Cycle the Tourmalet Blitz Picture 1
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Best Time of Year: April - October
Cycle the Tourmalet Blitz
Get ready for an incredible Cycling Adventure. This ride is a must for anyone who follows the Tour de France, as it incredibly, within 3 days, visits some of the true highlights from the World Famous Grand Tour. Starting from Pau, we shall ride in a circuit, taking us into the very highest, and most beautiful parts of the Pyrenees! Day 2 is the big one, where we scale the dizzy heights of the Tourmalet itself, but don't think that day 1 & day 3 are going to be easy!
Arriving into Pau on day 1, we shall get ourselves together, and prepare our bikes. Our hotel is in Pau, where we shall head out for a spot of dinner, and a pre-ride briefing. Then it's out towards the mountains, as we head across the plains beneath the towering Pyrenees. After Tarbes, we shall be heading into the valleys, before reaching the Mountains proper. After riding through the town of Bagneres de Bigorre, we shall be surrounded by the high peaks, and our challenge really begins. At this point we climb the Col D'Aspin to really get the party started! Next morning starts with a bang, as we head up directly towards the Col du Tourmalet - no warm ups, it's straight into it. Provided we're all in good spirits, we shall make a slight detour up the valley after the mighty Tourmalet to the pretty village of Gavarnie, before returning to our overnight. The last day dawns, and the test really is on in earnest, as we head for the twin cols of Soulor and finally the beautiful Aubisque. Then it's no more than a speedy descent and power on down the final valley and back to Pau. Some will head straight for home on a late flight, whilst others may opt for one last night to celebrate an incredible acheivement - the ride of our lives?
Day 1 Arrival and Bike Prep..
Arrive into Pau - transfers will be available subject to arrival time (transfers available later in the day. Time to prep. bikes at the hotel. Then there will be time for a pre-ride briefing with your leader and support driver, before heading out for dinner.
Day 2 Pau to Col D'Aspin, approx. 105km
It's a bright start from Pau as we start across the flatter terrain towards the Pyrenees. Enjoy the easier riding, as it won't last! The real climb comes as a sting in the tail - and not until we pass Bagneres de Bigorre, does the real business of climbing begin. Here we start the ascent of the Col D'Aspin. From here we shall descend back to the valley floor for our overnight.
Day 3 Col Da'Aspin > Argeles Gazost via Col du Tourmalet, apx 92km
So this is the big one! Let's hope you've saved something from yesterdays initial trial. We start stright out of the blocks - up and into the climb. Climbing to almost 7000 feet - it's tough work - and a real insight into the professional riders and just how incredible they are. Once over the Col du Tourmalet itself, we descend to Luz St. Sauveur, and a quick spin down the valley brings us to lunch in Gavarnie. Then back up the Valley to a well earned overnight stop!
The final day of riding dawns, and the mighty Soulors and Aubisque await. The Tourmalet may be done - but there is still excitement and history aplenty for us to enjoy. The Aubisque is noted as one of the most beautiful Cols, and so it is one to savour! After the Aubisque we have a sharp descent to the valley and the ride culminates with a fast and steady descent down to Pau once again - where we shall say our goodbyes, or celebrate our amazing acheivements of the last 3 days of riding - the days where we got to grips with the Cols of the Tour!
3 nights (optional 4th night) - in 2-3 star accommodation. Our hotels are selected to be in the correct locations - with evening meals close at hand. We typically select clean, simple but good quality hotels with plenty of character.
What is a Level 4.0 Cycling Challenge Like?
You are now moving into the realms of serious cycling challenges. Cycling days will be up to 10 hours, or slightly less if the event stretches over several days. You should have very good cycling fitness, with good leg strength, and you should be used to putting in regular training rides most weekends - with some good long rides. Most folks will consider these rides very long, and very challenging. Expect a mixture of length and terrain (think hilly!).
How Fit Do I need to be to join a Level 4.0 ‘Bike Ride’?
To participate in these events you need to be in good cycling fitness. You probably are capable of riding at high speeds for 2 to 2.5 hours, around 23 - 25 km/hr. And you should be used to riding long distances and over hilly terrain. If you do not cycle regularly you must be of very high fitness level - and should think about converting as soon as possible and getting on to a bike - you will need to develop your specific strength and cycling technique. Do not come on these challenges without having spent plenty of time in the saddle. Training rides should be up to 60 or 70 miles, and you should have done a few like this. You should be getting out on your bike most weekends in the run up to your event.
Visas / Redtape
No Visas required. But you need to have Personal Insurance, and EHIC European Health Insurance Card.
Included In Trip
Transfers, Support Vehicle, Accommodation, Team Back up Tool Kit, Spares Kit, First Aider & First Aid Provision.
Excluded From Trip
Lunches, Dinners & International Flights.
Road Bike / Hybrid Bike (with puncture resistant tyres) - please call us for guidance on type of bike on a trip by trip basis
2 X Water Bottles (bladder system/cycle water bottles)
Cycling Gloves, Bike Lock, Neck Scarf, Inner Tubes*, Multi-Tool (with allen keys)*
Day Bag for support vehicle, Small Holdall (for overnight gear)
Bike Lights (front and rear, head torch can be worn)
Saddle Bag (recommended - can be used to carry asterisk* items)
Puncture Repair Kit*, Spare parts for your bike (specialist parts and spokes), Pump (suitable for your valve type)
Personal Medikit Suncream, Plasters, Vaseline, Painkillers, Sunbloc, Insect Repellant
Warm Clothing Medium Weight Softshell, Long sleeve Jersey / insulating layer Lightweight Gloves.
Cycle / Overnight Clothing
Lycra Cycling Shorts, Cotton Shorts, Long Cycling Trousers (Tights/Tracksuit Bottoms)
Cotton T-Shirts for evening
Short Sleeve Cycling T-Shirts (wicking type material) or Cycle Top with rear pockets
Cycling Shoes (approach shoes suitable), Sandals / Spare Shoes for after ride
Casual Evening Wear
1 Outer Fully Waterproof Jacket (gore-tex, e-vent) - comfortable to cycle in
Travel Documents, EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) Credit Cards, Cash, Local Currency, Mobile Phone, Sunglasses
Snacks for Cycling Days (dried fruits, nuts, flapjacks, cereal bars etc)
Travel insurance (not included), Passport
Make sure you do not ‘over pack’ - bring only what is essential for the trip
A final kit list will be provided in your ‘Final Joining Instructions’ pre-departure
Whilst one might think riding a bike is simple, there is much to consider, and there are many areas where it can go wrong. You will receive thorough daily safety briefings, and your trip joining instructions will contain important information. Please read this thoroughly, and digest briefings carefully. It is our utmost priority that you enjoy this ride to the max. and that you come home safe and sound.
As we are in the High Pyrenees, you should prepare (even in mid summer) for all eventualities - from searing heat, to freezing, and from scorching sunshine to rain and everything in between. Obviously we hope for perfect blue skies, and in the middle of summer we normally expect hot weather and clear skies, but it is far from guaranteed.
Notes on Cycling Events
This is our standard range of Cycling Challenges in the UK, Europe and further afield. However, we offer completely tailormade itineraries to your specification. Call us to discuss!
Adventure Cafe Booking Terms and Conditions
By booking an event with Adventure Cafe, you agree to these standard terms of booking. Please ensure that you read the appropriate document for your type of event carefully.
Adventure Cafe Terms & Conditions
- For all types of event