I discovered Mallorca while racing, now I love riding and sharing it with friends...

Uri Martins

Dec / 8 / 2019

At the start of 2017, our team technical director of Amore &Vita-Selle SMP, told us that we would be competing at the end of January, beginning February in the Mallorca Challenge. This surprised me as it was somewhat early on the European racing calendar.

Although I had been in Europe for several years, it was my first time in Mallorca and I could tell from the moment I arrived in Palma, that the temperature and the weather was ideal for riding. It was as if I were somewhere other than Europe, but we were just a couple of hours away from the wintery Swiss Alps.

The Mallorca Challenge consisted of 4 separate races. We started the race near Palma and over the 4 days, we raced throughout Mallorca. We passed by Soller and climbed the famous front side of Puig Major and the length of Sierra Tramuntana. We finished at the Formentor Lighthouse after we had ridden many kilometres along the dramatic coastline. This was one of my favourite moments of the Challenge, watching the waves reflecting the sunlight and in spectacular weather.

The 2017 Mallorca Challenge was a very special race for me. There were renowned riders and not only racing, but getting fit for the race season. For me, it was like discovering another world, and in my mind, a seed was planted - to return to Mallorca. As I raced, the seed germinated and by the end, I had already decided that I would return and specifically for the next year’s pre-season preparation.

When the last race concluded, I also decided that I wanted to enjoy Mallorca. I wanted to savour the local food, relax on the beaches after a long ride - a ride without training or racing, without hurrying, without forcing myself or my bike to 100 percent. I thought it would be nice to spend time here and live with the locals, filling myself with special moments and memories whilst pursuing my passion.

And my dream came true, I returned to Mallorca several more times, and it was always in my mind that this would be a year-round paradise for cyclists around the world. After retiring as a professional cyclist and I joined Grand Tours Project, and yet another part of my dream has come true - to develop a training camp or a tour of this magical island, where you can live your passion and share it with friends, enjoying life in the best way we know how to do ... on a bicycle.

AND on my journey from Mallorca Challenge to where I am now, was my good friend, Josep Miralles. He was with me on the team, a native of Mallorca who trained all his life on Sierra Tramuntana. We both retired from professional racing and he has joined the GTP team and helped design our Mallorcan Explorer. Together, we put in a lot of effort and passion, of our favourite routes, to create the best possible tour and to share to the world, the magnificent Mallorca, with all its beauty and mysteries, traditions, flavours, aromas and paradise-like riding on its coasts and mountains, with the best weather, even in winter!