Andy’s eye-opening insight into his Mallorca 312 trip
The Mallorca 312 is one of the most famous and high-profile sporting events in Europe. It is classed as one of the toughest endurance events in the sportive calendar. The 312 is a cycling festival with a choice of 3 distances: 312km, 225km and 167km. The most popular distance is the 312-kilometre course. This course consists of a loop of the Serra Tramuntana mountains, as well as a loop which takes the cyclists out to the Northeast part of the island. The Mallorca 312 has a reputation for being one of the hardest amateur cycling events on record.
This year marked the eleventh edition of the Mallorca 312. Andy Yeoman, our Sports Tours representative at the 312, also participated in the event. He was delighted to be able to support our clients on the iconic 312 Mallorca Sportive and recount his experience to us today. Whilst Andy had already cycled around the island of Mallorca for a number of years, this was his first time competing in the event. It was great to have Andy on standby as he was able to hold briefs with our clients during the morning workshops and answer any last-minute queries they had. He even organised a pre-event ride in order for all of those involved to be able to check out their equipment.
On the 24th of October, 4500 cyclists lined up at 6:30am in front of the Hotel Association Playa de Muro. The race was captained by Mavi García. She was the first woman to be given the honour of wearing 312 during the event. On the day of the race, Andy highlighted the fact that he had to identify exactly where the start line was and tried to get the clients to join him at the front of the pen. He did this in order to ensure that they were near the front and to avoid being hampered by stragglers in the field. The cyclists started out in the darkness, full of excitement and anticipation at what the day would bring.
Day in the life and experience of the 312:
Andy mentioned that the location of the hotel was fabulous as it was just a few hundred meters from the start line. This was a fantastic vantage point for witnessing the mass and buzz of people making their way to the event. Even the 4:30am wakeup call couldn’t dampen spirits as all of those involved could sense the electric atmosphere and the riders’ anticipation, as soon as all of the clients left the hotel. The pen to the VIP section was next to them and as they were waiting. Andy said how surreal it was to see fire breathing Mallorquin devil figures entertaining the crowds.
The race began at 6:30am, everyone set off in a huge peloton and the adrenaline kicked in. Andy confirmed that “It was incredible to see the size of the crowds as we sped through the towns. Not only were there hundreds of marshals helping out on the route, all of the local residents were cheering us on, regardless of where you were in the field. It really made you feel as though you were part of an event that was as close to a UCI type event as you could get”. Andy spoke about the fact that lots of friends and families were waiting at the finish line, keen to cheer everyone home. As Andy crossed the finish line, his chip beeped and he was overcome with a fantastic sense of achievement. He loved seeing all of the riders with their medals and their beers, smiling from ear to ear: “I sat with them in the finishing tent regaling tales of the ride before heading back to the hotel for celebratory drinks with the clients.”
Andy’s top 5 tips:
Ensure that you take lights with you. They are mandatory for the event as it begins very early in the morning. The front light on your bike needs to be strong enough to provide you with excellent visibility as the size of the peloton is extensive.
Get to the start line early. Whilst each rider has a timing chip, the time of the event begins when the gun goes off. There is a large number of contestants, and it can take over half an hour to get past the start line. This can lead to losing time and cause problems when it comes to making the cut later on!
Take layers with you. It is important that you can be flexible with the amount of clothing you wear. Andy wore a base layer, a jersey and a gilet with arm warmers. As the temperature increases throughout the event you can take off items to suit the weather conditions.
Take your own nutrition suitable to your own dietary requirements. Whilst there is plenty of food and drinks at the stops, Andy found that if you wish to complete one of the longer distances, missing the early feed stations increases the riders’ chance of making the cut.
When ordering your kit from 312 please be aware that the cut of the jersey is “race fit”. The manufacturers of this year’s jersey were GOBIK and Andy would advise going up a size from your normal comfort fit jersey.
To conclude, Andy highlighted just what a memorable week it was. Kilometres were ridden, friends were made and fun was most certainly had. Clients came for a variety of reasons, but with one common goal: completing one of the distances of the Mallorca 312.
Andy confirmed that it was an absolute privilege to be the Sports Tours International representative and he took real pleasure in working with and for such a great bunch of clients. Regardless of the riders’ aspirations, the 312 is an epic event and a bucket list challenge that Andy, alongside many others, will be returning to attempt again.
It was a wild weekend at the Marathon du Mont Blanc. Sadly the weather closed in and put paid to some events but a number of our runners completed the full marathon around Europe’s highest peak. Congratulations to everyone on a mega achievement 🏔