The Points of 6Points Challenges – or – why I love 6Points cycling


I was attracted to the 6Points back in 2018, when I was already committed to some mass participation events which, while challenging and demanding, are a completely different experience from 6Points.

I set aside 2019 for my first 6points entries, both for the Mallorca event in May, and also for the Ibiza and Formentera event in October, both of which had been held in 2018, with Mallorca the inaugural 6Points event in 2017.

I have organised my thoughts into 6 points(!) which highlight the essential elements of 6Points for me, and why I intend to participate in 6Points twice a year from now on. But first, get a flavour of the Mallorca 6Points from the official video:

Official 6Points Mallorca video, 2019

1) Charitable purposes

I have ridden a few, not many, Sportive events, and they had all been in the UK previously. I’ve done them mostly because friends have recommended them; some of them have elements of my “6 Points” of attraction here, but none of them cover them all.

It’s always good to know that an event has a specific charitable purpose, as the 6Points has, as have some other events. I have raised significant funds for Marie Curie myself doing the Prudential RideLondon 100 twice, and, for its size, 6Points parallels that charitable focus.

Prudential RideLondon 100, 2019 (top of Box Hill)

But I doubt whether many others events are as proportionately successful as 6Points in fundraising for their chosen charities, especially events at the same kind of scale. I was frankly amazed (not in a good way!) to see the Mallorca 312 organisation broadcasting their €10,000 charitable donation this year, which even though the 312 is a commercial event, and not primarily a fundraiser, is really disappointing given that 8,000 people were riding. See more about the 312 and how busy it is (at least early on, until we decided to focus on the 225kms version) in my video collage from the 2018 event with my neighbour and cycling buddy, Leslie:

Mallorca 312 in 2018, with Leslie

By contrast, 6Points have managed, both from entrant fundraising and from their very active sponsors, to raise over €65,000 for their chosen charities (of which Asdica* is a primary one) in just three years of activity.

From a financial standpoint, the 6Points purpose is PRIMARILY charitable, and very successful, and that is good to see.

2) Location

I have to own up and say that I have virtually given up road riding back in the UK where I spend most of my time.

On the other hand, I LOVE riding in Mallorca (and now Ibiza and Formentera too, thanks to 6Points) and have been coming to Mallorca for 40 years and more.

Most of my riding is on Zwift nowadays, but 6Points (around which I now plan my Balearic cycling) gives me the opportunity to ride in much more relative safety (from a traffic perspective (or lack of it!)), in far more reliable weather, over many more days per year, and in great company.

Mallorca and the other Balearic islands are well provisioned with beautiful countryside, great views, and a suitable café around every corner, it seems, very often near the top of the wonderful climbs that abound on the islands.

I do have some of these possibilities where I live in Scotland; good company with my club, Glasgow Green Cycle Club (GGCC); and the topography and views – the Trossachs are on my doorstep; but road quality, weather and traffic are far less bike friendly than Mallorca.

Two road falls in Scotland (2015 and 2016), both owing to road conditions (and my own lack of foresight(?)) have persuaded me that the high mileage I like to do is safer indoors for the pain and base miles, and with 6Points Mallorca for the pleasure!

I know that many others, who have been even less fortunate than me regarding traffic, pothole and weather related incidents, are ready to change (and some HAVE changed) their cycling regime regarding training, racing and pleasure cycling: turbo for training; road (and track) for racing only; and somewhere sunny like Mallorca for pleasure!

3) Company & camaraderie

Most serious bike riders join a Cycling Club, as I did, and when I started riding (in the early 1960s) I almost immediately joined Bruce Castle Cycling Club. It’s the shared ethos of cycling for fun, the mutual support in case of adverse events (mechanicals, biologicals, psychologicals etc!) and all sorts of collateral social interactions that help the enjoyment of cycling.

6Points is just like a Club in those respects, only more so. As with GGCC, with 6Points we ride in small groups of 10 or a dozen or so. The groups pretty much self-select in terms of pace, covering all abilities and preferences, from the usual “steady” at 14-16mph, through several levels to a faster pace at 20mph+. There is freedom to swap between groups (we don’t always feel the same every day!), and at the cafés and over dinner, plans can be made to make sure you are in the right group for the day, or part of a day.

