Cyclists stopping at petrol stations is usually associated with the discipline of bikepacking. But at the Respol station on the summit of the Coll de sa Batalla you won’t find many bikepackers, only Island-hopping cyclists, soaking in one of the Mallorca’s must-do climbs in the adjoining café.
- LA MAISON
- LA VIE
MALLORCA COLLS & CLIMBS : COLL DE SA BATALLA
If you haven’t been to Mallorca you may not even have heard of Sa Batalla behind the noise that Sa Calobra and Formentor make. It could be classified as the Island’s ‘comfort climb’ – gentle slopes, a perfect surface and cafés at the bottom and the top.
The name of the climb has two possible origins. The first comes from the story of a battle between local bandits and the law in the 17th century and the other is from the sound of bells at the nearby Lluc monastery. That monastery apparently started when a shepherd found a statue of the Virgin Mary back in the 13th century. Just as in the Alpes-Maritimes, the Madonna is to be thanked for roads like these.
The climb starts in the quaint town of Caimari. It’s home to one of Mallorca’s best-known cafés, Sa Ruta Verda. They serve great coffee and healthy food and are so cycling-focused the owners refer to their establishment as a ‘feed-zone’. Before or after the climb, it is worth the stop.
Sa Batalla can be summarized as the climb of three parts : through the first set of switchbacks, up along and through the ridgeline with a false flat before the gradient increases to the second set of hairpins. The pine trees provide welcome shade from the sun, as well as a reminder that you are now most definitely in the heart of the Serra de Tramuntana. The passage through the rocks is memorable and offers a view up towards the summit.
The beauty is that, at 7.2km and an average gradient of 5%, it can be ridden relatively easily or full gas. As always with cycling in Mallorca it very much depends on what has come before and what is planned for after the ascent, but that is the beauty of the Island. The options are plentiful.