Come summer and the Spanish island of Mallorca will be awash with drunken English tourists, beer-bellied football fans and disco fever. Yet right now, at the start of the year, it’s a different kind of tourist altogether that enjoys what really is a beautiful island.
Tucked away in various hotels, cubby-holed resorts and out-of-season apartments are the elite of professional cycling as they prepare for the year ahead. Team Sky in one corner, to the south Katusha and towards the hills, RadioShack-Nissan-Trek are all quietly putting their touches to their final camp of the off-season.
Andy Schleck, Chris Horner and Andreas Kloden are among those from within the Luxembourg team familiar with the island’s rolling and in some cases, severely testing parcours and they made the most of their quiet surroundings by training for six-hours on Tuesday.
Away from the mountains of the Tour de France that beckon in July, the passionate cycling fans that line the roads and crackle of the race radio, this is perhaps where races are really won – on the lonely and taxing roads at team camp.