Well to be honest we are maybe not front page news just yet - probably a good thing when you consider that those pages hardly ever seem to feature good news! - but we are super proud to have a review of our Mallorca camps by John MacLeary appearing in the Daily Telegraph. As anyone who has joined us in Mallorca will know, we try to bring the same care and attention to every individual client’s needs to these camps as we do when planning and delivering our highly bespoke tours. It seems John was impressed with our ability to cater for the widely varying needs of clients of different experience and ability levels.
After recalling a conversation I had with Pedro Delgado, the Spaniard who won the Tour de France and Vuelta a España in the late 1980s, I was reminded earlier this year why Majorca was still the place favoured by the British Cycling track squad, Team Sky and an estimated 150,000 cyclo-tourists that head to the Balearics each year.
"In Majorca you can find everything," Delgado had told Telegraph Sport. "Majorca is a special place to cycle because the weather is good and you can find flat terrain or mountains. I think it's a perfect place to ride.”
As Britain almost froze itself to a standstill earlier this spring and while preparing to ride the second week of the Giro d’Italia, I was reminded of Delgado's words, especially while planning a trip with somebody who was a little less experienced than myself.
"Majorca offers riders of different abilities good opportunities," said Delgado and after discovering Viva Velo (www.vivavelo.uk), [at] a training camp based out of Port de Pollença in the north of the island, it sounded like they did too. Which was ideal, because I needed to ride around 180 mountainous kilometers each day whereas my partner – a lapsed cyclist who was keen to get back in the saddle – just wanted to get her confidence back. And perhaps tackle a few short climbs.
Despite having ridden extensively on Majorca over the years, I had always resisted joining one of the many groups of cyclists on their annual training camps, preferring instead to do my own thing. Having watched large groups with the strong riders pulling hard on the front while less experienced cyclists struggled off the back, I often wondered who exactly benefited from these exercises in attempting to please everybody, but helping nobody.
Which is why what Viva Velo offered was so appealing. Following a few emails from Dyll Davies, the very much hands-on founder of Viva Velo, requesting detailed sizing for our bikes – they offer three options for bike hire: gold, silver and bronze costing £30, £25 and £20 per day respectively – and questionnaires for each rider asking to outline experience, goals and what was wanted from the week, it became quickly apparent Dyll not only had a keen eye for detail but, most importantly, cared about his clients.
Viva Velo promised, too, to provide ‘bespoke’ packages for each rider depending on their ability or goals. It seemed fanciful given the cost of a half-board week with them – from £595 for seven nights. However, one day when I wanted to ride the length of the Tramuntana mountains and, unsurprisingly, nobody wanted to join me, one of Viva Velo's dedicated ride leaders was there beside me for the whole day. At the other end of the spectrum, when one cyclist wanted to ride just 40km on the flat she, too, was looked after and cared for equally as professionally. If you lack the confidence, or the inclination, to plan a trip away in the winter, you could do an awful lot worse than talking to Viva Velo.
We are glad you enjoyed your time with us, John, and hope it made that Giro week a little bit easier! You can read the whole of John’s article here. In the meantime if you fancy giving Mallorca a try with us next spring remember that our early bird booking period giving you up to £90 of a week’s cycling finishes this Sunday November 4 at midnight. So visit our Spring Mallorca Camps page now and grab yourself a bargain.