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Indoor vs Outdoor cycling: Racing to Cap de Formentor in Mallorca

Which is faster: Indoors, or outdoors? We sent Brad and Dave to find out.

Mallorca is well known as one of the world's greatest cycling destinations and the Cap de Formentor is one of the most popular routes on the island. Whilst Brad had the honour of flying to this beautiful Mediterranean island and riding the route on tarmac, Dave was given the task of racing the route on the RGT Cycling platform. Who would set the fastest time? Would the controlled environment of the turbo trainer plus the watt saving of virtual drafting proof enough for our old hat Dave to challenge our young buck, Brad.

If you’ve ever ventured out to Mallorca on a cycling holiday, or even just spent a bit of time on Instagram, you’ll likely know about the Cap de Formentor. The image of the road snaking over the rocks and up to the lighthouse is as iconic as the climb of Sa Callobra and the road to get to the Cap isn’t half bad either.

The route as a loop is in our Mallorca collection on komoot

Dave and Brad would start, virtually and actually, in Port de Pollenca with a flat stretch to warm the legs. They’d then turn onto the dead-end road towards the Cap, first having to tackle a rather steep little climb before sailing through some dreamy hairpins.

For Dave, this twisting descent and the narrow roads that hug the cliffs wouldn’t present too much of a problem as he could just focus on putting the power down. Brad, meanwhile would also have to use his wits to ensure that he could go as fast as possible while still being safe.

The route is just 22km long, but with 515m of elevation and some rather punchy pitches on the climbs, this was going to be anything but an easy day.

Dave was riding the route on RGT Real Road and as the Cap de Formentor is a pre-loaded route, he gets a lovely recreation of the view. Shame he didn’t get the sunshine, or the lovely smell, or the sea breeze.

His indoor setup included the Saris H3 trainer on the MP1 platform. To this was bolted a Cannondale Topstone.

Brad, meanwhile, was on the latest Cannondale Synapse and both were loaded up with Named Sport nutrition products.

Brad had a few issues towards the end which weren’t ideal and Dave definitely won the award for being the sweatiest.

So, who got to the lighthouse first? You’ll have to watch to find out.

Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. After joining the road.cc staff in 2016 as a reviewer, Liam quickly started writing feature articles and news pieces. After a little time living in Canada, where he spent most of his time eating poutine, Liam returned with the launch of DealClincher, taking over the Editor role at the start of 2018. At the weekend, Liam can be found racing on the road both in the UK and abroad, though he prefers the muddy fields of cyclocross. To date, his biggest race win is to the front of the cafe queue.

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