A cyclist’s paradise

By SOPHIE MCCARRICK [email protected]

Intrigued by picturesque landscapes and favourable climates, the Algarve became a second home to lifelong cyclist Karl Burkett in 2008. Karl who has since been inspired to establish his very own cycling training camp called Tour de Algarve.

British man Karl, holidayed frequently with his family in the Algarve for several years, before purchasing a house in Almadena, just west of Lagos, which is when he realised that the idyllic location offered potentials that he wished to share with others.

Speaking to the Algarve Resident, Karl said: “I have always been a cyclist and wanted to further my love of cycling in new places and share it with others. The Algarve is just the perfect place to do this, with its smooth roads, rolling hills and sweeping descents, it has made the perfect base for me to introduce cyclists from the UK to the place I call my ‘new cycling heaven’”.

After following the Volta ao Algarve (an annual road bicycle racing event held in the Algarve since 2005) for several years, Karl said: “it gave me the idea to start a new cycling training camp for cyclists from the UK to travel over to the Algarve.”

“The majority of cyclists go to Majorca, Spain, for their spring training camps, which is great as I wouldn’t want the Algarve to become oversubscribed. However attracting riders to this beautiful region would offer such great experience for them, while bringing business to the local area. I call the Algarve my hidden gem.”

After establishing the Tour de Algarve training camp two years ago, Karl has received much interest that continues to grow.

“The cyclists just keep coming back for more, after they experience the great outdoors of the Algarve, the charming people and the great all year climate, they all seem to get hooked,” he said.

Over the next upcoming five years, Karl’s biggest aim is to build a well known reputation of the Tour de Algarve, as a brand that offers a relaxed, low key experience, is affordable, exciting, adventurous and most of all rewarding to the cyclist.

Not only has the training camp attracted riders from the UK, but cyclists from Portugal have also participated in the events and set cycle routes, Karl hopes to continue building up a well rounded cross section of participants, which will encourage an overall enjoyable experience and the opportunity to form new friendships to cyclists.

A recent camp between April 4 and 9 saw 12 cyclists travel over from the UK to the Algarve to participate in five different routes that covered up to 650 kilometres. During the trip a support car was available to supply drinks, spare tyres or to provide assistance to a rider if necessary.

It cost riders that participated in this five day event £225 each, and all were provided with the required transportation, accommodation with breakfast, plus five days riding through the natural sites of the Algarve.

“I welcome anyone interested in the cycling, outdoor world to contact me. I have big ambitions for my training camp and would love to broaden it as much as I can,” concluded Karl.

For more information about the Tour de Algarve training camps, please contact Karl on: [email protected].