Spoke-by-spoke guide to becoming an Olympic cyclist in Calvia – or how to train like one at least
2012 Sports Personality of the Year winner, Bradley Wiggins, has recently become a national hero by being the first Briton to win the Tour de France, then taking gold in the cycling time trial at the London Olympics 2012, just a few weeks later. You too can take to two wheels and ride in his tracks by following our spoke-by-spoke guide to becoming Bradley!
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In the style of Olympic Gold Medallist Bradley Wiggins, slip on your Lycra shorts (grow / stick on some large side-burns!) and head for the hills around Calvia, the perfect training ground for some winter training. Calvia, an area better known for being home to popular party place Magaluf, is a cyclist’s mecca with a warm, reliable climate averaging 15°C in the winter months and beautiful natural training areas on offer. A municipality located on the south west corner of Majorca, Calvia is just a short flight of two hours from London Gatwick and other regional airports, serviced by the likes of Easyjet, Ryanair and British Airways. It would seem that Team GB know something many of us don’t, with team members and other athletes choosing to train in Mallorca for a few months each year. Visitors from nearby European countries are already regularly taking advantage of the warm winter months here. Us Brits need to join forces, step it up a gear and add this to our ‘hot spot’ list as a winter warmer.
What NOT to pack…
The stunning Mediterranean climate means you can pack on the lighter side, even in winter. Throw in your favourite Lycra, forget the kitchen sink and there’s absolutely no need to bring your own bike because there are fully-equipped, superbly organised ‘bike stations’ offering a selection of the newest, top of the range bike and equipment for the duration of your stay. Choose from several top notch bike-stations in the region, conveniently located in a collection of hotels, that will kit you out from top to toe in the latest gear. Try Stephen Roche – Cycling Holiday & Training Camps www.stephenroche.com, Tramunt Bike www.tramuntbike.com or Philipp’s Bike Team www.radferien-mallorca.com, all of which have contact numbers or online booking services on their websites. With over 300 luxury bikes to choose from, costing upwards of £2,000, there are plenty of options to suit all of your team members (a.k.a your family and friends!). The bike stations will take care of every detail, from fitting your own pedals, if you’d prefer, to organising and supervising your entire itinerary, with a support vehicle on hand, should you need mechanical assistance.
Explore the ‘seven wonders of the roads’ in Calvia, where a choice of seven different routes, with varying intensity levels, are available for the amateur cyclist up to the expert. Around every corner you are faced with another idyllic view of a secluded bay or lush pine forests, choose either the Enjoy Peguera, or the coastal Palmanova-Magaluf route to experience exactly that. Some of the shorter distance routes allow you to take in the residential and tourist areas of the borough of Calvia on the Calvia’s Lanscapes route or kick it up a gear on the Es Capdella-Galatzo route, which begins at the region’s main mountain bike ride starting point, Es Capdella and takes visitors through the mountains to the public estate of Galatzo. Come back down to earth and enjoy a ride along a dry river bed on the Torrent de Santa Ponca – if you take the routes at a steady pace, you might spot a soaring Voltor, Majorcan goat or if you’re lucky, Bradley himself! A favourite route of Bradley’s, prior to the Beijing Olympics, was Sunset Tramuntama. With spectacular panoramic views, especially at sunset, this route runs right along one of the most impressive landscapes of the Serra de Tramuntama. A rather tempting route for a cyclist, might be the Almond Blossoms and Wineries route. As any training athlete knows you must abstain from some of life’s little pleasures, such as the almonds and wine on display in this region!
As we know, Bradley is one for enjoying the good life once training is over, so after a day on your bike, stretch, wind down and explore the buzzing nightlife. With six well established resorts (Magaluf, Palmanova, Portal Nous, Illetes, Santa Ponca and Peguera) all situated approximately 20 minutes from Palma de Mallorca airport, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to places to stay and play.
Finally, apply to be part of Team GB in the 2016 Olympics (This part is optional)
For more information on Calvia, visit www.visitcalvia.com