The famed Col du Tourmalet sits in the Hautes-Pyrénées in southwest France, near the Spanish border, and it is categorized as an HC climb – a Hors catégorie or simply “beyond categorization. It is a climb that has been featured in the Tour de France (TDF) around 85 times. It is the most used climb in the legendary race*. It has seen summit finishes and rides up its east and west sides. It’s safe to say the Col du Tourmalet is a ride on the list of all cyclists – from professionals to amateurs to simply cycling enthusiasts.
Speaking of cycling enthusiasts. Enjoy this story of Jason and Anna. A couple that decides to take on the legendary Col du Tourmalet.
“Alright, the climb doesn’t look that bad. It’s around 25 km (about 15 mi),” Anna excitedly said.
Jason looked up at her with a perplexed look. He wasn’t quite sure she realized what they were about to undertake.
“That is true, although, from the Sainte-Marie-de-Campan side (the eastern side), we got about 1,268 m (4,160 ft) of climbing ahead of us. Additionally, you do realize that we would be climbing at an average grade of 7.4%? And, we would reach a maximum grade of 12%? And, we would be at a total altitude of about 2,115 m (6,939 ft)?”
“Yes!” Anna quickly replied. By now, she could barely contain her enthusiasm for the adventure that waited…
Read more of this short story – A Tale of Cycling the Col du Tourmalet – in our Stay Active, #Md2 for Spring 2017 issue at malendyer.com.