Cycling Col du Tourmalet from Sainte Marie de Campan
Ride 17 kilometers gaining 1,260 meters at 7.4% average grade.
The ugly stepsister of Tourmalet West? We think not. Although admittedly less scenic and just a bit less challenging, this climb must be included, along with Tourmalet West, on any advernterous cyclist’s bucket list. This route is predominantly used by auto to reach the La Mongie ski resort. The route is predominantly used by cyclists to reach the col. There is as much cycling traffic on this col as you will see on any other, save perhaps Alpe d’Huez, Ventoux and Stelvio. Although there is slightly less distance and elevation gain to this side of the mountain, we very much enjoyed our climb and highly recommend it.
Begin the climb in Sainte Marie de Campan, Hautes - Pyrenees (pop. 1,388 2016)
Taken near the top in good weather . . .
. . . just below the top in June, 2011 - yes, June!
Nice cafe at the summit.
TOUR DE FRANCE HISTORY
With Alpe d’Huez, Col du Tourmalet is a tour and world legend. This is the highest pass in the Pyrenees and, as of 2018, has been included in the Tour de France a record 82 times between its first appearance in 1910 and 2018. From 1919 to 1939, Tourmalet was included in the TdF every year except 1922, and then only because the tour rerouted due to heavy snow.
For a more extensive Tourmalet TdF history, see our Tourmalet from Luz Saint Sauveur page.