A racer’s view of Mallorca: Holed up in paradise when the rain won’t stop

Seven racers, three weeks, one house. Welcome to Mallorca.

Gavin Hoover is an American Tokyo Olympian who is racing the new five-event Track Champions League. He is doing a regular column on his experiences, and documenting it with his own photography as well in the gallery below.

The thing no one tells you about coming to cycling paradise is that it might rain. And the thing that they really don’t tell you is that it might rain for a week straight.

Seven of us racing the new UCI Track Champions League have rented a house between competitions here on the Spanish island of Mallorca.

On the fifth day of waking up to rain pounding down on the pool outside, I thought I was going to have a breakdown.

Riding a trainer isn’t great at the best of times, but riding a trainer knowing some of the most iconic roads in cycling are 20km down the road is a special kind of soul crushing.

All of us in the house slowly retreated farther inside each day the skies didn’t clear. Suddenly our biggest social event was gathering at the windows to confirm that there was still no sign of the sun, the pool in our courtyard mocking us a little more every day.

Racing the track, a certain kinship develops between everyone on the circuit.

Unlike the road, there are no teams; we race as individuals representing countries, and there’s not that many of us. Invariably you end up seeing the same people at races, spending time with the same traveling group at random places all around the world.

After the first round of the UCI Track Champions League, those of us that don’t live in Europe have really gotten to know each other. Trying to avoid a third trans-Atlantic roundtrip in the span of three weeks, Kendall Ryan, the Canadian team, Corbin Strong, and I all opted to stay in Mallorca, sharing a house near the velodrome in Palma.

We’ve been here for the last three weeks prepping for the upcoming rounds, trying to soak in some Spanish culture and sneak in some big days on the bike when the weather has allowed.

I don’t know if it’s easier to race someone after you’ve shared a intimate moped ride around the city and a bathroom for a month, but with Corbin currently leading the Track Champions League standing and myself in third it should at least be fun trading blows.