Video – Climbs to ride: Hautacam

The Col Collective brings us an insight into the deceptively tough Midi Pyrenean climb

Riders at last year’s Etape du Tour will have come face-to-face with the deceptively tough ascent of Hautacam.

Rising up in the heart of the Midi-Pyrénées, Hautacam also saw Vincenzo Nibali all-but-crown his Tour de France triumph last year, soloing to victory on the mountain.

The latest installment of the Col Collective sees Mike Cotty, himself a veteran of the Etape du Tour, tackle the Hautacam.

Describing the ascent, Cotty said: “Hautacam may not have the length, height or prestige of the Col du Tourmalet but that’s exactly the deceptive nature it uses to lull you into a false sense of security when tackling its slopes for the first time.

“In fact, I’d go one step further and say that, despite having ridden it a number of times now, I never feel that I’m fully in control on this ascent.

“The road hits you hard from the start and continues to undulate like a roller-coaster offering moments of respite before pitching up again to over double figures, pushing you further into the red.

“It always gives a sense that it’s just toying with me, seeing how much I can take before turning the screw just a little bit more.

“In some respect this is why I like it so much, the lure of such a challenge never fades and as you approach the top the tree line opens up to reveal a new world of greatness which makes every hard earned pedal stroke all the more rewarding.”

Vital statistics

Start: Gave River Bridge (D913/D100)
Length: 13km
Summit: 1,520m
Elevation gain: 1,064m
Average gradient: 8 per cent
Maximum gradient: 13 per cent


Newsletter Terms & Conditions

Please enter your email so we can keep you updated with news, features and the latest offers. If you are not interested you can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell your data and you'll only get messages from us and our partners whose products and services we think you'll enjoy.

Read our full Privacy Policy as well as Terms & Conditions.