This year I decided to do something different for the Mallorca 312 event. My dream has always been to travel with my bike across Europe in a campervan. This year was the time to stop putting it off and followed my dream, life is short! After spending 6 weeks in Spain I arrived in Mallorca at the start of April. This gave me a great opportunity to ride sections of the route many times in training. This allowed me to gain plenty of knowledge and footage to add to my now invaluable Mallorca 312 Race Guide.
With the perfect build-up to the event throughout April disaster then struck the night before the race. My Instagram got hacked by a bitcoin fraudster! This was the worst possible time. What was supposed to be a relaxing evening and an early night turned into a frenzy of Google searches and Instagram help screens! With the alarm set for 4 am and the stress of trying to get my account back I did not have the best nights sleep!
Not wanting to let the hacker ruin the event and all the hard work in training I tried to put it to the back of my mind. It was time to eat lots and get to the startline! I always recommend getting there early to minimise the time lost getting over the start line. Being the official training partner this year I had entry to the VIP lane which meant I only lost a couple of minutes. With a bit of an initial effort I soon found myself joining the lead group which was being nutrilised. This allowed me to maintain a good speed while drafting and conserving much needed energy for later in the event.
Once we hit the first climb it was time for me to let the others go and settle into my own pace. Being a slightly heavier rider than some of the featherweights on the event I always lose a bit of time on the climbs. The day is long so plenty of time to make up ground. You only have a certain amount of energy and power on the bike so you have to work with what you have got.
“Just because you can go harder, it doesn’t mean you should”James Walsgrove
This year I worked hard on my race nutrition and hydration stragegy with the aim of limiting my stopping time. With the advice from the Mallorca 312 Event Week Nutrition Guide I was able to not stop at the first feed station. This only has water/coke but can be busy and thus wasting valuable time.
The scenery is stunning in the first section of the event. No matter how many times I ride this road I never get tired of the views! As the event goes on it is quite satisfify overtaking those riders who smashed the first climb and now starting to struggle. I see so many riders grinding up the climb which will just fatigue the muscles quicker so much more efficient to spin up the climbs. The first cut-off comes at around 98km and I was pleased to make it with an hour to spare, a bit different from my first attempt!
Once out of the mountains and onto the flatter sections it was time to see what the Factor Ostro could do. For me this is just the perfect aero bike for any event. It climbs well, descends like a dream on the flat it just seems to almost ride itself! See here why I chose this bike.
On the flat this is the where you can really make up some time if you ride clever and efficiently. The wind resistance is your enermy here as the faster you go the more drag you have got to overcome. The rider is 80% of the frontal drag that you will incure so it does not matter how aero your bike is!
I see so many people riding upright and just struggling trying to push harder and harder. It can often be due to a lack of hip mobility and poor posture on the bike. Within my training plans for the event this is something that we work on and everyone can improve within this area.
There are also sections where you can ride in a group and save even more energy but you need a bit of luck also. You cannot rely on this. Luckily for me I was able to find a few groups and quickly covered some miles while making sure I completed my turn on the front!
The second cut off comes at 220km and I was again pleased to be well within this year. It is always tough mentally as you are only 5km from the finish at this point. Turning sharp right for another 90km is not always what your brain wants to do! Obviously quite a few people did not take my advice in the event guide and download the route. They went sailing past the turn only to catch us up later by pushing harder than they would have wanted. The event is long enough without added any extra on! The Hammerhead Karoo 2 was perfect on this ride allowing me to see the route along with the up coming climbs. Using the power save mode ment that it easily lasted the entire duration of the event.
In this last section it really thins out and I found myself riding large sections on my own. Even though the profile looks flat then are some short, sharp climbs to taken before arriving at the last feed station in Arta. This is where they give out free beer and is a real party atmoshere. I decided to stick to my electrolyte drink and carry onto the finish line!
The Finish Line
I was super pleased to complete the ride in an event time of 11hour 49min which was my fastest to date. It just goes to show that with the right training you can get faster year on year!
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