The Mallorca 312 event attracts enormous participation. | Mallorca 312

Last year, there was an almighty rumpus because of the traffic chaos caused by the Mallorca 312 cycling event. This year's takes place next Saturday (29 April), and before it is even held the controversies have started.

Strange it may seem, but the environmentalists GOB and Terraferida are to the fore in criticising the event. Bikes are fine for the environmentalists, but not when there are 6,500 of them bringing the roads to a standstill.

The north is the part of the island most affected, though the event covers the Tramuntana down to Andratx, a stretch of the interior past Inca and also an area to the east of Santa Margalida. There will be disruption in the whole of the northern zone next Saturday, which might be acceptable were it not for the fact that Ironman - held in Alcudia but with an impact on other municipalities - takes place two weeks later. People's patience does get stretched.

And patience is what the Council of Majorca's Mercedes Garrido is asking for. She says that there will in any event be fewer road closures than last year and that the event will avoid most of the main urban centres, unlike last year therefore. We'll see. And you can see for yourselves, if you go to www.mallorca312.com/carreteres. Be patient!