Barry is currently riding in the 2019 Vuelta Mallorca Masters 4-day stage race. Yesterday he brought us some initial thoughts and a review of day one - today we catch up with how Stage Two went...

Stage 2 Ride Report

Male cyclists are funny; every 'training camp' or cycling holiday I have been on follows the same routine... Day 1 is mental; loads of testosterone and everyone tries to smash each other.

You go to bed broken, wake up stiff, learn your lesson and then the rest of the trip calms down.

And so was my experience in Stage 2. After the mad start of Day 1 this was much more civilised!

The start was still feisty; every time you slowed down into a sharp corner or a roundabout you knew it was going to explode out the other side. But the attacks were shorter and less savage.

It's almost as if everyone decided to calm it down (it also helped that Stage 1 had set up the GC positions, so they were defending their positions now, rather than establishing them).

Because it was slower I got a chance to look at the riders and the bikes; and there was a LOT of bling on display. Loads of aero bikes; deep wheels and power meters. I don't think I have ever seen so many SRM or PC8 head units; very PRO.

One guy was riding the super-rare Continental Pro Ltd tubular tyres; you cannot buy these - only Pro Teams get them (believe me, I have tried!!).

Today was a total of 105km, made up of three 35km laps; which was hard because after the first lap you knew where it was going to hurt... The first two laps were reasonable - it's amazing how your perception changes. It was still super quick; but after the shock of yesterday I felt like I was getting the hang of this.

Then just like in a proper Pro race it got faster and faster on lap 3...

I set a record 10 min max heart rate in the last 20 km; it was going mental at the front and we were all desperate to stay on the wheel in front. Sometimes the wheel in front blew up; and you had to go round him and accelerate 3 bike lengths to catch the main group; exhausting when you are on the rivet. At the finish this Spanish dude shook my hand; we had become pals as we had worked together to stay in the main group when others fell away. That was a cool moment; racing brings out alliances.

The last 10km were fun; after the main peleton had been established we were barrelling along an empty road at 60kmh, with a police escort, the sun was shining and spectators were taking pictures of us. I felt like a rock star! I even got a KOM; which I am very proud of - in Mallorca these are hard to come by!

For the numbers geeks:

  • Total time was 2hr 23 and 104km; average speed was 44km/h
  • NP was lower than yesterday at 246w; but VI was 1.46; ALOT of surges
  • I spent 15 mins above 400w

I can see why racing is addictive; but I think I am being spoilt here. I am sure the Surrey League races are not quite as glamorous; with worse road surfaces and motorists doing their best to clip you. So I will enjoy this brief sojourn into the racing world whilst it lasts.

Day three report coming tomorrow...

The Gear

Regular readers won't be surprised to hear that Barry is riding a Specialized S-Works Tarmac, one of our absolute favourite road race bikes.

The bike was amazing as ever; so versatile and confidence inspiring

The bike itself is the standard S-Works spec, but he's running Silca latex inner tubes for that bit of extra suppleness, and a touch of marginal-gains weight saving.

In the relatively short stages and mild weather of Mallorca the emphasis for clothing is on speed and efficiency; very different from his recent ultracycling experiences. A skinsuit is perfect for this kind of race, aero without being restrictive (and it just so happens we have the PNS Skinsuit on offer with 25% off until the end of the month).

An S-Works Evade helmet provides further aero benefits, without being too hot when putting the hammer down. It is also brilliantly light weight.

Finally the Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM computer provides data on the go. We'll be looking at that in more detail in the coming weeks.