The fearsome Col du Tourmalet
The Tour de France celebrates the 100 year anniversary of the first inclusion of the Pyrenees in the great stage race this year, with the ascent of the Col du Tourmalet not once, but twice. If the current action in the race is anything to go by, there should be fireworks. [It’ll all be over by then – ed.]
And I’ll be celebrating the race’s current visit to the Pyrenees in my own small, humble way. I’ve never ridden in the mountain range before, so I’ll be packing the car this Thursday and driving down through France to ride the most celebrated climbs of the race.
I’ll only be there for four days (I say only, that’ll probably be enough to finish me off) so I’m keen to ensure I bag, as it were, the “must ride” climbs that have been made famous by the Tour de France since the first time the race went over the mountain range a century ago.
And this is where I need your help. What climbs should I include in my virtual ‘top ten’? I’ve devised the list before. It may be optimistic to attempt to ride 10 mountains in four days, or will it?
These are in no particular order, but obviously the Tourmalet is at the top for, well, obvious reasons:
- Col du Tourmalet
- Hourquette d’Ancizan [Ed.’s suggestion – from Ancizan]
- Pla d’Adet
- Col d’Aspin
- Col de Marie Blanque
- Col de Peyresourde
- Col d’Aubisque
- Porte de Bales