Each riding group is supported by its own vehicle (see below).

Above all, and we are lucky as cyclists with this, 6Points succeeds in attracting people who share that mutual ethos and shared supportive outlook which makes sure that everyone has every chance to get the best possible experience out of their days with 6Points. Many riders are back for their second or third visit, so that any rider can rely on having great company and experienced support: emotionally, practically and socially.  

4) The 6Points Challenge

On the 6Points Mallorca, we ride between 100kms and 100 miles each day. I have done quite a few 100 mile rides (when I was younger, back in the 1960s, it didn’t seem such a big thing – or I was so ignorant I didn’t know enough to worry!) Here is my “rider view” video photo collage of the 2019 6Points Mallorca event, where you see its Clubrun nature

6Points Mallorca, May 2019

I have done a few Imperial Centuries in recent years with my Club GGCC, but I admit that before the first 6Points, I wondered how I would cope with the Mallorca format of 160kms, 115kms and 160 kms on three CONSECUTIVE days. But it’s a challenge, right?!

Well, it turns out that even at 72 then (73 now) I need not have been concerned as a regular rider (albeit mostly on Zwift at 60kms a day, 5 days a week (that’s my regime)).

I know Mallorca quite well from many previous holidays and cycling trips (we are lucky enough to have an apartment there) so much of the route wasn’t going to be a surprise.

The first day is what I call “the Little Daddy” after the Mallorca Cycle Shuttle term “Big Daddy” for the ride from Andratx to Port Pollensa along the Ma10 road (very smooth and safe!) taking in the climbs to/from Port Valdemossa and Sa Calobra.

The “Little Daddy” version, in my terminology, misses out the descents to Port Valdemossa and Sa Calobra (and therefore the climbs out!) but we DO ride west first from Santa Ponsa to Sant Elm (the West “Point” of the 6Points) before heading east via Andratx and the Ma10 to Port Pollensa via the big climb at Puig Major (the high “point” of the 6Points) and quite a few other hills on the Ma10 (such as Coll de Femenia), to the very welcome dinner at Tolo’s (a sponsor) and an overnight hotel stay, after the odd 160kms.

I’ve done that ride before a few times (from Andratx, anyway) and so forewarned was forearmed, and also I KNEW it was going to be enjoyable. I have to say that in 2019 the weather was unusually – erm – windy and a little damp, but hey, it’s the exception that proves the rule!

But the good thing about the 6Points Mallorca format is that the hardest climbing day is that first day, for which you have time to prepare; the second day (Tolo’s up to Cap Formentor, the North “point”) and back to Tolo’s for breakfast, and then down to Cala Millor for our overnight stop via the East “point” at Cala Radjada, is just 115kms and fairly flat by comparison – an “active recovery day” I would say!

Finally, the third day is the same distance as Day 1, but also relatively more flat, from Cala Millor, via Cap Ses Salines (the South “point”) back to Santa Ponsa via the north side of Palma and Calvia, finishing where we started, on the beach at Caló d’en Pellicer (the lowest altitude “point” of our 6Points ride).

This is definitely a challenge, but from personal experience I can attest that doing the 440kms circuit of Mallorca in 3 days with 6Points is FAR preferable to trying to do the 312 kms of Mallorca in one daylight day. I want time to smell the flowers (and the coffee), not just my handlebars and stem!

In those respects, the 6Points IS a Challenge, but also a delight – not just afterwards, as an achievement to look back on, but also, crucially, DURING the event!

5) Organisation & support

One element that sets the 6Points experience apart from a Club ride is the high level of backup, with a vehicle available to support each group with equipment, water, food and any kind of moral support required. See the support in action during our October 2019 6Points in Ibiza:

6Points Ibiza October 2019

Although the events are described as “unsupported”, and riders are encouraged to plan JUST as they would for ANY long ride each day, and to carry the usual items on their bikes for small emergencies, there IS that backup if bike or body should fail in any way.

