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Cyclist accommodation and bike rental between Col du Tourmalet and Col d'Aubisque.
Coast to Coast Tour:
Is Col du Tourmalet open?
Monday 5th May 2014.
Is Cirque du Litor open?
Monday 5th May 2014.
Both should reopen in May 2014.
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I did some work on my bike today and was just going for a ride down the Voie Verte to test it out. At Argeles I met Andrew from Scotland who was looking for directions to Hautacam, I said I go with him and show him the start. Really it would have been rude not to go the whole way. This is my 17th ride up Hautacam so for this year.
Pla d’Adet will be the finish climb for stage 17 of the 2014 Tour de France on Wednesday 23rd July. It is a ski station in Vallée d’Aure near the town of Saint-Lary in Hautes Pyrénées. This year will be the 10th time Le Tour has ascended this climb and it will be 40 years since the first in 1974. That first stage was won by Raymond Poulidor, there is a testimonial plaque to his victory on the climb. The last visit in 2005 was won by George Hincappi and the one before in 2001 by Lance Armstrong or not I can’t remember anymore. My head hurts with all this doping shite.
Anyway it’s a climb I had not done before and as it’s in the Tour I decided to give it a go. The route is just less than 200km from Saint-Savin and back. I added on a few km’s as the result of road diversions for construction work near Arreau.
As Le Tour will be doing Hautacam this year and I see it every time I look out the window, I've decided to give it lots of attention. My mad plan is to ride Hautacam 100 times this year.
At the end of the second week I have 4 rides so far this month, including 3 times on Saturday 15th.
The ski station is closed from 16th March. I'll need to up it a bit to catch up.
If descending Col du Soulor, 2.8km from the summit, direction Arrens. The road is in a very dangerous condition. The road is slipping away, it's very common here particularly in winter. I'm sure it will be repaired soon, I'll update this when it is.
The day to do it was Saturday 22nd February 2014. I spent the whole week leading up to it checking the weather forecast. It looked good, not very warm but dry and sunny. My aim was to ride at 25kph and to make 3 stops of 15 minutes each for coffee and cake.
There is still lots of snow on the mountains (happy skiers). Down in the valley it feels like spring, with temps up to 17c and flowers in the garden. The next 3 weeks are the busiest of the ski season, after that the roads will be deserted for several months before the summer season starts. Quiet roads and warm spring weather, perfect! The long term weather forecast suggests that the worst of winter is over with temperatures over the next 2 weeks set to go into the 20's. Fingers crossed, Col du Tourmalet could be open in 10 or 11 weeks time.
Here are a few photos from my ride up Hautacam today. Taken with the phone so not great quality. There was fresh snow last night making the road was dodgy in places. It was an uneventful ride in beautiful sunshine.
Marcus Jackson-Baker is a long distance cyclist from London, England. In September 2013 he rode Super Randonnée Pyrénées, a 616 km ride through France and Spain with 15000 metres of climbing in 59 hours. This is his account of the ride.
There’s also some Strava data here: