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OLYMPIC GAMES RIO16


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Happy to home and resting from the last Olympic cycle. We came away with 5 medals and had luck been a bit more on our side, we would have had 7 or 8! This photo was taken in USA House with Gold medalist Connor Fields and Silver medalist Alise Post. Such an honor to work with the best on two wheels!!

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Less Coffee..More Often..Our guide to drinking COFFEE!


Here in Mallorca, the only Starbucks is in the airport! The old-school method of coffee drinking/relaxing is alive and well. You may find a coffee to go….but not outside Palma and don’t look for a café, coffee is served in Bars! As well,  forget about those huge lattes and cappuccinos of various complexity – here it is coffee, espresso with or without milk!!

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Café Solo – Espresso in all its singular glory!

Café Doble – Double espresso – like above, but twice as fun!

Café Cortado – Espresso with just a tiny touch of milk. Literally, café “cut” with milk. Our favorite and acceptable to drink anytime!!

Café Con Leche – Espresso with milk in equal portions. Like a latte with less milk.

Café Americano – Espresso with more water, resulting in a milder flavor.

All the above can typically be had in the less pure and more sedate version – descafeinado, though we suggest only drinking such after 3p!

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Top 15 of 2015


If you follow 3F Sports on Twitter you probably have seen the numbers 15 – 11 for 2015. To follow-up with our final top -10 of the year have a look at the picture below – All of these moments can be had during one of our exclusive camps and tours 2016:

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1 ROOM REMAINING AT CX WORLDS


We are still more than 7 weeks out from CX Worlds in Zolder, Belgium and already we have nearly sold-through our stock of exclusive rooms. On the interior ring, we have a beautiful penthouse suite left with spectacular views over the city and easy access to the course. On its own, Hasselt is a great little town with good shopping, and excellent local restaurants and bars. One of our favorites is the chef owned Zuppa Hasselt, with a rotating menu of fresh soups from around the world, Zuppa will impress. Have a look at their web-site: http://www.zuppasoupbar.be/

To reserve your room, act VERY quickly – send us an e-mail: info@3fsports.com or call us: +34 663 044 213.

For a gallery penthouse suite images: http://www.hassotel.be/en/photogallery/penthouse-with-a-view/

 

 

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RE-CAP 2015


Since our last post in News, we have created and managed countless teams and cycling events in 2015, covering 5 different disciplines of cycling in Mallorca, Canada, Belgium, Andorra, the USA and Brazil. It has been a whirl wind year full of great strides, gains and all logged as learning experiences to continue to refine, improve and strive towards and beyond excellence.

In Mallorca, we hosted countless weeks of trips with Live-it Cycling, Train Right Systems, Mallorca 312 and other private guests. It is always a great joy sharing our intimate knowledge of Mallorca with our guests. Years of living and working on Mallorca has allowed us to refine our trips. Some of these items are as small as know from which direction to most safely access a road to know that one café is head and shoulders better than another across a plaza. May not seem like big issues, but once they all add up they contribute to the difference between and really good cycling trip and an unbelievably outstanding trip.

In July, I headed off to my home of Toronto for Pan Am Games. Not heard of the Games? Essentially, they are mini-Olympics where nations of the America’s confederation compete in Olympic Sports. The Pan Am Games are always the year before the Olympic Games, so in essence they become a great training and testing environment for our systems and plans. Straight for the Pan Am Games, I was off to Belgium for BMX Worlds in Zolder – Always a huge task, with 130+ amateur athletes and 20 Professionals on-site!   Again without a hitch, we won many medals and though we were all challenged by the schedule change and weather on Saturday, we persevered and took home medals in nearly every category.

Thankfully, I was able to spend a good part of August in Mallorca! August is HIGH season here in Mallorca, but the mountain villages and roads remain quiet. Unfortunately, it is also high season for my events as well.

By the end of August, I was on my way to Andorra with the MTB Team. If you have not visited the Pyrenees and Andorra, put it on your bucket list! Amazing views and climbs with deep valleys and unbelievable food. We closed MTB Worlds with a bit of disappointment as the results were a bit on the shallow side. After brief trip home, it was nearly on the next gig – Road Worlds in Richmond VA. I was super proud to be part of this team which won 7 medals (more than any other nation.) As well, everyone brought their A+ game – the staff was flawless and the riders motivated. Further, the local fans were amazing, coming out to support all the events! As well, during the final weekend, 3F Sports hosted many A-list companies on the start/finish line hotel: Oakley, SRAM, Garmin Cycling Team, Specialized and some VIP individuals. Looking back, that is a wonderful group of people to have provided VIP services.

From Richmond, it was straight to RIO for the BMX and MTB Test events. Like London, Rio is quickly becoming a second home for me. Certainly there are challenges, but as our recently retired CEO use to say: “If it were easy, everyone would do it.” Preparation and toughness are essential to success, both are in development in regards to RIO.

