Cycling the Sa Calobra climb in Mallorca is a challenge that many cyclists aspire to complete. The climb, located on the northwest coast of the island, is famous for its breathtaking scenery, hairpin turns, and steep gradients. It’s a popular route for cyclists visiting Mallorca, and for good reason: the climb is both challenging and rewarding, offering stunning views and a sense of accomplishment for those who make it to the top.
The Sa Calobra climb begins at sea level, at the small village of Port de Sa Calobra. From there, cyclists start a 9.4-kilometre ascent with 26 hairpin turns, each with its unique name. The climb has an average gradient of 7%, with some sections reaching as high as 14%. It’s a challenging climb that requires a lot of focus and determination, but the stunning scenery and the sense of accomplishment at the top make it all worth it.
The climb is best attempted during the off-season, as the road can get busy with tour buses and cars during the summer months. The best time to ride the climb is between October and May when the weather is cooler and the roads are less crowded. Cyclists should also be prepared for changes in weather conditions, as the climb can be affected by rain, wind, and even snow in the winter months.
Before attempting the climb, cyclists should make sure they are properly prepared. This means having the right equipment, including a road bike with appropriate gearing and brakes, a helmet, and appropriate cycling clothing. It’s also important to bring enough water and snacks for the climb, as there are no shops or cafes along the way. Also of note is that once the descent is made, there is only one way back to the top – to ride the Sa Calobra climb.
The climb starts off relatively easy, with a gradual incline and wide roads. However, as cyclists progress up the mountain, the road becomes narrower, and the hairpin turns become more frequent and tighter. Cyclists need to be prepared to switch gears frequently, as the gradient changes constantly throughout the climb.
One of the most challenging parts of the Sa Calobra climb is the famous switchback known as the ‘Nus de sa Corbata.’ This section of the climb features a gradient of 13%, with a hairpin turn that requires cyclists to make a sharp 180-degree turn. It’s a challenging section that requires a lot of skill and confidence, but it’s also one of the most rewarding sections of the climb, offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains and sea.
As cyclists near the top of the climb, the scenery becomes even more breathtaking. The final section of the climb features a series of tunnels, each offering glimpses of the stunning coastline below. Finally, cyclists reach the summit, where they are rewarded with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and sea. It’s a moment of triumph that makes all the effort and sweat worth it.
Tom Pidcock set a new record on the climb this off-season, cresting it in 22 minutes and 46 seconds. The Cyclocross world champion beat the old record by nearly 2 minutes.
In conclusion, cycling the Sa Calobra climb in Mallorca is a challenge that is well worth taking on. It’s a challenging climb that requires focus, determination, and a lot of preparation, but the stunning scenery and sense of accomplishment at the top make it all worth it. Cyclists who take on the challenge will be rewarded with stunning views, a sense of achievement, and memories that will last a lifetime.