I have been getting a flavour, having got to know the event better, of the huge amount of work undertaken by the Visser family, and friends and sponsors (such as Ticket, for example) prior to the event: route planning; hotels researched and booked; any travel required (for the Ibiza and Formentera event especially); support vehicles and volunteer drivers; baggage and equipment transport; sponsor identification and confirmation; other funding; entry and rider communications; and much more.

I can see that the reason the event has the “family and friends” touch and feel mentioned below is because that is exactly how it is organised; with close attention to detail from a small, consistent group of dedicated people, determined to make sure the event is fault-free for those they regard as their friends and family!

6) Touch and feel

I first heard of 6Points in early 2018 when I had already entered the Mallorca 312 that year. along with the Prudential RideLondon 100, which I have also ridden a couple of times. These are mass participation events, with 8,000 and 32,000 riders respectively.

As I said, the 6Points has very much the feel of a family and friends event, at a scale which is much more akin to a Cycling Club event, albeit over a few days.

Depending a little on which group you choose to ride with, frequent/sufficient café stops are part of the planning, and overnight, between good days of riding between 100kms and 100 miles, there are hotels and evening meal locations chosen to suit the needs of cyclists riding those kinds of distances.

Social interaction and discussion is highly encouraged, and lively!

The prime intention for the riders is that they should ENJOY the event. Some Sportives (as I know very well) turn into races for a proportion of the participants, which for mass events can create issues for fun riders.

At 6Points, with the Clubrun feel it has for each small riding group, each rider knows that those around her/him have the same, FUN objective. No-one is under pressure to keep up a pace – the groups, and especially the “steady” group are no-drop, and there is, as mentioned, great backup to keep everyone going.


I am a convert! I plan to do the 6Points events into the foreseeable future, both Spring and Autumn, with Mallorca the Spring focus, and, in 2020, with Menorca on the autumn calendar for the first time. Here is the Formentera 6Points from October 2019:

6Points Formentera October 2019

I have an extensive network of Zwift and “in-real-life (irl)” riders and friends, both locally and internationally, and I recommend wholeheartedly the 6Points experience to them all – and to you!

*Asdica – a Mallorcan charity benefiting disabled children. See lots more on the 6Points website at

Sobremunt, the hardest climb in Mallorca

A new video with more action from my GoPro Session, and music from David Guerra. It’s 18 minutes, but I hope you can spare the time to take a look!

A newly created iMovie version of my Sobremunt GoPro and iPhone material

A day out achieving a recent ambition, to climb Sobremunt, Es Verger, generally accepted as the hardest climb in Mallorca, particularly from the south side. On the descent, I took in lunch at Esporles, and then climbed Es Grau and Galilea (with the usual coke, coffee and Magnum stop at Café Sa Plaça!) and completed the loop down to Es Capdella back to Costa de la Calma. A lovely ride with terrific views as you will see from the video collage.

At the top of the Strava segment of Sobremunt
Tom Last and the boys at GCN went up there too!
I really did go up to the same place as Tom Last of GCN!

Ride the 6Points Mallorca in May 2020!

May 15/16/17th 2020 is only 6 months away!

What a way to celebrate the onset of summer and enjoy 3 days of fantastic riding in the sun and see whole perimeter of the beautiful island of Mallorca.

We will go to some great restaurants and hotels and you will also enjoy the signature camaraderie of all 6Points events.

Get your Registration in now at

Weʼre raising funds to help children’s charities on Mallorca. 6Points Cycling Challenges has raised over £66,000 in 3 years, and our work continues. Please support us at

You can enjoy this taster weekend on Mallorca on 15/16/17th May 2020 as part of a whole week of cycling (as I am again!) doing some of the other climbs mentioned and shown in my blog such as Sobremunt (the hardest climb in Mallorca), Port Valdemossa, Port Canonge, Col de Soller, Orient, Cold de sa Bataia and/or many others.

You can fly out to Mallorca on Tuesday 12th May, and return on Tuesday evening 19th May by EasyJet, having ridden the Big Daddy Ma10 across northern Mallorca (100+ miles) on Friday 15th, 115kms on Saturday 16th May from Port Pollensa (via Cap Formentor) to Cala Millor, and from there back to Santa Ponsa (100 miles again) on Sunday 17th, with two wonderful hotel nights and dinners.

