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Cycling Mallorca with Team Katusha

Cycling Mallorca with Team Katusha

It won’t be a huge surprise to many of you that cycling is a big part of my life Cycling Mallorca was a no brainer.  I ride most days when I am able and actually own my own cycling club. I’ve only been cycling for 3 years but already it’s taken over. My proudest part is being made an ambassador for Canyon bicycles who produce just about the best bikes on the planet. I know because I have 5 ❤

The opportunity

Last Friday started like any other Friday and who would have known a week later we would be in Mallorca at the Canyon base in Cala Selena. I woke to an email from our friend at Canyon in Germany Fiedi who is the PA to Roman the CEO and it said. “ hi jules and sue I hope you are well, we would like to invite you to the Katusha Alpecin team presentation next weekend. Are you available?  After a few frantic emails and some very understanding clients I said YES. Little did I know at that point it was in Mallorca 😀

A week of sorting a few things most importantly our very own Katusha and we were off. Thank you so much Lou (Kat sitter)

We are both very lucky and this is not our first trip with Canyon Cycling Mallorca. As always we were greeted at the Airport by a driver, this time his card simply said “Team Katusha Alpecin” as I approached him he said “mr porter from London” and from that second until now we were treated like royalty.

50 minutes in a lovely merc and we arrived at the Robinson resort and were greeted by a lovely lady and a glass of bubbly 😁

We booked in and I called our onsite contact Andreas the pro sport manager for Canyon. We met and had a quick chat before Sue and I headed to our suite which was amazing and then headed to dinner.

Wow what an experience. We were seated with the whole team and all the family (staff but honestly, family) we had a great meal and a few beers and headed for bed totally shell shocked! Tired and happy.

Katusha team launch

Saturday was a blur! Total “kid in a candy store”  after an amazing breakfast we headed to the on site canyon base to collect my bike for the weekend.  We were greeted by a lovely lady who was actually dealing with another chap, did not stop her welcoming us 😊 when she was ready she asked my name, I replied and she gave me the biggest smile.

“Ahh you are Romans special guest, welcome welcome” “how are you enjoying your time, do you need anything” I was overwhelmed. I know Canyon is a huge international company who play big on family but this was crazy. I was a tiny tiny cog in a massive machine and she and her colleague knew my name. Goosebumps!!!

New team bike

I collected my bike and she have me a water bottle 🙂 not just any water bottle it was a team one 😀 I said my thanks and tested my beautiful Aeroad, much like my own but it was actually an ex team bike so extra special too. It felt great and I soon got used to the etap electronic gears. But I was a tiny bit concerned about being in the mountains with a 53 chainring and 11-28, and of course riding with my heroes 🤣🤣 thankfully being used to a 53 back in the flat UK I coped.

Cheeky beer

Back to our suite and then lunch with a cheeky beer or three before it was time for the press release.  To be honest I had no idea what a Team presentation was so I was a bit under prepared but we soon realised what a huge weekend this was for both Team Katusha Alpecin and their fans, and of course Canyon.

After the press release we went for a walk and then to the presentation itself.  OMG it was mind blowing, I think I could write a whole blog post just about that hour. We got to meet Mr Katusha, Mr Alpecin and everyone in between 🙂 it was exciting, tense, interesting and again goosebumps for us both.  When the kit was finally shown everyone was elated. It was epic. I can only liken the presentation to a live Disney theatre experience and just like those I will never forget this one.

And relax…..

Afterwards Sue and I headed back to our room to get ready for the gala dinner. As we opened the door there was a maroon “Team Katusha Alpecin” bag for each of us on our bed. How exciting I thought to myself it would be a water bottle and some promotional material.  NO IT WAS MORE, MUCH MORE. We each had a full kit including, bib shorts, summer and winter jerseys, arm and leg warmers, gloves, buff and more WOW. We completely forgot about the gala dinner as I played dress up 🙂 I really wanted to wear it to dinner haha.

