The 6Points Cycling Challenge celebrates a third successful loop of the island.
They don’t call it a challenge for nothing, and this year’s event certainly lived up to the billing. The 6 Points Cycling Challenge is a neat idea, conceived by island resident Bryan Visser three years ago, the plan is to hit 6 points around Mallorca. The extreme north, south, east and west points of the compass, and the highest and lowest spots. In practical terms this translates to a lap of the island’s circumference over three days. A little over 400 kilometres, and over 7000 metres in vertical ascent. Along the way the riders will raise as much money as they can for Asdica, a Calvia based charity committed to assisting learning disabled young adults transitioning from full time care.
From just 6 riders it its inaugural year in 2017, the Challenge has grown swiftly to peloton of 56 riders, and this year’s running was more of a challenge than anticipated.
Day one started bright and early with the riders topped up with pasta from the organised dinner the previous evening. They rolled out from the start line in Santa Ponsa heading for St Elm on Mallorca’s western tip, the first of the 6 Points. Then the simple matter of riding along the spine of the Tramuntana, taking in the highest point at the Monaber tunnel on Puig Major, and dinner in seemingly distant Puerto Pollensa.
Everything was progressing nicely to plan as riders quickly fell into groups that suited their pace of riding and new friendships were quickly forged. Things took a turn for the more challenging as the peloton took on the island’s longest climb. At nearly 14 kilometers the road from the Soller valley into Escorca is a solid hour of riding uphill for all but the very quickest riders. That day the weather was about to turn ugly as the riders ascended into thick cloud cover with plummeting temperatures, heavy rain and 40 kilometre winds. A few riders had perhaps taken springtime in Mallorca for granted a little and hadn’t packed for extreme weather. 6 Points Cycling Challenge operates a system of group riding pace riders, and a network of support vehicles, all in constant contact, with GPS locations and any strugglers were quickly warmed up, dried off and where necessary packed into cars and whisked down the mountains to warmth and safety. There were a good few riders in the hills that day, that were not part if the 6 Points who found themselves cold, wet and literally on the verge of hypothermia who asked for the help of our support crew, and they needed it, after a final sweep of the mountain roads to make sure everyone was back home safe and dry it was off to Puerto Pollensa’s famous Tolo’s for warm food and cold beer and swapping of tables of survival.
By contrast the next two days were relatively incident free on flatter roads, lower altitudes and friendlier weather. An early start on Sunday in Cala Millor ensured a mid afternoon finish back at the point of departure in Santa Ponsa to complete the circumnavigation with a rousing heroes welcome from the ever supportive members of Calvia Council, and the staff and service users from Asdica, the event’s beneficiary charity.
All 56 riders back in one piece, with wide smiles and new friends. The organisers are still totting up the total funds raised from the riders contribution, the support of the corporate sponsors, and money raised from the Gala dinner after the riders had showered, and worked up a healthy thirst and appetite, but he Hope’s to have bettered last year’s total to allow Asdica to continue to improve their vital life changing work.
6 Points founder and organiser in chief Bryan Visser, happy to see the event grow in size with another successful year said “we are bowled over with the success of this year’s event – we strive to run the best multi-day cycle ride on the planet and, apart from the weather on Friday, we know that everyone had a wonderful time”. The 6Points Team has already started planning for 2020 and for 6Points Ibiza and Formentera in September 2019. Why don’t you get training and join them in September and for Mallorca 2020 on 16, 16 and 17 May 2020? You will love it!
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Photo credit ‘Anja Ulrich Fotografie’
6 Points 2019 photos – Photo credit Anja Ulrich Fotografie
Photos credit: Anja Ulrich Fotografie