Col de Marie-Blanque - Bielle Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

2.9
FIETS
6.9 mi
DISTANCE
1,897 ft
GAINED
5.1 %
AVG. GRADE

FULL CLIMB STATS
TOUR DETAILS & STATS
2021 Tour de France

INTRO

This 6.9 mile bike climb is located in Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France. The average gradient is 5.1% and there is a total elevation gain of 1,897 ft, finishing at 3,311 ft.

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Before heading out on any cycling adventure check out our Things to Bring on a Cycling Trip and use our interactive check list to ensure you don't forget anything.
For those looking to stay in the area we would recommend the Pyrenees Cycling Lodge. Located in the beautiful medieval village of Saint Savin and hosted by Mark & Niamh, the Lodge is run by cyclists for cyclists. It is a great location for any cycling adventure in the Pyrenees with several renowned climbs within 100km of the property and 6 Tour de France climbs within 15km. Visit their website or contact them directly at pyreneescyclinglodge@gmail.com .

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CLIMB SUMMARY

Cycling Col de Marie Blanque from Bielle

Ride 11.1 kilometers gaining 578 meters at 5.1% average grade.

This beautiful col is just a stone's throw away from the mighty Col d’Aubisque in the northwestern Pyrenees foothills.  Legend has it that the col’s name dates back to the mid eighteenth century and Marie Asserquet, a renowned pale (white/blanque) skinned aurostère (an author and performer of improvised chants memorializing the dead).  Friebe and Goding, Mountain Higher p. 46.  

The eastern approach to the col from Beille (population 528) is the easiest by far at 11.1 kilometers/5.1% versus from Escot at 9.2 kilometers/7.7%.

Kilometer markers lead us up the climb.

The col first appeared in the Tour de France in 1978 when it dashed the repeat hopes of 1977 Tour champion Bernard Thevent:

“Tour de France: the race has passed 14 times. If the Pyrenees were the start of high altitude racing this one is a relative newcomer to the race with its first inclusion in 1978 and it wasn’t used again until 1986. Perhaps this was because it helped ruin Bernard Thévenet’s chances. The Frenchman had won the Tour in 1977 and was back the next year but ground to halt on this climb and needed a back wheel with a 24 sprocket.”  inrng.com

Year

Stage

Category

Start

Finish

Leader at the summit

2010

17

1

Pau

Col du Tourmalet

 Juan Antonio Flecha (ESP)

2007

16

1

Orthez

GouretteCol d'Aubisque

 Mauricio Soler (COL)

2006

10

1

Cambo-les-Bains

Pau

 Cyril Dessel (FRA)

2005

16

1

Mourenx

Pau

 Jörg Ludewig (DEU)

2000

10

1

Dax

Hautacam

 Javier Otxoa (ESP)

1996

17

2

Argelès-Gazost

Pamplona

 Neil Stephens (AUS)

1995

16

2

Tarbes

Pau

Stage neutralised

1992

2

1

San Sebastián

Pau

 Richard Virenque (FRA)

1990

17

1

Lourdes

Pau

 Dominique Arnaud (FRA)

1989

9

1

Pau

Cauterets

 Robert Forest (FRA)

1987

14

1

Pau

Luz-Ardiden

 Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle (FRA)

1987

13

1

Bayonne

Pau

 Luis Herrera (COL)

1986

12

1

Bayonne

Pau

 Pedro Delgado (ESP)

1978

10

2

Biarritz

Pau

 Michel Pollentier (BEL)

Marie Blanque beat down Bradley Wiggins on Stage 17 of the 2010 Tour de France leading to Wiggins stating ““This is just the mountain I don’t cope with very easily and it seems to defy analysis.”  Wiggins lost 23 minutes on Andy Schleck that day, finishing 88th.