8000 men and women in lycra
Now in its 9th year, what must be one of the biggest cycling events in Europe takes place tomorrow in Mallorca. The Mallorca 312, so called because it's 312 kilometres long has drawn, along with two shorter courses, the 225 and 167, a massive amount of entrants.
Around 8000 riders will take part in the event on Saturday 28th April, starting and finishing at Playa de Muro. They've come from over 50 countries to do the tour, 35% from Spain, 35% from Britain and 11% from Germany, and with smaller numbers from other countries.
The event, it's not a race, more a tour or test of endurance, was originally a giant lap of the circumference of the island of Mallorca, but now is concentrated in a route along the north coast of the island to the Sierra Tramuntana mountains, all the way down their spine to the south west coast and then back up the mountains and along the coast to the finish line.
Not only is it a long way but it also involves some really lung bursting climbs – 4300 metres of them – that will sort the men out from the boys! Because of the enormous number of entrants and the comparatively smaller area of the route, the roads for the cyclists will be closed to traffic at various times during the day, so beware if you're planning to be in the area.
Because of the importance of the event, the authorities in the area have been busy putting new tarmac on the road surfaces so everybody can pedal smoothly. Fittingly, the start and finish at Playa de Muro, takes place in one of the most popular areas for cyclists, tens of thousands of whom stay in the area every year to enjoy the superb facilities of Mallorca for two wheelers – roads, scenery, weather, and hospitality.
I'd like to wish everyone taking part the best of luck and hope they all enjoy both the big day and their stay on this lovely island.