Cycling Col du Tourmalet Luz Saint Sauveur

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Col du Tourmalet - Luz Saint Sauveur

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Basic data & ranking

Average grade: 7.4 %

Length: 19 km

Altitude start: 711 m

Altitude top: 2115 m

Ascent: 1404 m

Maximum: 10.2 %

Col du Tourmalet rankings

Difficulty ranking world: 401 (all)
Ranking France: 65 (all)
Ranking Pyrenees: 24(all)
Difficulty score: 148.69 what?

Col du Tourmalet ratings

(4.9)  Overall

(4.4)  Road

(4.2)  Traffic

(4.4)  Amenities

(5)  Surroundings

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The Col du Tourmalet is situated in Midi-Pyrenees. This climb belongs to the Pyrenees. Starting from Luz Saint Sauveur, the Col du Tourmalet ascent is 19 km long. Over this distance, you climb 1404 heightmeters. The average percentage thus is 7.4 %. The maximum slope is 10.2 %.

Look for other sides to climb the Col du Tourmalet.

Since 2005, the Col du Tourmalet will be/was climbed in the following big tour stages:
Tour de France 2016 :  Pau - Bagnères-de-Luchon on 09/07/2016
Tour de France 2012 :  Pau > Bagnères de Luchon on 18/07/2012
Tour de France 2010 :  Pau > Col du Tourmalet on 22/07/2010
Tour de France 2006 :  Tarbes - Val d'Aran - Pla-de-Beret on 12/07/2006

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Profile & route

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Location info

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Stories, information and comments from Col du Tourmalet climbers
Story by Neil Gaylor from Exeter, United Kingdom, submitted on 25/07/2017 16:26:20
I first dreamed of doing the Col du Tourmalet 3 years ago and I was inspired by the many stories on ClimbByBike''s page. I decided to do it from Luz-Saint-Sauveur where there is a free car park, a bike shop if you need it, and some good cafés.

At the age of 72, I''m still a reasonable climber but I found the ascent harder than expected as the average gradient doesn''t flatten out in many places before Barèges so I didn''t get a chance to ease off the pedals. With hot sunshine, 26 degrees C, and 90% humidity, I stopped at the first café in Barèges and ordered sparkling mineral water. The waitress brought me a 1.5-litre bottle when I only expected 500ml but I drank the lot - she knew my needs better than I did!

After Barèges the views open out and become more and more spectacular. I couldn''t help stopping to take photos, which are great to look back on as they really show where I had come from. As mentioned by many ClimbByBikers, the last few kilometres do get steep but I was lucky enough to be cheered on by a Luz-Saint-Sauveur photographer on the last hairpin bend, 300m from the summit. She took superb photos which I was able to purchase from her shop on the next day (one of them is now my profile photo).

A truly great experience.
My personal climb rating:
Story by Carl from St Peter Port, United Kingdom, submitted on 05/11/2014
I''ve done this side of the Tourmalet twice now. Once in low cloud and once in late day sun. The sun is definitely better for scenery and enjoyment. Even in summer, when it''s cloudy at the bottom, it will be cold with little visibility for at least the last 10k or so. The clouds can be so thick that you can barely see the signs with the climb information. Bring warm and bright clothes. If you go in the early evening, there is a lot less traffic.

