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Europe by Tandem

From Castellon (Spain) to Northern Cape (Norway) by Tandem supporting the fight against cancer.

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Mallorca 312: Could not be.

Posted by admin On Junio - 7 - 2010

JL: The Mallorca 312 is a long distance cycling race not suitable for all amateurs. It is 312 kilometres (around the perimeter of the island of Mallorca) with a cumulative drop of 4,300 feet, which crosses the Tramontana Mountaing lengthwise from end to end and to be covered in a maximum of 14 hours.

This is the first edition and we already have about 130 participants, including four runners among professionals and former professionals. Bravo for the organization (Xisco Literas and company), everything was great and certainly over the next few years you will improve it to make it one of the most prestigious events on the international calendar. You have all the ingredients for it, especially a beautiful route through forests, cliffs and picturesque villages.

Some data speaks for itself about the hardness of the test. Only 70 riders finished the round, with a dropout rate of about 50%. There was a group that was completely exhausted after 25 kilometres from the exit point. Several drops on the descents.  A winner who took more than 10 hours of pedalling getting an average of only 30.6 km / hour, being the only one to reach 30 km/ hour on average. Some professional riders, in not very good shape, did not go beyond the 23 kms/ hour on average. The second runner arrived 12 minutes after the first, and the rest finished with astronomical differences.

The participation of Ivan and me meant the presence of the only tandem bike in the starting line and was intended as training to prepare for the challenge “Europe in Tandem.” Of course we were attending as representatives of our company Record Go, which was one of the firms sponsoring the event, providing all the rental cars needed for the event.

Being the only tandem bicycle participating, and knowing of our challenge of solidarity, the Organization gave us an honorific dorsal: the 311, apart from giving us the registrations and other generous details.

Ivan and I faced the test with a philosophy of “finishers“. But it was not the case. In about 128 km when we had 3,800 of the 4,300 meters slope, when we were about to leave the maze of curves, climbs and descents of the mountain, came the “tío del mazo”, and did it without mercy. The 128 km inside the Tramontana Mountain in bike was a trap for the tandem.

We thought we would achieve the goal since we had passed the hardest part with an average of 19.8 kms / hr., and only 180 kilometres through the island’s flat area separated us from the finish line. But I was lacking strength. Pretending ending a race like this one after a night of stomach pains and just four hours of sleep that had weakened me from the start, was a fantasy. With all the rage to know that in normal circumstances this challenge would have been possible, and after discussing the situation with my colleague, I had to get off the bike. We had to avoid unnecessary complications and our real challenge is just around the corner (only 30 days remaining for the start at North Cape), since we were risking IVAN to suffer some kind of injury from overexertion and to me some greater illness because of my situation of extreme tiredness at that time.

However, we returned with the satisfaction of having tried, with the recognition of the other riders who know how meritorious it is to face these kinds of profiles with a tandem bike, with another hard training that has probably contributed in getting us ready, and with two hundred new fans familiar with our charity project.
We met many people. Among them Arturo Sintes (President of the Balearic Islands Cycling Federation), another brave man who got on his bike. We also met Antonio del Pino, Bicycles Test Chief of the Magazine Ciclismo a Fondo. Antonio approached us when he saw the tandem. We talked during the first kilometres and he told us that in the past he had competed in tandem bike with the ONCE, with very good results, by the way.

Of course, we are left with the desire to pass through the finish line. So we think that someone or something conspired so that we return next year, the upcoming May 14th 2011, to taste  once again the Tramuntana mountains of Mallorca on two wheels. Beautiful paradise for all the bikers from Europe.
Greetings to everyone, and thank you very much for all the encouragement received. So glad!

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