Mallorca’s Very Own: Mario Mola Welcomes SLT
When Super League Triathlon (SLT) lands in Mallorca on November 3-4 one of our star line up will be feeling particularly at home. 28 year old Olympian and current world number one, Mario Mola, has just won the 2018 ITU World Triathlon Series for the third consecutive time and is hoping his home-crowd status will give that little extra push to get over the line and on the podium in Porto Cristo.
“Triathlon has grown a lot in the last five or so years and there will be a big crowd interested in SLT, and while I’m sure they will cheer for everyone, I hope I get that little bit extra,” he says.
Mola has fond memories of growing up in Mallorca and he says returning to his hometown to race in an event of this magnitude will be special.
“I grew up close to Palma de Mallorca before leaving when I was 18 – it really was great – with good weather all year round, and we had everything we could ask for on the island, including fantastic sports facilities and terrain to explore.
We have a great sports culture – and it is not only all about soccer, although Spain is all about this – in Mallorca, we’ve been lucky to have many successful athletes, in different disciplines –and this has opened the door to different options for kids there.”
Mola saw the options for himself, only ending up in triathlon after testing out several sports from a young age, including tennis, soccer, volleyball and swimming.
Mola is always on the road with triathlon, moving from one place to another constantly, so when he gets the chance to be at home the simple life is something he craves. In Palma de Mallorca, life is all about family, and drinking coffee – the simple things.
His time at home in November will not be so sedate however, with the island already buzzing about SLT.
“People in Mallorca have been asking for a big race for a long time… and from what I have been hearing, particularly the spectators, they want a short event to see the speed and pace competitors and the competition offer.
I think SLT will offer something for everyone.”
While Mallorca is known as a cycling paradise, it has also become more popular for triathletes – and for Mola, it makes a great training base for several months of the year.
For the Championship Weekend in November SLT has partnered with the Rafa Nadal Sports Centre (RNSC), allowing SLT athletes access to first-class high-performance sports and recovery facilities, including the centre’s gym, pool and wellness spa.
Being the home-town favourite, racing on familiar terrain, and his exceptional form all point to Mola securing a podium spot in Mallorca – which is precisely his goal.
With the World Series completed, having SLT to focus on is new motivation and an ideal way to finish the season.
Mola suspects SLT will be a hit in Mallorca, if people get involved with what is happening there and out enjoying what the island has to offer.
Where are your favourite training and places to visit?
I train to Palma where my family is; but the track in Calvià is awesome – it is known for its tourist sites and it has great training facilities.
Everywhere is worth seeing, and definitely head to the mountains to ride.
Our towns – in the middle of the island boast a lot of history, special buildings and impressive architecture, and of course, visit the beaches and rocky bays – this is what Mallorca is most known for.
Best place for a coffee?
Palma de Mallorca has a few cafes – I’ll have to make a list and get it ready for the athletes.
Best place for an ice cream?
I am not sure about ice cream but you should check out Ca’n Joan de s’Aigo and try a hot chocolate.
Best place for pizza?
Everywhere! We have really good Mediterranean kitchens.