Amazing food

The dinner was in fact awesome, again we sat with cycling royalty and were wined and dined like we were rock stars. Sue and I eat in lots of amazing venues but honestly this evening took some beating.  At about 10:30 and after far too much food, wine and beer we headed off to bed, we were invited to the after party but I had a 10:30 am ride with the pros to worry about 🙂 so off to bed for us.

A fab sleep later and we were off to breakfast. I ate very light thankfully and it was time to head to the Canyon base. On arrival our friend approached me and asked why I was not wearing the new team kit (yes I was in my JPCC kit) but I explained the jersey was a bit snug after my recent illness and injury and lack of cycling. 😊 without hesitation he handed me another larger set so I happily changed and I’m pleased I did coz I felt like part of the team.

The ride…

When I say I rode with the pros. I did in fact all 27 rode with us but so did all the family so a couple hundred of us in all.  Again because of my lack of cycling these past 6 weeks I thought I would plod at the back, they announced the route was 30k with an option to extend.  20 miles I thought great I am going to enjoy this. Just before we headed off I grabbed a photo with pro rider Nils Politt who I rode with last year, if I had a single cycling hero then this is him 😍   I started near the back but soon found myself comfortable so started to pick up the pace. By mile 9 I was in the top 10 riders so thought I would go for the front, I did and then continued to lead with s chap called Thomas for about 10 miles, at one point we got told off for going to fast 🤣🤣🤣

Ouch

As we approached the 20 mile point I had settled into the front and felt pretty strong, expecting to finish any moment 🙂 then out of the corner of my eye I saw the riders behind us split.  Bugger I had missed the short cut haha. I was not that bothered but I did effect my ride mindset a little, the next few hills as we did the 2nd lap were hard because now we were only left with the pros and faster riders.  After about 3 or 4 miles I found myself at the back and one of the pro riders asked me “hey do you need a push up this mountain” I said no thanks and picked up the pace A little, then on the next climb he did not even ask, he rode along side me and just pushed me for about 200m ❤❤ that was all I needed and once again found my feet.  Well I picked up the pace determined to finish stronger and it just got better and better until i was once again very near the front.  I knew from the mood of the group we were neatly finished and as we approach the roundabout I followed the 2 riders in front, one said “ahh you are doing a third lap too” to which I replied “am I f**k” haha!!!   Needless to say I swiftly turned around and joined the sensible riders as we rode home.

THE RIDE!

Highs, lows and even more highs. A true family of riders it was quite overwhelming for me to experience again.

If you every get the opportunity to ride with a mixed cultural, international race team then please do so, it’s an awesome experience because they actually want you there with them (probably for the rest) haha. But they all chat and laugh like we were best mates.

Once I came down from cloud 9 I handed back my beautiful steed for the weekend and met Sue, together we thanked a few people and had a couple of beers before hearing back to our suite for a shower, as I left the Katusha girl gave me another pair of bib shorts because I still had my JPCC ones on. I thanked her again and left once again completely overwhelmed.

The afternoon was a lot of drinking and relaxing and walking around the complex.  We had planned a swim but never quite got around to it.

Dinner was an oriental theme and the whole place smelt lovely, we had a selection of curries and a few beers as well as some gorgeous deserts both conscious that we were flying home in the morning. Back to bed and a good nights sleep 🙂

Up bright and early Monday to pack and breakfast, we only managed coffe and juice but we did take a bag of pastries for later. Soon we were at the front ready for our driver to collect us at 8am. Homeward…

We shared our taxi with 3 lads from Canyon heading back to Germany and it was a proper good laugh. We arrived at the airport. Brought some LEGO obvs and then settled in for what could have been a long day.  There was lots to talk of cancellations but thankfully we boarded almost on time and took off about 25 minutes late. Proper result considering the weather around Europe and especially our destination London Town.  Thanks to the high winds we arrived on time to an almost empty Gatwick and picked up our car. 2 hours later we were home to our own furry little Katusha who was super excited 🙂

Thank you Canyon so much for this amazing weekend.

Firstly I am sorry for so many photos, all captured on our iPhones.

 

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