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.”
Start: Gave River Bridge (D913/D100)
Elevation gain: 1,064m
Average gradient: 8 per cent
Maximum gradient: 13 per cent