Sineu Velodrome

I paid a visit to the Sineu velodrome on Wednesday; Sineu is a happy mid-point between us and Nicki’s parents, so she gets to chat to her mum in the cafe, while I can do a few laps of the track. I took my Cinelli ‘Olympic’ track bike out for a spin: it hadn’t been ridden since I stopped racing at Newport a few years ago. I warmed up a little and then settled into doing a 20-minute time-trial effort; initially I chose 250 Watts as my target power, but I got excited and did 275 or so for the first few laps, and by the end I was struggling to stay over 210W. While I was there, two different groups of holidaying roadies dropped in, did a lap or two with me and headed off: the track is open to ride around any time.

Like Herne Hill in London, the track is outdoor and concrete, but it’s surfaced with a red coating that’s thicker than paint but thinner than tarmac, a bit like roofing sealant; even on this damp day, grip was fine. My guess is that it’s about 400m around. The track doesn’t make it onto Wikipedia’s list of the world’s 500+ velodromes so I couldn’t look up the exact length there (it doesn’t even get listed in the out-of-use-velodromes section).

Mallorca is home to another velodrome that was once the oldest and most important in Spain: the Velodromo El Tirador. This 333m track closed in 1973, but there’s a project (funded under the Illes Sostenibles green initiative, 2019) to revive the site. It’s unclear whether the plan includes reinstating the velodrome as a working track. Let’s hope it does—the banking looks much more exciting than Sineu’s tame slope (it looks rather worryingly steep for a 333m track, but the track-length is in the straights, with tight turns).

Fotografía de arquitectura

The International Cycling Archives lists Spain as having (or as once having) 112 velodromes: looking at their list for Mallorcan locations, I found Campos, Manacor, Palma (x2), Santa Maria, Sineu and Vilafranca de Bonany; their list doesn’t include the track at Llucmajor (built 1914, and long gone).