Mallorca has long been the capital of road biking in Europe. Where the cycle tourist joins the locals and professionals on the smooth winding roads of the largest of the Balearic Islands. Past and present riders such as Joan Llaneras from Porreres, Joan Horrach & Vicente Reynés from Deia and currently Henric Mas (Artà) have all helped raise the profile of the island…. Another name to add to the influential list is that of Xisco Lliteras. Xisco, started the Mallorca 312 cycling event ten years ago. Popular among amateur cyclists, the race has brought thousands of people to the island and ensured that Mallorca remains one of the top cycling destinations in the world.
The History of Mallorca 312
In 2008 a small group of local biking guys huddled round their coffees in Cafete Almudaina in Artà. They had an idea for a challenge and were debating the route and distance if they rode round the island (Mallorca)… “Could it be done in one day? Would it be clockwise or anticlockwise? What were the vertical metres?” On a napkin, Miquel Alzamora, ex-professional road and track rider, with hundreds of thousands of kilometres in the Mallorcan tank, sketched the names of the villages the route went through… The debate continued and decisions were made. YES – It could be done in one day and anticlockwise seemed the most sensible.
Xisco then pitched the ludicrous idea to Lorenzo Fluxá, owner of the Iberostar Playa de Muro Hotel. Lorenzo was very excited by the project. His enthusiasm was the extra push the group from Artà needed. The first edition of the Mallorca 312 took off on a hot summer’s day in June 2010 with around 199 brave souls stepping up to the plate.
The Milestone Series
Ten years down the line, building on the success of the Mallorca 312, Xisco and his team have been researching the European Gran Fondo opportunities and have launched a series of one day events – “The Milestone Series”. The amazing thing with a hobby such as biking is that it takes you to so many different locations all over the world. And while you are there you get to see so much of the landscape and experience the lifestyle. The beauty of the Milestone Series is that you can travel in the knowledge that these events will be very well organised.
Milestone Series is set to grow into a huge European Success. Along with established Mallorcan event, there will be events in Germany, Sweden & The UK. The events offer amateur cyclists the opportunity to ride on closed roads in 4 great countries. The common denominator of the Milestone Series is that you push yourself whilst having a lot of fun!
Mallorca 312: Spain, April 25th, 2020
The race in 2020 will be the 11th edition. 8,000 people are expected to participate from all over of the world. As ever, Platja de Muro, will be the start and end point for the event. Three stunning routes of 312km , 225km and 167km around the island of Mallorca.
Eifel 205: Germany, August 22nd, 2020
This new one-day race offers three spectacular routes. The city of Bitburg will be the start and end of the race. The route runs through towns such as Prüm, Waxweiler, Heilhausemühle, Forsthaus Bleialf and Heilhauser Mühle. Amazing climbs and stunning views! With 3 different routes – 205km, 170km and 107km it will cater for all levels of cyclists. Eifel is the most volcanic region in Europe, where craters co-exist with forests, lakes and valleys. A surprising setting with a truly amazing natural beauty. The mountainous area also allows riders to cycle on old railways that have been transformed into bike paths allowing cyclists to enjoy the privilege of a traffic free natural environment.
Båstad 198: Sweden, September 13th, 2020
The Swedish element of the MILESTONE SERIES will be based in the coastal city of Båstad. At only 2 hours drive north of Copenhagen, it is easily accessible and riders will be able to make a real holiday out of it. This is one of Sweden’s classic summer spots, where the population is more than twice as large between April and September, and even bigger in July. We have spent many a summer in this part of the world and it is truly spectacular….
The two routes include both Båstad and Hallandsåsen: 208km/1,885m and 108km/1158m. The city of Båstad and its surroundings is quickly becoming one of Scandinavia’s best cycling destinations – The Swedish Tuscany…. the ride inland gifts you some stunning landscapes. For those travelling down with a bit of time on their hands – Falsterbo is a cute village at the southern tip of Sweden and well worth the visit…
In 2021, The Milestone Series will continue to grow. Xisco plans to expand the race calendar to include an additional event in the United Kingdom. A huge percentage of the participant in the Mallorca 312 are from the UK, so it makes total sense to expand in this direction.
There are several other tourist destinations have also shown interest in hosting a Milestone Series, so there may be other additions to the calendar in 2021….
Keep an eye out for more developments sign up to the newsletter at www.milestoneseries.cc