There are excellent facilities and bike rental in Luz St Sauveur. The road is now mostly repaired from the 2013 floods.
My personal climb rating:
Story by Peter & Rob from London, United Kingdom, submitted on 22/10/2013
We had planned this ride for almost 2 years, but the wait was well worth it. Rob & Peter arrived at Campan mid-morning, a strange place with lots of life-sized puppets placed all over the town. The weather looked bleak with a chill wind, a real shock to the system after leaving our campsite on the Med. We set off onto the Tourmalet together, at a fair pace, as the incline was quite gentle. That was soon to change as we reached the first ‘tunnel’. Robert started to press on and was soon out of sight. Up through the pines and past the mountain streams gave a nice feeling. The writing on the roads gave you the feeling that you were part of the history and battles that had occurred on this epic climb. Robert endured a rough period through La Mongie, but got it back together soon after and powered on towards the summit. Peter, meanwhile, was 1km behind – the grueling final km left to go. As he reached the last hairpin, Robert accompanied him to the summit. The feeling of reaching the summit was quite emotional. We were glad to be part of a band of cyclists who had made such a climb. A quick coffee, then eyeballs out for the descent in fog and drizzle (78 kph). No view from the top as the weather closed. Brilliant ride.
My personal climb rating:
Story by chris bessant from clavering, United Kingdom, submitted on 27/07/2013
As a novice cyclist, I was invited to do some climbs in the Pyrenees by my son and a friend, to celebrate my 50th.....Yesterday we climbed the Tourmalet from the St Marie de Campan side. Beautiful day, wonderful climb, perhaps I`ll go back less than 103kg next time..
My personal climb rating:
Story by Scott Shannon from Cazenovia, United States, submitted on 25/04/2013
I rode the Tourmalet in October of 2012 on a holiday extension from business in Barcelona. It was one of the last fall days warm enough to ride shorts and short sleeves, and I started in the morning chill on my own from Saint Savin. Needless to say, I was plenty warm by the time I reached Bareges, and even though the temperature at the summit had dropped to a breezy 60F or so, I was still hot and happy. I only saw two other riders on the mountain that morning, but the echos of TDF''s past were evident every pedal turn in the miles of painted messages on the tarmac! It was truly an epic ride, and I can''t wait to return next summer!
My personal climb rating:
Story by Brian Grindall from Uckfield, United Kingdom, submitted on 05/10/2012
I climbed the Tourmalet from St.Marie de Campan on Tuesday,September 4,2012 on a tourer carrying 35 lbs of camping gear. It was a cool,clear morning and I got on the climb at about 0900. The first few km to Gripp were ok - a good warm up - and then it started. I got onto the granny ring,found my rhythm and got into my box. Pine forest went on and on and I tapped out a steady tempo until La Mongie came into view - which was almost deserted - and this is where the climb got serious. The last 4 km were challenging - especially the inside of hairpins where you really have to work hard. The cloud cleared and the sun came out as I reached the summit,had my photo taken,put my cape and helmet on and began the descent to Argeles Gazost which,after the ski station car park is an absolute screamer ; watch out for the one-way street going down into Barreges. The whole day was 34 miles and took me about 4 hours - not too bad for a 65 year old weighing well over 200 lbs !
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Story by robert mau from san francisco, United States, submitted on 09/07/2012
Hi my friend and I are trying to ride the col du tourmalet. We will be traveling from Marseille by train. Can anyone provide some traveling information and bike rental information for the area. Much predicated. Robert
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Story by morgan from Pontypool, United Kingdom, submitted on 04/07/2012
Followed part of the Tour 2011 in June 2012,and decided to give then Tourmalet a run, by car, I gave up two wheels many decades ago, I doubt I could have done this climb even then when relatively fit.

In a car, which only made the whole length in bottom gear anyway, I was both delighted with the wonderful views, as well as feeling great admiration for the complete idiots who ride this trip on two wheels, (actually I love the fact there are such idiots in the world), amongst them as we climbed higher and higher, were at least ten or more who were obviously my own age, that is 70 plus.

I just wish I could be as daft as them.

My wife and I are watching the 2012, and can''t wait for stage 16 so we can live it over, if only vicariously, this year.

Mrs has already stated she wants a return trip next year, possibly if the Tourmalet is included, we will be there to wave the wheelers on their way up, or down according to which side we choose, both of possible.

Bon chance and fair weather to all in stage 16, there will two pairs of eyes going with you all the way, via the TV
My personal climb rating:
Story by Alum3 from London, United Kingdom, submitted on 19/06/2012
Did both sides back to back with a quick ice cream and water stop in Luz in June 2012. They where gritting the road on the way up from Saint Marie de Campan probably to get ready for the TDF, just hoping they clear the loose gravel before the tour comes through.

The descent down to Luz is very very quick. Has to be said not as hard as expected, the perfect weather probably helped, 28C and blue skies and running 34-25 helps as well. What makes this climb special is that you''re cycling in the foot steps of legends, there is even a detour on the way up from Luz sign posted "la Voie Laurent Fignon" in honour of the two times tour winner who passed away in 2010 at far to young an age. The voie fignon is the old route to the summit and rejoins the new road half way up.

Would recommend that anyone doing this does both sides, so you can appreciate the differances between the two climbs.
My personal climb rating:
Story by Ken Hardacre from Milton Keynes, United Kingdom, submitted on 17/06/2011
I am not a good strong rider, and without the help and encouragement of Andy Parkhurst a good friend of mine I could not write this. During a 3 week stay in France to cover the E''tape du Tour and the TdF itself. I was given the opportunity to ride the Tourmalet which was started on the flat road from the Fuel station near the bridge over the river. I had to do it in 3 sections but I finally managed the peak. Why 3 try''s at it? I have Cancer and Diabetes, but I did not ride alone as I took with me the memory of Ian Kennedy who sadly died of Cancer December 2009. I had many stops and starts, and was helped by many riders from all countries with good words and friendship. I also wear a Yellow wrist band, given to me by Lance at the 2009 Giro. I have a lot to live up to. Livestrong. Ken
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