Anyone who wants to take my approach of going for the week, Tuesday to Tuesday to Mallorca is welcome to let me know, and keep me company, either side of the 440kms weekend (with the odd 7500m of climbing).

You can’t have missed that I did the Mallorca 6Points in May this year and it was a brilliantly organised event; more riders (up from 50 to around 75) will be coming next time, and there might even be a partners’ programme to allow families to enjoy the sights.

My rider view of the 6Points Mallorca in May 2019

This event in May 2020 offers a perfect taster for the year: wonderful spring cycling weather in the Balearics; very easy travel to and from this popular cycling destination; and very cycling friendly roads, cafés and people.

Cycling in Mallorca

Advice and suggestions re Mallorca cycling for friends

Many others have been there, but I tend to keep useful links available, so here is a slightly incoherent (nothing new there, I hear the wags at the back say, not entirely unjustifiably!) collection of links and information I have collected or found useful or which others might like to look at. It suggests looking at some of my many weeks in Mallorca on Strava for ride and route suggestions, but of course there are many others!

Mallorca sportives and events

6Points Challenges

I totally recommend the Mallorca 6Points weekend (a charity event benefitting the Asdica charity in Mallorca), having done it in May 2019. The Challenge this year was 425kms around Mallorca, visiting lighthouses at the North (Cap Formentor), West (Sant Elm), South (Cap de Salines), and East (Cala Ratjada) compass points, and the highest point (Puig Major) and the lowest point (any sandy beach, Caló d’en Pellicer at Santa Ponsa in our case, where we start and finish!) We met some of the Asdica Charity beneficiaries at the finish at the Caló d’en Pellicer beach in Santa Ponsa. 

Enjoying morning coffee at Tolo’s

For more on 6Points Challenges, and booking opportunities, see

which describes both the upcoming October 2019 Ibiza event and the May 2020 Mallorca event.

Should you wish to support me and the other riders on the Ibiza ride next weekend, please see:

Weʼre raising £1,500 to help children’s charities on Mallorca. 6Points Cycling Challenges has raised over £61,000 in 3 years. Our work continues. Please support us.

The Mallorca 312

The 312 is ever present annually; see Leslie and me there in 2018

We are about to go towards Banyalbufar after the first 4 hours

The 312 used to be a closed road event right round the perimeter of Mallorca, but the southern part (near Palma) has now been removed (being too difficult to achieve closed roads in that busy part of Mallorca), and now the route, having started in Alcudia and followed the Ma10 over to Andratx, returns through central Mallorca to Sa Pobla, and then takes a loop down to Artá before returning back to Alcudia; it’s still 312 kms distance over closed roads. See more about the Mallorca 312 at

for the 2020 event in late April. I have done the 225kms version (in my view the more interesting, hilly part!) and there is also a 1/2 version, the 167kms.

Bike rental and services

Mallorca Cycle Shuttle  do airport transfers, bike transfers (eg coach out , bike back, Port Pollensa – Andratx or San Telm), bike breakdown insurance and photography, all on their website. Gary Abel is the main person there; he has developed a great set of services.

As you will see, Mallorca Cycle Shuttle also run Mallorca Photos, and importantly, Mallorca Bike Rescue which is a get-you-home service should bike or body fail you. I ALWAYS register with it.

Bike rental

Pro Cycle Hire is probably the gold standard in bike hire, and they not only rent bikes, but are also a bike café, and lead social rides three mornings a week plus a schedule of longer rides, including “The Lap”, a round Mallorca tour like the 312 used to be but without closed roads. There are some great historic bikes on display there too, plus a good café. Owner is Bruce Griffiths. For all about Pro Cycle Hire rides see

Pro Cycle Hire rent Colnagos as well as other brands, but if you want a Pinarello (e.g. a Dogma), try the Pinarello Store tps:// in Port Pollensa. The Pinarello store has a a nearby clothing outlet, usually with a sale, so there are good deals on jerseys, bibs etc.

See the link for Ottilie Quince’s service shop next to the Pinarello Store, which is worth a visit; Ottilie does massage (you might well need it!) as well as bikes and advice. She is, by the way, an 11 times world cycling champion.

