There is no better place to start than Majorca – cyclists have long made the annual pilgrimage to the Mediterranean island.
Within a two hour flight of much of Europe, Majorca is the training camp destination of choice thanks to a combination to smooth roads, long climbs and an infrastructure built around cycling.
“If Disney was to build a theme park for cycling then Majorca would be the blueprint,” says David Williams of Stephen Roche Cycling Holidays and Training Camps.
“Majorca benefits from kilometre after kilometre of good quality roads which are generally quieter than any other training destinations in Europe. Sometimes you hardly see a car for hours and when you do the local people are very tolerant of cyclists.”
Majorca’s terrain varies from flat coastal roads, to inland plains and high mountain passes. The Serra de Tramuntana mountain range runs parallel to the north-west coast and the longest climb on the island, the Puig Major, rises to 854m over the course of 14km, while the infamous Sa Calobra climbs 668m at an average 7.1 per cent via 26 hairpins.
“Temperatures average 10 degrees warmer than most of northern Europe,” says Williams. “If you want to rub shoulders with the pros head to Majorca in January, February and early March.”
Weather can be changeable early in the year, however, with rain not uncommon and snow occasionally falling in the mountains. March, April and May offer more consistent weather, with temperatures in the 20s, and are more popular as a result, says Williams.
Pros: Wide variety of training camp operators, varied terrain, cycling infrastructure, spot a pro, easy to reach from UK
Cons: Unpredictable weather early in the year, regular visitors may be ready for a change of scenery