A week in the world of Mr Tom Moses
One of JLT Condor's longest-serving team riders shows us round Mallorca, as he escapes the ice, wind, and rain of Britain for sunnier climbs.
Oh winter, an unforgiving season of wet weather, harsh temperatures and even harsher credit card bills. By the time we hit March it’s time for a getaway and some mood-enhancing sunlight. Welcome to Mallorca. If the biggest Balearic island still makes you think of Magaluf and mainstream tourism, then it’s time to catch up.
Mallorca’s rural centre remains quiet with pretty stone farmhouses and vineyards to discover. Smaller port towns ooze glamour with boutique hotels, stone walls and medieval streets. For many years cyclists have headed to the island and its northern resorts of Port de Pollença and Port d’Alcúdia thanks to low-priced flights and accommodation, together with mild weather and easy access to mountainous terrain.
Each year, bright star of JLT Condor, Tom Moses, heads to the island to warm up for the start of the competitive racing calendar. He gives us a private view of his stylish Mediterranean getaway.
Big ride & lunch
Fornalutx and Cala Deia
Tucked away in the Tramuntana mountain range, Fornalutx is a pretty little village with a cluster of honey-coloured villas. Roughly a 60km ride from Pollença, you’ll need to climb the Colle de Femenia and Puig Major to reach it, making Fornalutx the perfect spot for lunch, instead of the busier Port de Soller in the cove below. It avoids the ever busy Sa Calobra road, too. If it’s a big day in the saddle you are after, continue to Cala Deia, one of the filming locations of Bafta-winning drama, The Night Manager, for cliff-top views of the shimmering Balearic Sea.
Escapes the crowds
Hotel Sis Pins welcomes cyclists with open arms. It’s a traditional Spanish hotel with white-washed walls, friendly staff, and excellent prices. Perfectly situated overlooking the port with an easy walk to restaurants, there is also a café attached to the hotel, making it a good place to unwind after a day on the bike. If you want to avoid tourism altogether, stay in the south-west mountain village of Galilea or at Ermita de la Victòria, a restored 14th-century hermitage perched high above the Bay of Alcúdia.
Ride with a view
Cap de Formentor
Take a spin out to Cap de Formentor, the northernmost tip of the island and home to some utterly stunning scenery. The road winds for about eight miles, with serious drops, hairpin bends and varying degrees of narrowness. There are several viewpoints—the dramatic clifftop road gives a good idea of what is to come—but for the best vistas keep going until you reach the lighthouse, where you can stop for a coffee while Menorca floats hazily in the distance, some 40 miles away.
Where Tom eats
With low prices and a buzzing atmosphere, Café C’an Moixet in Pollença serves up excellent tapas. Don’t be put off by the shabby exterior. If you are looking for an easy day, head there in the morning for coffee and pastries. Try ensaïmada pastry, made from light-as-air, sugar-dusted layers. It is an island speciality and once you’ve tasted one you’ll quite likely be eating them daily. If you want to go inland for the day, Rick Stein discovered Es Verger in the small town of Alaró. Paletilla de cordero, a shoulder of lamb slow-cooked in San Miguel beer, is his favourite dish. Booking is essential for lunch or dinner.