Around the corner, on the sea front, is Tolo’s restaurant, complete with Wiggins bike, another must visit. A restaurant I also happen to like that does wonderful pizzas is Casa Vila in the central square in Port Pollensa,

Loop rides from Port Pollensa, and in the west

The obvious first ride is up to Cap Formentor and the lighthouse. It’s a double climb ride with a handy cafe at the top of the first part, Mirador de la Creueta (Viewpoint).

From that intermediate café, there is a little climb up to a “pepper pot” structure (a bit like a Martello tower) called the Telaia Albercutx, It’s quite a gravelly road up there so take care, but very much worth the views. No café for once, but it’s only 3kms or so!

Then you can take on the descent on the other side, towards Formentor beach and then the second part of the climb to the lighthouse (where there is also a large cafe and great views). It’s one of the climbs where Mallorca Photos have photographers until early afternoon (best to ride early up there to avoid traffic). They have them on Sa Calobra too, and the same applies there – go early, or go in traffic. See Fränk Schleck on Sa Calobra here.

Sa Ruta Verda

You MUST visit Sa Ruta Verda Bike Café in Caimari and say hello to owner Lennart for me. You can make a good round trip – quite hilly – via Campanet/Selva/Caimari/Sa Bataia/Lluc/Sa Calobra/col de Femenia and back to Port Pollensa. Places not to miss on that loop are Col de Sa Bataia (the Repsol service station at the top which is a bike cafe too, and does great ensaïmadas), and the Sa Ruta Verda café of course in the north end of Caimari which definitely DID open for the autumn again this weekend (wear your GGCC top if you have one, which Lennart recognises!). The three Monasteries further to the south are good little climbs, and again you can make a day tour of them (see for all the main climbs) of which Santuari de Cura in Randa and San Salvador near Felanitx are the better ones, the other being Petra which is nearer to Pollensa.

Western Mallorca

I’d also thoroughly recommend climbs at “my” end of the island (we have an apartment in Costa de la Calma) nearer to Andratx – eg the Es Capdella – Galilea – Es Grau loop. A fuller loop description might be Andratx/San Telm/Estellencs/Banyalbufar/Esporles/Es Grau/PuigPonent/Galilea/Es Capdella/Calvia/Santa Ponsa/Peguera/Camp de Mar/Andratx, or Andratx/San Telm/Estellencs/Banyalbufar/Esporles/Es Grau/PuigPonent/Galilea/Es Capdella/Coll de n’Esteve/Andratx, either of which take you over the main climbs in the west of the island that are on the Mallorca 312 route, and provide much of he climbing on that sportive (apart from Puig Major, mentioned below).

The Orient Valley

From Port Pollensa, Col de Soller, Bunyola, Col d’Honor and Orient itself in the Orient valley make a great (long and hilly) ride – Port Pollensa/Col de Feminia/Col de sa Bataia/Puig Major/Soller/Col de Soller/Col d’Honor/Coll d’Orient/Alaro/Lloseta/Selva/Campanet/Alcudia/Port Pollensa or some variation of that.

The Orient valley, between the south end of the Col de Soller climb/descent and Selva, is a very pretty ride, with a great ice cream and crêpe shop at Alaro called La Isla del Gelato (in Google maps) If you happen to ride via Campanet either way to or from Caimari and Selva, take care, one or two of the only potholes in Mallorca are there although they are resurfacing this year, and I believe they might all be cleared up now. 

In Selva (only 2kms from Caimari) there is a bike shop called the Bike Station that also rents bikes in the main cathedral square (also with cafés) that sells the jersey with many of the main Mallorca climbs on it! 

The Ma10 across the Tramuntana – Big Daddy

As well as the recently added airport transfers, Mallorca Cycle Shuttle runs their great bike transport service, so that you can take their coach out from Port Pollensa, right across the island to the west (or to the south, or just to Sa Calobra) and ride back on the Ma10 “Big Daddy” route.

The Shuttle does have a hot summer fallow period in August but it has now opened again for the Autumn. They take you, for example, from a number of hotels the Port Pollensa area to Andratx, and also San Telm if you want to ride back coast to coast. It’s a “must do” ride, with options to descend and ascend at Port Canonge, Port Valdemossa and Sa Calobra, which makes it a very long ride, so don’t book dinner in Pollensa too early!

