How to get the Sa Calobra KOM…

Sa Calobra is a climb on the Island of Mallorca. It’s a well known testing ground for world tour pros and amateurs alike and recently, the GCN tech show have been talking about it! The steps to getting the record on this climb are as follows…

  • Step 1 – Have World Tour power to weight ratio
  • Step 2 – Profit

Ok, so the KOM is quite hard to get. But as the GCN fans amongst you might have noticed our feature on the Tech Show helping them out with some number crunching. The video is right here, but we will go into a little more detail on some of the plots and graphs below…

Stand up or sit down?

Many of you will probably have observed that when you stand up on the bike, you can produce a few extra watts. The downside to this is that you present a larger frontal area to the wind. As a result, depending on the wind direction and the gradient, either can be faster. It’s not as simple as “always sit” or “always stand”.

If it’s steep, you’re going slower and thus get less aero penalty for standing up. In any scenario where your wind speed is low, if you can put more watts out standing up it’s likely faster to do so. Remember, your wind speed and ground speed are not the same! In headwind sections, even when climbing slowly, sitting is likely your best option as air resistance will be a significant portion of total resistance.

When should I go?

Now we know whether or not we should stand up or sit down (well, we should do both depending on where we are on the climb) it seems wise to figure out when we should go. Mallorca, being a small island, is quite exposed to the elements and weather can make a big impact.

We modelled the current KOM ride, at the same time of day, for everyday of 2022.

In 2022, the slowest day for an attempt was in March and the fastest day mid September. generally speaking it gets slightly faster the later into summer you get but the difference in conditions can vary a lot from one day to the next. Late August and early September seem like good times to go and have a bash at the segment.

What time would you do on Sa Calobra?

Why not give the myWindsock modelling a whirl. Find out what your best time up Sa Calobra would be, view the Sa Calobra Segment.

If you like this analysis, and want to learn more about the features available to you when you sign up to myWindsock, have a look here.