In the world of cycling, the word ‘epic’ is a regularly overused superlative, however in this case it really does fit.
The Mallorca 312 sportive is epic; the distance is the equivalent of cycling from London to Blackpool having climbed almost the height of Mont Blanc.
Seven members of Harrogate Nova took part in the increasingly popular closed road sportive on 28th April.
This year’s field of 8,000 riders from 59 countries included recently retired pro Joaquim Rodríguez, Sir Dave Brailsford plus several other European & Majorcan pros.
The 312km route this year took riders straight over the whole length of the scenic Tramuntana Mountains (the back bone of Mallorca,) over many of the islands legendary climbs, looped back into the hills and weaved its way through stunning, little known back roads through the middle of the island towards Arta and back into Playa Muro.
For the full 312, promoted as Europe’s longest one day sportive and genuinely known as an epic physical and mental challenge, two Nova endurance specialists Mike Worden and Greg Ketteringham had prepared very well through the winter and planned for high placings.
After unlucky positioning in the early morning mass-start pens, in true Nova style Greg and Mike ripped through the field for the first 70km. Out of the 8,000 entries Greg crossed the line in an outstanding time of 9 hrs 53 mins and 19th place overall…. worryingly still looking very fresh.
As a result of some mechanical misfortune with his own bike the day before, Mike, aboard a Mallorca rental bike dubbed “The War Horse” still impressively finished in 115th place at a time of 10 hrs 45 mins
Huw Spacey coming back from injury & surgery in 2017 was hit with a mechanical problem and couldn’t finish and Michael Cullen sacrificed his ride by unselfishly supporting another rider with mechanical problems so had to cut short his 312 ambitions and complete 167km instead
Mike Wilberforce and Mike Hudson opted for the short course 167km event and were very happy to finish in 5 hrs 30 mins and 6 hrs 40 mins respectively.
The 312 continues to be an outstanding sporting event with unparalleled weather and scenery and is one that leaves Nova riders always wanting to come back again. There are already club plans underway for the 2019 event where a larger group of Nova riders will fly the flag for club and country.