Now, I’m home and already planning for Cyclocross Worlds in Zolder and a BUSY spring and summer. We some degree of luck, we will check-in before Spring 2016. 

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CX WORLDS 2015 – TABOR, CZECH


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Only 10 days have passed since the end of our 2015 CX Worlds campaign in Tabor, Czech Republic. In August of 2014, I heard a rumor that the hotel we had selected 2 years ago and paid a 50% deposit to, may be in dire straits economically. Following up on the rumor, I contacted the hotel and they re-assured me that all was OK and that above all they were looking forward to hosting us. With 3 weeks remaining before the team’s arrival, I submitted my rooming list, meal program and dietary requirements via e-mail. When the e-mail went un-answered, my suspicions awoke from their slumber. After 48 hours, (note that is my e-mail grace period) I called the hotel directly. One number after the next disconnected…….Oh shit! Finally, I got an answer and talked with my contact who assured me that they were simply on a short holiday and that they would follow-up with me on Monday.
With a huge sense of relief and a mountain of hotel research completed, I relaxed through the weekend with a huge weight lifted from my shoulders.
On Monday, I eagerly/nervously waited for the e-mail response. At 3:30p, when I had received an email back, I started my calls again. After getting no answer, I received the mail I was waiting for at 3:45p detailing the fact that the hotel was indeed in bankruptcy proceedings and the restaurant was closed and un-usable. PANIC!
Luckily, I had a B, C and D plan in place and had even made some cancellable bookings via some web-sites. Another 8 or so hours of work, I had found an excellent place checking the boxes required to support the team in a successful campaign. Yes, it was a bit farther than I would normally find acceptable, but in the end the hotel was excellent and being 40 minutes away actually allowed the athletes to relax more than when we are in close proximity to the races. Another few hours of finalizing payment arrangements, meal planning etc. and we would be confirmed.
Depending on the team size, event location and logistical challenges, I typically fly in one or two days before the team’s arrival. As we had raced Worlds in Tabor a few years prior and our athletes had used the hotel we had first booked for their World Cup campaigns, I intended to fly in a couple of hours before the team and drive down to Tabor from Prague. Given the change in hotel, I decided I should fly in the day before to ensure that all would be up to our expectations – change flights, change rental car (no comment on how ridiculous this was) and up-date the UCI for anti-doping pre and during competition of our whereabouts.
Fast forward to the event, and all went really well. We had an excellent staff, willing to do whatever it takes to support our athletes and the athletes were in general there to hunt podium spots. Yes, at this level, it is not about participation, it is about GOLD, SILVER AND BRONZE!
So, CX Tabor was my 46th World level event with USA Cycling. This is the first time we ever had a hotel go bankrupt and leave the team out in the cold. If I do another 46 events, I hope it doesn’t happen again! The risk is always there and especially when racing in economically challenged parts of the globe.

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EXPERIENCE


Have you tried the 3F Sports experience? 

Recently, I’ve spent a lot of time looking at comparable trips etc. and what I’ve found is that almost everyone claims that they have World Class experience. On first read, it appears that almost everyone is prepared to treat you like a pro on one of their trips. Obviously, the definition is vague and leaves a lot open to interpretation. As I admit, marketing (I’m far from World Class), internet and flashy web-site – all done econo through trial and error, but when it comes to taking care of guests needs, I clearly have what it takes. Primarily this means being a bit intuitive at times and planning for the unexpected or the percentages. These are small differences, and may go unnoticed most of the time, but when the case arrives I can assure you that my experiences have made me ready to serve you!

At Road Worlds this year in Ponferrada, some of the staff began discussing number of World Championships which they have worked and it made me think that I should actually write everything out. Afterall, I will have managed more than 50 Worlds teams before I reach my half century birthday! Have a look below, you will see nearly every continent and a wide range of experience noted. When you’re ready for a pro experience, check out our TRIPS

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TOP 3 ALMOND TREATS


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Top Three Almond Made Mallorquin Treats:

One of the best things about riding in Mallorca is finding the locally made specialty food available in most cafes and markets on the island. The almond tree is prolific on the island and therefore the quality and price of products containing almonds is very reasonable and widely available. Of course eating almonds plain is a treat in itself, but occasionally you need to enjoy the different creations available locally!

3. One of our favorite snacks made with Almonds is turron. Traditionally a Christmas dish, turron is made with crushed almonds mixed with honey and egg whites. The mixture is formed in blocks and is a sweet calorie dense treat! Turron is a very rich dessert and is best enjoyed after an epic day of riding!

2. Almond Gato is a local cake made with fresh almonds. It is very light and fluffy and can be accompanied by ice cream and espresso. Nearly every café has Almond gato on the menu.

1. Our top favorite is Almond Ice Cream – the texture is unique and it is a perfect recovery treat after a long day cruising through Mallorca’s mountains. Many cafes will have their own recipe for homemade almond ice cream and I’ve yet to find one to disappoint.