Be sure to book the Shuttle for the day you want, it does get full nearer the time. They have some other destination drop-offs now, at least on on the south of the island (see Monasteries below). 

Along that route are Estellencs, Banyalbufar, Valdemossa, Deia and Soller and Port de Soller, on the coast. It also includes the highest climb on Mallorca, Puig Major, 13kms at an average 6%, with a (dark) tunnel at the top. That is the main climb on the Mallorca 312 which ISN’T in the west of the island.

Check out my Strava rides

I wouldn’t recommend rides I haven’t done(!) so amongst the following weeks of Strava rides you will see all the ones I have mentioned and many more! See my Strava rides for 8-13th May 2016 and 16th-21st April 2017 for lots of good routes in the east, or 15-24th July 2016, 15th-23rd August and 9-12th October 2015 for the western end of the island.

Also my weeks 25th April – 1st May 2018 for the Mallorca 312 (one end of the island, Alcudia to to the other, Andratx via the Ma10, and back through the central part) and other rides during 8-16th October 2018 for general western Mallorca riding, and 14th-21st May 2019 for the 6Points right around Mallorca, visiting the 4 compass points lighthouses, the highest (Puig Major) and the lowest (any beach, Santa Ponsa in our case). See and for more about that 440kms ride with 7000m climbing, or the Ibiza version below.

I’ll be riding on 1st-8th October 2019 in Mallorca and in particular 5/6th October in Ibiza/ Formentera Here’s the official taster video from the May 2019 edition of the 6Points Mallorca:

The official movie of the May 2019 6Points Mallorca

More useful bike ride links

Here’s a video taster of many of the climbs (& descents) in Mallorca. It’s about 30 minutes, and includes several I have mentioned. here they are with the timings in the video:

Sa Calobra descent 00:50 Sa Calobra ascent 02:58 Coll de sa Batalla descent 05:07 Coll de sa Batalla ascent 07:09 Road to Cap de Formentor 09:21 Puig Major ascent 14:20 Coll de Femenia ascent 17:54 Coll de Femenia descent 18:56 Coll de Soller south ascent 20:03 Coll de Soller south descent 21:00 Coll de Soller north descent 22:55 Coll de Soller north ascent 25:11 Coll d’Honor ascent 26:39 Puig de Santa Magdalena ascent 29:51 Puig de Santa Magdalena descent 30:45

Plus the toughest of them all, Sobremunt, Es Verger I hope to be trying in October 2019


Plus the toughest of them all, Sobremunt (Es Verger), I hope to be trying in October 2019

Ride the 6Points in Ibiza and Formentera!

October 5/6th is only 6 weeks away!

What a way to celebrate the onset of autumn and enjoy 2 days of fantastic riding in the sun and see the two beautiful islands of Ibiza and Formentera.

We will go to some great restaurants and you will also enjoy the signature camaraderie of all 6Points events.

Get your Registration in now at

Weʼre raising £1,500 to help children’s charities on Mallorca. 6Points Cycling Challenges has raised over £61,000 in 3 years. Our work continues. Please support us at

You can enjoy this taster weekend on Ibiza on 5/6th October (as I am) prior to the Mallorca event on 15/16/17th May 2020!

For the most focused long weekend way of doing it, you can fly out to Ibiza on Friday 4th October, and return on Sunday evening or Monday morning, having ridden on Formentera (65kms) on Saturday 5th and Ibiza (135kms) on Sunday 6th, with hotel nights at Ibiza Playa Hotel.

Anyone who wants to take my approach of going via Mallorca and ferry to/from Ibiza is welcome to let me know and keep me company Tuesday 1st -Tuesday 8th October, either side of the weekend in Ibiza.

You can’t have missed that I did the Mallorca 6Points in May this year and it was a brilliantly organised event, which I will be doing again in May 2020.

This shorter Ibiza event in October offers a perfect taster with wonderful autumn cycling weather in the Balearics, with the possibility of either direct travel to Ibiza, or spending a week travelling and cycling via Mallorca.