March 13, 2019

A golden sunrise on the Balearic island of Mallorca—the warmth and light are welcome after the long grey winter months.

Today is a celebration of colour. A ride dedicated to seeing and experiencing the beauty of this Mediterranean island, and the spectrum of springtime shades that compose its landscape.

We too are riding in the rainbow. My riding partner Dan Erik Hansen (a Norwegian professional) and I are dressed head to toe in colourful apparel and accessories from the new GripGrab CLR UP! range.

There will be nothing monotone about this Mallorca adventure.



Hairpins to Heaven

We roll out from the small town of Sineu on quiet backroads; weaving our way through vineyards and olive groves towards the Tramuntana Mountains.

The asphalt turns skywards as we ride through the small village of Caimari, and onto the climb of the Coll de Sa Bataia. Hairpins head up through the dark green forest and reveal stunning cliff-side vistas.

The early season sun carries a surprising amount of warmth, and as we crest the Coll a bead of sweat drops from the brim of my cycling cap; glistening in the sunshine before it drops onto the asphalt below.


Gorg Blau

The road continues towards the Puig Major peak. To our left is the stunning Gorg Blau—its vibrant azure waters reflecting rays of sunshine that beam down from the sapphire sky.

Today, I am sporting an all-blue colour scheme including the new GripGrab Ultralight Climber's Jersey.


Chasing the Red Viking

When we finally reach the summit, we pause; taking in the panoramic view looking down on port Sóller hundreds of metres below.

After a moment of reflection, a flurry of gear clicks signals the start of our descent. Twenty minutes of undisturbed speed; tearing down the deserted asphalt towards the bay below.

Tyres buzz, legs pump, and eyes widen as the adrenaline flows.

I try desperately to hold onto the 'Red Viking's' wheel.


The Lighthouse

Before we can descend all the way to the harbour Dan makes a sudden left turn, taking us down what looks to be a backroad to the beach. The road skirts around hotels and beach bars; then just as I am beginning to wonder if we are on an unfruitful quest for ice-cream, the real reason for our diversion emerges – high above us, the Faro Capgros lighthouse.

The single-track road to the lighthouse is a sudden awakening for the legs, with sections reaching close to twenty percent gradient. The reward when we turn around at the lighthouse gates is worth it though… a stunning view of the deep blue Es Bufador bay.


Coll de Sóller — Orange Valley

Turning back inland, we rise towards the final climb of the day – the Coll de Sóller. The main highway from the port is soon forgotten as we ascend through the orange groves and mossy banks.

The glistening citrus fruits that line the slopes of the climb are almost a temptation too far. I could do with the refreshment and extra energy; to add some strength to the legs after the 2000 metres of elevation we have amassed over the course of the ride so far.


Fading Light

The light is fading as we spin through the landscape of fincas and olive groves on our return across the island. We descended fast from the top of the Sóller, but still we are pushing the daylight as the landscape fades into dusk.

As we near Sineu a landmark comes into view – the rare sight of an outdoor velodrome, nestled to one side of the hilltop town. There is nothing for it… we need a Paris-Roubaix style lap!

We coast down to the abandoned track, just as the sun drops behind the surrounding hills. One and a half laps… sprint for the finish. 

It feels fast. We feel fast. Perhaps it is the new kit, or the first ride in shorts of the season; either way we still have fresh energy at the end of a long day in the saddle.

We do a mock lunge for the line – providing a purposefully ambiguous finish so that we can both share the top spot on the well-used concrete podium steps.

We both feel like winners, today.

Aerolite Insidegrip™ Short Finger Glove

Climbers Ultralight SS Cycling Jersey Red

Lightweight SL Sock

Easyrider Padded Glove

Climbers Ultralight SS Cycling Jersey Navy Blue

RaceAero II Lightweight Lycra Shoe Cover

Lightweight Summer Cycling Cap

Racing Padded Cycling Bibs Navy Blue

Racing Padded Cycling Bibs


View the complete GripGrab CLR UP! range here

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