Top Tip:

Eat almonds with the skin on: it contains an impressive collection of flavonoids that act as antioxidants and enhance the effect of vitamin E that could be beneficial as we age.

http://www.ametllademallorca.com/en/ametlla-de-mallorca/que-es/

The high fiber content in almonds make them a perfect snack to stave-off eating and keeping your blood sugar stable between meals.

Try these on one of our trips: http://www.3fsports.com/experiences-with-3f/

See you soon!

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SOUL RIDES – 3 COMPONENTS


What makes a “soul ride?” We’re sure the definition is unique to nearly everyone! The one constant in life seems to be the identification of the ride where you go to de-compress, think and enjoy. Every place that I have lived, there has always been “the” ride. The ride which makes you grab the bike, when you are stuck on a project, have done expense reports for too long, or in general the need to return “better.” A few people have joined me on my soul ride here in Mallorca, sometimes it is necessary to go it alone though!

Here are the (3) components which I believe define a soul-ride:

1)   Distance: a ride of more or less 3 – 4 hours. Yes, you can do it in 3 hours, but sometimes slowing down and taking 4 hours to meander is exactly what is in order. Also helps to have at least 2 big climbs.

2)   Views: stunning views are a requisite! Best when you can view the mountains as they come out of the sea. Cliffs and exposure are also desirable!

3)   Cafe stop: Yes, the cafe can make the ride. On my ride here in Mallorca, the cafe stop just happens to be in the mid-way point and has unbelievable apple tarts and coffee!

Want to experience this ride? Check-out: http://www.3fsports.com/experiences-with-3f/performance-camp/

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Mallorca Challenge Wrap-up


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This year’s Mallorca Challenge took place in the 2nd week of February under beautiful blue Mediterranean skies on the superb roads of Mallorca. The race consisted of 4 stages, 2 flatter stages and 2 days in the UNESCO Heritage site of the Tramuntana Mountains.  A week before the Challenge started, we were contacted by guests wanting to rent bikes to catch the 2 mountain stages of the race. After a short consultation, I assured the guest that we could better provide both viewing and riding opportunities for them if we provided a two-day tour. Logistically, the trip was going to be a challenge. First, the guests were arriving via a military ship in port of Palma and we were charged with arranging everything for their arrival, only knowing that they would arrive sometime before lunch. Second, we wanted to catch as much racing as possible while still getting to pedal the bikes. In the end, we accomplished our goals and enjoyed two amazing days of racing and riding.

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Day 1

They indeed arrived near lunch and after collecting them at the entrance to the secure area for the military port, we were off to their hotel for the night and then straight on to a bike shop to purchase some kit. After sorting all the last minute needs, we sped off to Camari, the village at the base of the Sa Bataia climb to Lluc where the race was to finish for the day. We had just enough time to capture the last 4k of the race and then the finish village at the monastery. After a few photos etc. we stopped in the local bar to warm-up and drink some delicious coffee.  As the sun was starting to set, we jumped in the van and returned to Palma, where we left the guests at their hotel for the evening. With restaurant and bar suggestions in hand, the guests were ready for their first evening off-ship in quite a while.

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Day 2

SUNNY AND WARM! A picture perfect day in Mallorca! We greeted the clients at their hotel and then rushed off to Santa Maria del Cami in the heart of the wine country. We started our ride on the small roads between vineyards and almond groves on the way to Alaro. A quick stop in Cycling Planet and we were ready for the first climb of the day – Coll d’ Orient. We were on the course then and the guests could get a preview of what the pros would ride later in the day. If you have never ridden through the Orient valley, please add it to your bucket list! The climb is fairly gentle and provides amazing views across to the highest mountains of Mallorca.

Once past the tiny village of Orient, we went across to the Coll de Honor which is essentially a short series of 7 or so switch backs up to the top at 550m. After a quick descent, we made down to Bunyola where would view the race from a bar on the local square. From this view, we would be able to see the riders take 3 turns and begin the ascent of the Coll de Honor which zig-zags through the town.
Once past, we jumped back in the van and shuttled across to the Port d’ Alcudia where the race would finish 1.5 hours later. Again we arrived perfectly timed and watched the final sprint, which was a furious wind assisted dash down the main avenue. We visited the finish area, took photos, met riders etc. and then returned to our own bikes for a one hour flat ride on the Cami Vell de Muro – A super scenic car-free camino amongst wineries, orange groves, and almond groves.

Wrap-up: we finished our day in the same village it started: Santa Maria de Cami. A short baby-wipe shower and we were off to return our guests to their boat. A super fun 48 hours under the Mallorca sun watching the best bike riders in the world. You should join us in 2015!

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For some amazing video of the race, please see:
http://vueltamallorca.com/challenge-mallorca/resumenes-de-tv-2014/

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