Cycling Col de l'Aubisque Laruns

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Col de l'Aubisque - Laruns

Basic data & ranking

Average grade: 7.2 %

Length: 16.6 km

Altitude start: 519 m

Altitude top: 1709 m

Ascent: 1190 m

Maximum: 10 %

Col de l'Aubisque rankings

Difficulty ranking world: 820 (all)
Ranking France: 155 (all)
Ranking Pyrenees: 53(all)
Difficulty score: 123.39 what?

Col de l'Aubisque ratings

(4.8)  Overall

(3.8)  Road

(4.2)  Traffic

(4.2)  Amenities

(5)  Surroundings

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Together with the Tourmalet and the Galibier, the Aubisque is one of the great legendary climbs of the Tour de France. Yet, the climb is easier than e.g. the Col de la Pierre Saint-Martin. The east side is climbed after the Col de Soulor.

But we're talking about the west side here, which starts from Laruns, just like the Col de Portalet. Instead of following the D934 towards Spain however, we take the D918 to the left just outside Laruns, crossing the bridge. While taking a couple of wide hairpins, we can see Laruns slowly disappear in our back. After 4 easy kilometers, we reach Eaux-Bonnes.

Just after Eaux-Bonnes, the real work starts, with even a 13% piece while riding towards the Cascade de Valentin, on the left side of the V-valley. Until you reach the Ski-station of Gourette, the climb never really gives you time to breath, with percentages in the neighbourhood of 10%. In Gourette, the road finally decides to go to the direction of the col to your left. Those last 5 kilometers are difficult but do-able. Once on the top, you can enjoy the new sight and review what you just conquered.

The Col de l'Aubisque is situated in Midi-Pyrenees. This climb belongs to the Pyrenees. Starting from Laruns, the Col de l'Aubisque ascent is 16.6 km long. Over this distance, you climb 1190 heightmeters. The average percentage thus is 7.2 %. The maximum slope is 10 %.

Look for other sides to climb the Col de l'Aubisque.

Since 2005, the Col de l'Aubisque will be/was climbed in the following big tour stages:
Vuelta España 2016 :  Bilbao > Urdax-Dantxarinea on 02/09/2016
Tour de France 2012 :  Pau > Bagnères de Luchon on 18/07/2012
Tour de France 2011 :  Pau > Lourdes on 15/07/2011
Tour de France 2007 :  Orthez > Gourette - Col d'Aubisque on 25/07/2007

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Stories, information and comments from Col de l'Aubisque climbers
Story by Tarjei T from , Norway, submitted on 06/06/2016
Mid-May I had originally planned to climb Aubisque from the east, but decided to climb from the west as the sun came out on an otherwise rainy day just as I passed through Laruns. I am very glad I did as the east side turned out to be closed this early in the season.

The climb is one of the giants of TdF, and admittedly quite long, but never so steep that you want to throw in the towel (much easier than for instance Tourmalet or Ventoux). I rode until Eaux Bonnes on the big chainring without any trouble. Thereafter, I stayed on the small ring, but never needed my lightest gear (34-28).

Being this early in the season, the surface after Gourette had not been cleaned and was littered with sharp pebbles which stuck to the tyre. Luckily, I suffered no punctures, but bring plenty of spare tubes if you go in May.

The first and last third of the climb is very beautiful; firstly with wonderful views to the valley below, then the middle part through a quite narrow valley until the the landscape opens up and you get the amazing views to the snow-clad peaks above. Reaching the top with the super-sized bikes brings out the emotions and makes you feel part of cycling history. A must for all cycling enthusiasts!
My personal climb rating:
Story by adrian megahey from galway, ireland, Ireland, submitted on 24/07/2012
Climbed the Aubisque from Laruns this year (2012) on the day before the TDF, stage 16. There were 3 of us and I was on my mtb with road tyres - bought pair Vittoria Randonneurs in Decathlon as didn''t want to go up on knobblies! This was my 1st taste of a high Col and it exceeeded all expectations. I was riding the "granny ring" for much of the way: 26-34 and just twiddled all the way up. My mates were on road bikes, so they were long gone, the last time I saw them was in Eaux-Bonnes. Kept the heart rate at an average of 150 and didn''t go into red zone-at 48yrs, thought this was prudent. Temp was about 30c so once I came out of the shade it felt v hot as there was no wind. Completed the climb in about 2 hrs. The 10% section near the two short tunnels was hard and you keep counting down the 1km signs to keep going but coming through Gourette is good, even though the road still goes up it feels like a break. Final 4k with the hairpins is a push but there was plenty of encouragement from roadside fans already camped for the next day''s race:) Great to sit at top with a cold drink and take in the fantastic views and all the other riders coming through. 20 mins back down and managed 75k/hr on the mtb - it was like being a kid again!
My personal climb rating:
Story by Peter Oates from Johannesburg, South Africa, submitted on 18/06/2007
Climbed the Aubisque as part of the Raid Pyrennees. The climb started in cool cloudy conditions in Laruns but it did not take long to break through the cloud cover and experience the rest of the climb in exceptionally hot weather - some 35c with little wind and not much protection from the sun, particularly when switching to the northern side about 1 - 2km short of Gourette. Gradient was fair but being mid June there wasnt much activity in Gourette. The section from Gourette to the top seemed to take forever particularly the hairpin just below the top when you could almost see those that had already made it to the top. The first real climb of the Raid (from Hendaye to Cerbere). My advice would be to make sure that you have properly hydrated before and during the climb as the chances of cramping, as happened to some or our group are very high. The view from the top was worth every pedal stroke. Tormalet next on the list!

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