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Located in the village of Saint Savin between Col du Tourmalet and Col d'Aubisque.
Coast to Coast Tour:
Is Col du Tourmalet open?
Thursday 14th November 2013.
No. Tourmalet is now closed for the winter.
Is Cirque du Litor open?
Thursday 14th November 2013.
No. Closed for the winter.
Both should reopen in May 2014.
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Montée du Géant 2013col du tourmalet le géant
The Géant will be lifted to the summit from Super-Baréges Ski Station by helicopter at 13:00.
Second Update 31st May 2013.
All change again.
Montée du Géant will leave Pierrefitte as planned. It will end at the ski station at Super-baréges. The Géant will be placed at the summit on a later date when safety allows. A final decision will be made on 4th June. On the afternoon of 8th June a ceremony will take place at the forge at Sainte-Marie-de-Campan, in memory of Eugène Christophe.
Update 31 May 2013.
It has been confirmed that the Montée du Géant will not take place as planned. Instead the Giant will be taken from Gedre (Bagnères-de-Bigorre) to La Mongie on 8th June. While every effort is being made to enable the event to go all the way to the summit, safety is the top priority. The road has been ploughed and the walls of snow reach an impressive height (5-10m) and are very unstable. A small earthquake like last week could send then tumbling down. It is most probable that the Col du Tourmalet will not be open for another few weeks. All other Cols above 1800m remain closed.
The statue on the summit of Col du Tourmalet is removed each winter to Tarbes and is returned at the beginning of summer. It is a great event that marks the start of the busy summer tourist season. Last year 1200 cyclists accompanied Le Géant on the climb. This year the Montée du Géant (climb of the giant) will be combined with the Eugène Christophe centenary ceremonies. Exceptionally it will take place June 8 and not the first Saturday in June as other years. The giant will climb the western side, same as last year from Pierrefitte-Nestalas, in the track of Eugène Christophe 100 years before.
Each year a famous cyclist or other famous person with a connection with cycling is given the honour of being patron of the event. Last year was Fernando Escartín, one of the greatest cyclists to come from the Pyrenees. In 2013 it is film and TV actor, Clovis Cornillac. The day before, he will present his latest film 'La Grande Boucle', the story of an amateur cyclist who rides the route of Le Tour a day before the professionals. The film is due for general release on 12 June 2013.
Photo gallery from 2012 Montée du Géant.
Le Géant returns.
Not Octave Lapize!
I have seen it written and heard it said several times in the last year that Le Géant is a statue of and memorial to Octave Lapize. For the record it is not!
In the 1910 Tour de France, the first rider to cross the Col du Tourmalet was Octave Lapize. There is a plaque on the wall below Le Géant that commemorates that fact and this I think has created the confusion. The plaque for Octave Lapize is not about Le Géant. For the record Le Géant du Tourmalet was commissioned to commemorate the first passage of Le Tour de France on Col du Tourmalet as the beginning of a new era for the race "La Haute Montagne", it is "the homage of the Hautes-Pyrénées to the giants of the road", so not Octave Lapize but all the Giants of the Road. There is a separate plaque which gives the name of the Le Géant du Tourmalet.
This photo is of the unveiling of the Lapize plaque in 2010, the other plaque about Le Géant was there for the previous 10 years.