The term ‘epic’ is overused within the sport of cycling, but for a sportive that conquers more than 5,000m of climbing and takes Miguel Indurain 11 hours to complete, we think the term is quite apt.
Before a radical change to the sportive in 2016, the route followed a circumnavigational format around the island – clambering through the gruelling Tramuntana mountain range before barrelling along the wide, open roads that skirt Palma and Magaluf. In 2016, the organisers introduced total road closures which, understandably, changed the route significantly.
The sportive still tackles some of the most foreboding peaks in the Tramuntana mountain range – the Puig Major, Coll de Sa Pedrissa and Coll de Femenia – but instead heads back north for a loop that passes through Artà, a quintessentially Spanish town in the Llevant Natural Park.
For those not quite ready to embark on the full route, there are shorter 225km and 167km routes. The 225km option takes in a stunning loop by the coast, while the 167km takes a more tentative approach to the Tramuntana mountains, opting for the steadier climbs rather than the true brutes.
The Mallorca 312 regularly draws crowds of more than 8,000 riders, making it one of the biggest cyclosportives in the whole of Europe. Held in late April, the sportive falls just before Mallorca’s untenably hot summer months, giving riders the chance to explore its most remote countryside without fear of being burnt to a cinder.
Playa de Muro, one of Mallorca’s most popular beach resorts, plays host to the start of the Mallorca 312 sportive and serves as the perfect base for travelling family and non-riding partners – the resort is blessed with pearly beaches and quaint market towns.