Ardiden Velos Bike Rentals, Luz St. Sauveur, France - Tel +(33) 609 553102 - ardidenvelos@gmail.com

Col du Tourmalet and Luz Ardiden

The highest paved mountain pass in the French Pyrénées, the iconic Col du Tourmalet has featured in the Tour de France 85 times. The start of the west ascent of the Tourmalet is at Luz St. Sauveur, which is where you will find Ardiden Velos and from there it's 19km at an average gradient of 7.5% with a maximum of about 10%. Watch out just before and after Bareges, it gets kind of steep! Also the last 500m before the summit is over 10% and that's after 19km of climbing! Good news is there's a cafe at the top .... Don't forget to get a photo of yourself next to the statue of Octave Lapize, the winner of the 1910 Tour de France. He is probably more famous for shouting, (or wheezing), "You are assasins. Yes assasins," at Tour de France officials at the top of the Col du Tourmalet.

 

The climb of Luz Ardiden is perhaps best known for Lance Armstrong falling off his bike during the 2003 Tour de France, when he got his handlebars caught up in a bright yellow T de F carrier bag. He then went on, (in a drug induced frenzy perhaps), to catch and pass all his closest rivals. If you've ever seen the video you'll know it's a climb worth doing ... An alternative is to climb Luz Ardiden via Viscos and the RF de Gaborisse, (the route of Stage 3 of the 2017 Tour de Sud).

Total distance 69 km and 2489m of climbing. Shorter route, Col du Tourmalet only, 38 km and 1407m climbing.

Col du Tourmalet and Luz Ardiden

 

Col du Tourmalet and Luz Ardiden