Irish champ Walsh changes plans after test event delay

With DerbyWheel’s April test event postponed, Irish sprint champion Orla Walsh has filled the sudden gap in her schedule with something from the opposite end of the scale.

She revealed on Instagram that she will now be participating in the celebrated Mallorca 312 gran fondo event, riding the 167km circuit around the north of the Spanish island.

‘Possibly the longest ride I’ve ever done in my life,’ she told Instagram followers. ‘I have a week to prepare.’

Starting and finishing in the northeastern resort of Platja de Muro, known for its beautiful white beach, the course goes anticlockwise, taking riders over Puig Major, the island’s highest point. Those on the shorter route will turn back at Esporles, avoiding the lumpy southwest corner of the island, and taking the relatively flat and direct route back to the start.

Walsh is no stranger to the roads of Mallorca, having lived and trained there in the past. With no indoor velodrome in Ireland, Mallorca has become a ‘home from home’ for many Irish riders, enjoying the Mediterranean climate and access to the track at Palma.

But it seems only to be a temporary diversion for the reigning Irish sprint and keirin champion: other posts this week have shown her keeping up her explosive sprint and strength work.