While the steep pitches of Hautacam and the history of the Tourmalet and Col d’Aubisque are well known to cyclists bound for the Pyrenees, the Col d’Aspin offers a great entry-level ascent.
More than 70 times the Aspin has been a part of the Tour de France route, since its 1910 debut, and the 12.8km ascent, with an average gradient of five per cent is the perfect ‘middle man’ between the Tourmalet and Peyresourde.
It is also, according to Mike Cotty, the ‘perfect medicine if you’re new to the mountains and want to tackle something a little less daunting but equally as iconic’.
The latest instalment from the Col Collective sees sportive guru Cotty lead the way up the Aspin and he says of the climb: “Smell the rich pine aroma, fill your lungs with mountain air.
“The Aspin is like a good friend, there to encourage you to enjoy the day at your own pace and without the nervous prospect of a hammer to the head moment that can so often sit in the back of your mind and distract you from fully appreciating just how wonderfully mellow the mountains can be.”
Watch the video above, and check out the descent to Arreau and more from the Col Collective here.
Start: Sainte Marie de Campan
Elevation gain: 649m
Average gradient: 5%
Max gradient: 9%