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Tour 24 - Day 3 – Puig de Randa

The final day of riding for the 2024 tour - By James


On the cards was a ~140km “flat” (it’s all relative, right?!) ride south into the centre of Mallorca – with the route excellently crafted by Rob H – thanks Rob.


Most of our legs were by now well into the tired category, and the weather set to be the hottest of the three days. No less, a steady southerly breeze treated as a headwind for the first half of the day. Pre-ride morale remained high despite the prospect of a long, hot day ahead.


The morning routine of breakfast, splitting into ride groups was, by now well-oiled. The W2s setting off seamlessly, the W3s on the other hand taking it all for granted, leaving Dan A behind to play catch-up with the W4 quicks. Whoops: a collective yellow jersey earned by the experienced ride leaders in that group.

The route provided a gradual uphill stretch south from Alcudia across the plains of eastern Mallorca, skirting the towns of Sa Pobla & Inca. The groups settled into a nice rhythm with tight, group riding weaving the gentle farmland, vineyards and olive groves, eating up the kms in front of us. Cumulative fatigue from previous days’ exploits put an early end to the ride for Lukes (S & C) after a mere 20km. The remainder continuing to the optional climb up the Puig de Santa Magdalena, which gave excellent views over the island – or for the less energetic, moving directly to the first coffee stop at Bar Centro in Biniali. At the stop we met many a local out for their regular Sunday spin. Here they put our perception of “hot” weather into perspective, sporting a variety of leggings, thermals & arm warmers.


Refreshed after coffee, we continued to the main climb of the day - ~270m at 5% ascent of the Puig de Randa – modest compared to the climbing during the first two days, but still requiring a decent effort. Chapeau to David T, cementing his position as Waldy’s king of the mountains. The fruits of our labours at the top being an excellent lunch of (oversized) tuna sandwiches at the monastery perched on the hilltop, Sanctuari di Cura. Again, providing impressive views of Mallorca and down into Palma.

Post lunch, the “downhill” and “tailwind” (excluding the uphill and headwind bits) were due to whizz the groups first east and then back north toward the coast. The yellow jersey taken for the afternoon by Stew for his rule #14 kit infraction. Beautiful rolling scenery in the now searing afternoon heat felt more homely & familiar with frequent calls of “gravel” and  “hole” on the remote country roads.

The afternoon coffee/ ice-cold drinks stop was located at the Sineu velodrome. A quick lap or three was a fun punctuation to the day.  Following the ride, beers and ice creams were well deserved – while the Harlequins contingent opting for a local Irish bar for their game vs Toulouse.


All in all, an excellent day of great company, camaraderie and huge sense of achievement – and a bonus velodrome. Not an easy ride, especially on tired legs. 


The evening began with the traditional end of tour Dinner at the Miramar restaurant – capped with rousing thanks and cheers for Pep, our mechanic, Dennis the organiser and the whole Waldy tour committee + ride leaders. All of this gratitude echoed again here, as well as on the subsequent night out, in the WhatsApp and continues to resound around the club.

In the club’s 10th anniversary year, we can no better than to quote Ted, “one of the best”.


Thank you, all !!! 


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