Part 1 – 21st to 28th February 2016
Welcome to this special March 2016 Newsletter which focuses on our recent team gathering here in Mallorca. Six years ago Pro Cycle Hire decided to create it’s own dedicated racing team. Selecting a mixture of young riders from the UK we embarked on a challenge to support (in our own small way) the next generation of riders from the UK. Road Racing at grass roots is flourishing, however unlike other areas of our growing sport, enthusiastic young riders wishing to gain road race experience need support to develop the necessary skills and experience to be successful. The Pro Cycle Hire UK Racing Team, made up of 1st, 2nd and 3rd category riders, now compete nearly every weekend in the season long BC Eastern Road Race League. Road races take place in Essex, Hertfordshire, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. If you are around please go along and support them or watch out for more news and results via the leagues website and our newsletters.
Day 1 – Sunday 21st February
The team arrived at Palma Airport on separate flights so the earlier Stansted arrivals had plenty of time for a few mid-morning coffees before the Gatwick flight landed. Matt, Ian, Mark 2, Dan C, Markus, James and Will all arrived on Sunday. Joe and Andrew had been in Mallorca a week already and Dan Young arrived a day earlier. Today was a travelling day but we were hoping to get out for a spin in the afternoon to shake the legs out after flying, so the transfer bus took us straight to Pro Cycle Hire in Port de Pollenca to pick up our Colnago hire bikes for the week. It was great to see Bruce again and check out the new bikes!
After a delay with our luggage due to the bus being involved in a collision on the way to Alcudia (Mark 2 was the only passenger and he was not injured) we were able to get out for a couple of hours in the afternoon sun, just an easy spin up to Formentor and back to shake down the hire bikes and our legs before the week ahead. We met for coffee in Pollenca before rolling back round the bay to the hotel for dinner and a good night’s sleep.
Day 2 – Monday 22nd February
We met at the Pro Cycle Hire shop to get the bikes fine-tuned after yesterday’s shake down ride. We set off in warm sunshine but still with some wet patches on the roads in places from the light overnight rain. Matt had an innocuous spill on a tight corner at low speed but still managed to put a graze on his thigh and get a swollen hand making the rest of the day uncomfortable holding the bars.
The main objective was to get a steady, long ride in so we headed south west to the iconic San Salvador climb. Once we finally hit the lower slopes after 2.5hrs riding the sun was out but as we climbed up the tight twisting road there were damp patches where overhanging trees had created all day shadows. This was of no consequence on the way up, but would have more impact on the way down. After a coffee stop at the top we descended quickly and disaster struck when experienced rider Mark Howard locked up his back wheel on a tricky hairpin, took a fall and slid into the barrier wall at speed. Mark was grazed, dazed and a little bloodied and we called an ambulance as he needed to be checked out pronto.
The rest of us feeling slightly subdued headed back 2hrs to Alcudia but pushed on over testing, rolling terrain to finish the ride after approx 4.5hrs with 85 miles in the legs. It was a long day out with plenty of incidents hopefully not to be repeated for the rest of the week! Dinner at the Viva Tropic Hotel was immense with most of the team having at least 2-3 well deserved platefuls!
Day 3 – Tuesday 23rd February
Markus made a speedy recovery and was back riding with us again today. He’s made of tough stuff that boy!
We headed to the Pro Cycle Hire shop in Port de Pollenca for some bike adjustments and to meet Bruce for team photos in the sun! We welcomed new team member John Woyton to the team and got him into the new kit. Really good to have John on board.
Bruce was riding with us all day today. We headed out into a strong headwind along the Campanet road to Selva, the group stretching their legs over smaller foothills ahead of the main climb of the day which was the ascent to Orient. This was a good 7km leg tester and split the group with those wanting to push on cresting ahead of those sticking to their zones. Dan Young, Matt, Mark 2, Ian and Will were all going for mountain points today!
There was a short steep ‘bonus’ climb after Orient and before Bunyola, then fast roads and the inevitable sprint into Santa Maria with James and Will jumping early and Matt using Ian’s local knowledge to follow his attack and hold off Mark 2 in the sprint for the town sign.
We had a great lunch courtesy of Bruce sitting in the sun in Santa Maria watching the world go by before heading back to Pollenca through the windswept farm lands and tall reeds via the towns of Inca and Sa Pobla.
We were invited back to the Pro Cycle Cafe where ‘Bruce the Barista’ made us all great coffees! By the time we made the final ride to Alcudia we had another 4.5hr 85-90 mile day in our legs and had ridden in warm sunshine all day. Some even had the early season tan lines to prove it!
The week so far in numbers
Sunday February 21st
Alcudia – Pollenca – Formentor – Alcudia (60 kms)
Monday February 22nd
Alcudia – Pollenca – San Salvador – Alcudia (135 kms)
Tuesday February 23rd
Alcudia – Pollenca – Selva – Bunyola – Alcudia (145 kms)