled to the start – up over Coll de Reis and the descent down to Sa Calobra. The time trial worked with randomly generated start times, with a cyclist being released every 30 seconds at the bottom of Sa Calobra, the professionals’ start times were spread throughout the field. The finish line was under the bridge where the road loops round in a full 360 degrees. Once the riders had finished their ride they then could take a seat at the cafe at the finish and watch their fellow competitors drag themselves over the finish! After we’d done the prize giving we all cycled the 75km (800m vertical) back to Port de Soller via Caimari, Santa Maria, Bunyola and then over the Coll de Soller and went straight to Hotel Esplendido where a hot paella was waiting for us.

 

VMc: I can imagine that if you were an amateur rider knowing you had a pro rider right behind you might be either terrifying or electrifying! What a great idea. Was the event supported by international cycling businesses and local businesses as well?

DM: Yes, we had four main sponsors. The first one was One Pro Cycling which is a UK professional team. It  is owned by retired professional cricketer Matt Prior and businessman Simon Chappell. The team officially launched on this year in February in the UK domestic road race scene, their highlight of their first year has been picking up two jerseys in the Tour of Britain in September. They are already using Majorca as a training camp, spending  two and a half weeks this spring in Port Pollensa training and developing the culture of their team. They are intending on competing internationally and have applied for a UCI Pro-Continental licence as the next step towards competing in Grand Tours.  Our other three sponsors were Cervélo, a cycling brand making top class bikes, Hotel Esplendido where we catered for the riders after the Time Trial, we often use this hotel in Soller for our cycling trips, and SEO Iberica, who provided our web and SEO design.

 

VMc: Why do you think the Time Trial appealed to the visiting non professional riders?

DM: It is one thing to ride the same roads as the professionals, to ride the same bike as the professionals, to wear the same clothes as the professionals, to compare your performance to the professionals. But to ride in the same race as the professionals, at the same time at the professionals,  that is something different. The Sa Calobra Time Trial allowed them to genuinely compare their time with the pros and appreciate the speed they race up Majorca’s most feared climb. 

 

VMc: How are your plans developing for a repeat of the Time Trial next year?

DM: I’ve been very lucky to have had the support from Bernat Vallori at Escorca Council, I’m hopeful that between us and with the continued support of our sponsors we will be able to make it happen! I’m hoping to raise a lot of money for charity in the coming years.

 

For more information about other events that Marsh Mallows runs visit http://www.marsh-mallows.com

 

RESULTS TABLE BELOW

Results

Male Professionals
Harper, George 00:27:40
Williams, Sam 00:28:45
Horach, Joan 00:30:00
Female Riders
Guarishi, Barbara 00:37:47
Handyside, Katie 00:45:07
Neudorfer, Johanna 00:48:47
Local Riders
Wright, Harry 00:31:13
Fernandez Minino, Miguel 00:32:03
Goitia, Ignacio 00:32:06