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21
February
2014

WTC's interview with Richard Prebble

Richard Preebles talks with WhichTrainingCamp about his riding experiences in Mallorca and passes on advise to others.

                                 

 

Which Training Camp - When did you start cycling?  

Richard Prebble - I started cycling when I was at school but it wasn’t until I was at university that I took up competitive cycling. 

WTC - As one of GB's top amateur riders you represented England at the Commonwealth Games. Do you still ride competitively?  

RP - I have raced more or less every year since 1989.  Nowadays I tend to race locally to home rather than travel all over the UK to national events like I used to.  I also like to race in Mallorca when I can because the standard of racing is good and they close the roads. 

WTC - How long have you been riding in Mallorca? 

RP - I have been visiting Mallorca and riding regularly there since 2009.


WTC - Where did you cycle before going to Mallorca?   

RP - When I was on the GB National Team Time Trial squad I had the opportunity to race internationally, including stage races in Australia and South Africa.  Away from competitive cycling I have ridden a lot in SW France and also New Zealand whilst on holiday.  

WTC - What does Mallorca offer the cyclist that other countries/places don't?   

RP - Apart from the good weather, there are several reasons why Mallorca is a great location for cycling.  The main benefits are the quiet, well surfaced roads, a variety of terrain from flat routes to mountain climbs and generally very considerate drivers.  

WTC - What months of the year are best for cycling in Mallorca  

RP - You can ride in Mallorca all year round because, being an island, the climate does not have the extreme temperatures of mainland Spain, although the highest roads are sometimes closed by snow in February.  However, early March to June tend to be the most popular months.  

WTC – For which cycle companies do you ride as lead cyclist?  

RP - I am one of the group leaders for Mallorca Cycling Tours and I have also been one of the leaders on the Deloitte Ride Across Britain.  

WTC - If someone was to book with a cycling company what things should they look out for?   

RP - Good organisation, two experienced leaders per group with good local knowledge, a support vehicle, group sizes of ideally no more than 15 riders.  

WTC - For someone aiming to cycle in Mallorca for the first or second time, would you suggest booking with a cycle company or going self-guided?  

RP - It’s definitely worth going on an organised trip because the guides should know the quieter, more scenic routes that avoid the main roads; plus riding in a group is enjoyable and more sociable.  

WTC - What's the best area of Mallorca to base yourself & why  

RP - Most cyclists base themselves in the north of the island in the Pollensa and Alcudia areas which give easy access both to the mountains and flat terrain.  There are some companies based in other parts of the island but those areas have more limited route options.  

WTC - Around this area, which are the more bike friendly hotels/villas  

RP - There are several hotels that cater for cyclists in the north of the island and most training camps base themselves in the same hotels each year.  

WTC - Would you recommend cyclists to take their own bikes?  

RP - This depends on how particular you are about your bike, and the effort involved in taking it with you.  If you don’t want the hassle or worry of packing and transporting your bike then you can hire a good quality bike from several local hire companies.  

WTC - What bike do you ride in Mallorca?  

RP - I ride a Pinarello Dogma 2 when in Mallorca. 

WTC - If your bike breaks or you need to hire a bike, who should you call?   

RP - There are many bike shops all over the island so you’re never far from help if you need it.  The better training camps provide a support vehicle to help riders in the event of a mechanical problem or incident.  

WTC - Where are the most stunning rides?  

RP - There are too many great routes on the island to mention them all but the most popular include; the Sa Calobra climb, the ride to the lighthouse at Formentor, the Orient Valley and the coast road in the mountains from Soller to Andratx.  Away from the mountains there are plenty of beautiful vistas from the numerous hilltop monasteries.  

WTC - If someone wanted to find out more about the best rides, where should they look (Strava, outside Tolo's, hotel reception areas, buy a map etc)?   

RP - Search on the internet and buy a cyclist-specific laminated map from any of the bike shops; this will show some of the designated cycle routes.  However, the best way to discover the island is to go and explore it yourself or with a guided group.  

WTC - Any hints and tips to offer a newcomer?  

RP - Don’t be tempted to ride in the mountains if the weather is looking unsettled because it can quickly turn cold.  Also the roads are very slippery when wet so take extra care in the rain.  

On a technical note, stronger riders will be OK using 53/39 chainrings with a 12/25 cassette.  For non-racing cyclists, a compact chainset with 50/34 chainrings and a 12/27 cassette will be more suitable.  

WTC - What are your plans for 2014?  

RP - I will be leading a group for Mallorca Cycling Tours again in late March.  I usually start competing at the end of February so will be racing most weekends throughout the season but will manage to fit in several trips to Mallorca as well during 2014.

 

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