Riding level: 3/4/5
Arrive: Saturday 01 June 2019
Depart: Saturday 08 June 2019
Cost: £1250 per person
Single room supplement: £40 per person per night (a maximum of 6 rooms for sole occupancy are available and will be allocated on a first requested basis.
- Climb the legendary Tour de France Pyrenean Cols & stage endings: Tourmalet, Portet d’Aspet, Peyresourde.
- Optional Classic Cols challenge: up to 4000m ascent per day!
- Comfortable and friendly 2 and 3* hotels with local cuisine geared to cyclists.
- Excellent support from 2 support vans and 2 experienced guides.
Days on the bike
This road cycling holiday has been carefully crafted to allow you to cycle the best cols and stage endings that the Pyrenees has to offer as well experience its quiet roads and unassuming ambiance. It is a point to point journey traversing the region from East to West, taking in the infamous climbs that the professional Tour de France cyclists head up every year.
Who would enjoy this trip?
The joy of this holiday the itineraries is in its flexibility. We have options each day for the stronger riders and the trip warms us up gently getting progressively tougher in preparation for your final ascent of the infamous Col du Tourmalet. Taken at a steady pace this route is manageable and enjoyable for healthy cyclists regardless of experience in the mountains, with the toughest day involving 1700m of ascent. It’s a route to open up the Pyrenees to you. However, this holiday also offers a fantastic challenge to those wanting to push themselves further and for longer: each day there are ‘optional extras’ increasing the possible daily ascent to over 3000m, making this holiday also suitable for those very fit cyclists who are regular cyclosporif riders
Day 0: Travel Out
Included transfers from Toulouse airport to Ax les Thermes.
In the evening we will have a meeting to go through the plan for the week. Ideally build the bikes ready for tomorrow.
Day 1: Round trip from Ax
The Col de Chioula (1431m) commands big views over the eastern Pyrenees and the ascent from the west has some very agreeable gradients. After lunch you have the option of a leisurely ride up the stunning Orlu valley or beasting yourself up the stage ending of Bonascre (1380m) or the HC climb of the Col de Pailheres (2001m).
Option 1 Col du Chioula + Plateau du Bonascre (54km, 1500m ascent)
Option 2 Col du Chioula + Col du Paiheres (77km, 2111m ascent)
Day 2: Ax les Thermes to Massat
From Ax you set off on the route des corniches. It undulates its way to the market town of Tarascon along the south facing side of the valley of Ax with constant views and beautiful villages. Pause here for lunch or those wanting a real challenge can take on the tough Plateau de Beille (1800m) stage ending.
After lunch everyone heads over the Col du Port (1250m), a lovely climb with a couple of cheeky sections before descending all the way to your hotel in Massat. Relaxing is a good option, or you could always take on the mighty Col d’Agnes (1570m) with its col top lakeside café!
Option 1 Route de Corniches + Col du Port (102km, 1410m ascent)
Option 2 Route de Corniches + Col du Port + Col d’Agnes (108km, 2340m ascent)
Option 3 Plateau de Beille + Col du Port + Col d’Agnes (128km, 2980m ascent)
Day 3: Massat to Luchon
On offer today are two of the most popular cols in the Pyrenees. Climbing gently through ancient farmsteads, you barely notice the incline to the Col du Portet d’Aspet (1075m). A short descent through mixed forest (past the memorial to Fabio Casertelli) prepares you for the never-ending Col de Mente (1345m), or there is the option of missing it out, taking on instead the beautiful and gentle climbs of the Col de Burret (599m) and the Col des Ares (797m). After a pleasant winding descent you can stretch your legs with a very gentle (almost flat) finale into the bustling spa town of Luchon.
There are two optional extras today, one at the start of the day, taking you over the Col de la Core (1395m) – famous for its cheese, and the other towards the end of the day where you have the option of making an excursion to Spain taking on the Col de Portillon (1293m).
Option 1 Col de Porte D’Aspet + Col de Mente (104km, 1600m ascent)
Option 2 Col de Porte D’Aspet + Col de Mente + Col Du Portillon (122km, 2270m ascent)
Based in Luchon for a couple of nights we have a couple of options for today! If some fancy a day off then it’s a lovely spa town to relax and recover!
Option 1 Superbagneres – (38.6km, 1200m ascent)
Option 2 Port de Bales – (70km, 1300m ascent)
Option 3 Port de Bales + Superbagneres (108km, 2500m ascent)
Day 5: Luchon to Bagnerre de Bigorre
You start your day with the rather steep but very beautiful Col de Peyresourde (1565m). You will be rewarded at the top by a cafe serving fabulous crepes! Those that really want to abuse their bodies could take in the Col D’Azet (1580m) and the mountain hugging Pla D’Adet (1680m). On the classic route, next up is the beautiful Col d’Aspin (1490m) which has been used more often by the Tour de France than any other Pyrenean climb. A spectacular downhill takes us through the small and quaintly bizarre town of Campan and on to our 3* hotel in Bagneres de Bigorre.
Option 1 Col du Peyresourde + Col du Aspin [68km, 1750m ascent]
Option 2 Col du Peyresourde + Col D’Azet + Col du Aspin [88km, 2315m ascent]
Option 3 Col du Peyresourde + Col D’Azet + Pla d’Adet + Col du Aspin [112km, 3215m ascent)
Day 6: Bagneres to Argeles Gazost
Today is all about the punishing Col du Tourmalet (2115m) – make sure you get your photo taken at the top – this is a real achievement! From here you can enjoy a 35km downhill all the way to the picturesque thermal spa town of Argelés-Gazost for an afternoon of justifiable relaxation.
A few (tempting) optional extras including the TDF stage finishes of Luz Ardiden (1720m) and Hautacam (1616m) or a nice detour ‘up’ the valley to the village of Gavarnie for a glimpse of the world famous Cirque.
Option 1 Col Du Tourmalet [60km, 1515m ascent]
Option 2 Col Du Tourmalet +Hautacam [96km, 2700m ascent]
Day 7: Travel Back
Transfers from Argeles Gazost to Toulouse airport.