Antonio Parietti was a visionary road engineer born in Mallorca over 100 years ago. He made a huge impact on the island and across the Balearics, building and modernising 700km of road networks. Yet he is still relatively unknown, especially amongst cyclists. His most famous road, the now iconic Sa Calobra known locally as "the snake", attracts riders from all over the world.
His roads were specifically built for tourism purposes. He could see that Mallorca had excellent prospects as a high quality holiday destination, and strove to open up beautiful parts of the island that had previously been inaccessible by car. Not only that, he wanted his roads themselves to be attractions. His iconic roads are nothing short of spectacular, with stunning views and breathtaking hairpins.
We managed to track down one of his granddaughters, who told us an incredible story. Before sophisticated road mapping tools, road engineers would follow and trace a donkey's path down a mountain side.
The reason being that donkeys would always choose the easiest and gentlest way down. From that, they would then start to sketch out a route and gradually end up with a completed road design! On the road to Cap de Formentor, one of his other iconic cycling roads, there’s a monument dedicated to his memory, built in 1968.
We're honouring his legacy with our name. He provided routes that a century later are giving us the freedom, challenges and adventures we live for. He also recognised the transformative power of nature, enabling access to the most stunning parts of this magical island.
Which is why we say...