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End the Season in the Sun at the Tour of Menorca Sportive 17-19 October 2014

by Nick Gregory

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The 14th Tour of Menorca three-day sportive returns to the tranquil Balearic Island from Friday 17 to Sunday 19 October 2014, and there's still time for you to be there. 

The event is growing in popularity with UK riders, with many returning year on year to sample the friendly atmosphere, good weather and stunning scenery the island has to offer. It's a memorable and relatively relaxed way to end your cycling season in the sun, but with enough of a challenge to keep you motivated. 

The sportive takes place over three days with each day taking a different route out and back from the island's capital, Mahon, where the event is based. There is rolling road closures with police and motorcycle outriders, lead car, mechanical and medical back up on route, a broom wagon and feed stops each day. 

Riders have to stay in the bunch behind the lead car for safety but don't let this fool you into thinking it's an easy ride - no one has ever been able to keep up with the car on the hills. Away from this it's a relatively steady 28kph average over the two days. The real tests are the timed climbs on Saturday and Sunday, with prizes for quickest combined times in each age group. The rider party on Sunday afternoon is a highlight of the event, and is also open to non-riding partners. 

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Friday 17th October -

15:45 - short 30km spin out to S'Algar on the south east coast for a snack before returning to Mahon to get ready for the rider presentation in the evening.

19:30 - professional riders and invited stars will be welcomed to the event along with all the riders with a huge buffet of Menorcan produce afterwards giving everyone a chance to meet and greet. 

Saturday 18th October

09:00 -the longest stage of the weekend with a 104km route northwards towards Ferreries, where the first timed climb will be at S'Enclusa. From here it's back to Es Mercadal for lunch before heading to the south coast and back to Mahon. Saturday evening is a question and answer session in Spanish with the professional riders, or if your Spanish isn't up to it, the chance to sample some of Mahon's many harbour side restaurants. 

Sunday 19th October

08:45 - Sunday is the Queen stage of the Tour of Menorca. The route may only be 63km but it takes in the climb of Monte Toro, the highest point in the island which rises 350m in just over 3kms. There will be prizes for first three male and female riders to the top, and times for the 3km ascent will also be taken with the fastest combined times with Saturday's climb awarded prizes. After a short break for water and to take in the incredible views across the island (Mallorca can be seen on a clear day) the route heads back to Mahon.

13:00 -rider dinner sees the presentation of the many prizes from the day and also for the Balearic Challenge series overall, giving it a typically Spanish party atmosphere. 

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The total cost for the three day event including the rider dinner on Sunday is only €58, with the option of bringing non-riding partners to the dinner for €30.  

Direct flights to Menorca are available from several UK airports and transfers from the airport to Mahon city centre take less than 10 minutes. There are a wide range of hotels to suit all budgets in the city centre, and as it's out of season it can be a relatively inexpensive break. 

For more information and to enter the Tour of Menorca sportive on line please visit http://menorcacicloturista.com/en/





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