Today we tackle the legendary Col du Tourmalet. We will make our way along the route of Saturday’s important stage, the summit finish to Col du Tourmalet.
Col du Tourmalet and a stage finish
We will set off after breakfast and make our way along the route of Saturday’s important stage, the summit finish to Col du Tourmalet. We start on the gentle gorge road beside the crystal waters flowing from cirque du Gavarnie. After reaching the village of Luz-Saint-Sauveur, the climbing begins. This western side with its consistent grades is the most difficult of the two possible ascents. The final 3 km averages more than 10% and contradicts the apparent proximity of the summit which is always in sight.
Once at the summit, and with our memorable moments caught on camera, we’ll descend toward today’s stage finish and stop along the way for lunch. We’ll soon join the final kilometres of today’s race route before watching the attacks on the big screen and the race for line honours with a possibility for claiming the yellow jersey.
Today’s shorter ride option still offers you the chance to climb to the summit of the legendary Col du Tourmalet, ascending the ‘easier’ eastern side. If you’ve had enough you may turn around at anytime. But without time pressure, choose an easy gear, take your time and you’ll conquer this legend.
After the stage finish, we’ll return to our hotel for a scrumptious meal and share wonderful stories of today’s adventure.
TODAY IN THE RACE
Stage 12: Toulouse to Bagnères-de-Bigorre, Mountain, 202 km
A mountain stage more than 200 km! Welcome to the Pyrenees. Riders will leave from “ville rose” with the imminent mountains ahead. Two familiar climbs on today’s course will return our focus toward the race favourites. Col du Peyresourde will make the selection before the twisty ascent of Hourquette d’Ancizan tightens the screws and then a fast descent to the finish line in the thermal spa town. Perhaps a new yellow jersey leader?