After a short rest, we continued the ride. The glass-smooth tarmac descended a bit then pitched up again, as we crested this short climb, we burst out amongst the clouds. What a sight! we were now at the same level as the clouds and it seemed like we could literally sit on them. No way was I not going to stop to take pictures.

The route then descended wickedly and there were some very fast sweepers and arrow-straight stretches of tarmac which pitched up and down, up and down all the way to Pollensa, dinner and the end of the ride.



The Cap De Formentor ride.

Coll de Sa Cruelta from Port de Pollenca.

Coll de Sa Cruelta from Formentor: 3.4km, 223m elevation gained at an average gradient of 5.1%. Cat 3

The route to Formentor take us past Port De Pollenca and almost immediately kicks up less than 1km from our favourite cake stop. The route was essentially 2 climbs on the way out and the same two climbs in reverse on the way back.

It is not the toughest of routes but tough enough, especially after the punishment we received the day before. It consisted of a climb, a descent into Formentor then a climb through a tunnel to the lighthouse.

I thought nothing could top the power of the striking beauty of the route around Mallorca yesterday, but this ride arguably topped it. The sheer magnificence of the scenery as you burst out of the tunnel and see the lighthouse of Cap Formentor is almost physical. Brutal even.

This is a climb that sums up Mallorca – This is an island of stunning natural beauty which can deliver some surprising challenges. This is why it is a regular location for pre-season training camps of many professional teams and amateurs alike. This is a landscape as challenging or relaxing as you want it to be. From flat farmland to imposing mountains, Mallorca is an island to be explored. And Cap Formentor is right up there. The images of this part of the Island are seared not just into my brain, but also my very consciousness.

And that is the beauty of cycling, you see more of more places than you would in almost any other form of travel or pastime. You also meet people from the oddest and far-flung places and form immediate bonds with some of them. It is a fabulous life.

Cycling also seems to bring out the best in people. I’ve made this point before but I have to re-state it. There were many, many acts of kindness, sacrifice, selflessness and restraint shown by many, from ‘Our CS’ (Chief Shepherd) organising the trip, to the many acts of kindness from ‘Our GS’ (good samaritan). I woke up one day to find he had cleaned almost most of the villa AND made breakfast, to ‘Our Elder’ repeatedly doubling back downhill to sweep up stragglers, and our RC supreme, FT, who did a sterling job marshalling the troops. If he can bottle his temperament and sell it, he would make millions and I would be his first customer.

When I become old and doddery, and reflect on my life, there are certain activities and events I’ll be very happy I had the wherewithal to have done and taken part in. Indeed when my kids and grand-kids learn of my involvement in such events, they will hopefully think their dad\granddad was a “cool dude”.

Mallorca 2018 was one such event.