The Col de l'Aspin connects the valley of the Neste d'Aure with that of the Adour. In this way you reach the Route des Cols and Bagnères-de-Bigorre. It is also the most convenient route to reach the foot of the Tourmalet in Sainte-Marie-de-Campan from the east. For this reason, the Col de l'Aspin is often visited in the Tour de Fance.
The Col de l'Aspin is actually a runner and a lot easier than its reputation suggests. From Arreau, where the Neste du Louron joins the la Neste d'Aure, turn left into the D918 after about 200 metres. After two easy kilometres the climb becomes a bit harder, but this is only temporary, because up to Aspin-Aure the gradients remain very humane.
Keep in mind that five large hairpin bends allow the wind conditions to turn completely during the col. One time you have the wind in your back, the other time right at the head.
After the wide bend near Aspin-Aure, where, if you cycle with slower companions, you get a good overview of the situation behind you, it gets steeper. However, you continue to climb with a view of the beautiful surroundings and that is what makes the col so attractive.
Faster than expected you reach the top of the col where you have to watch out for overflowing cows and other animals. Beautiful, fairly easy col and therefore highly recommended for everyone.
Since 2005, the Col de l'Aspin will be/was climbed in the following big tour stages:
Tour de France 2018 : Lourdes - Laruns on 26/07/2018
Tour de France 2016 : L'Isle-Jourdain - Lac de Payolle on 08/07/2016
Tour de France 2015 : Pau - Cauterets on 15/07/2015
Tour de France 2010 : Bagnères-de-Luchon > Pau on 20/07/2010
Tour de France 2009 : Saint-Gaudens > Tarbes on 12/07/2009
Col de l'Aspin via Arreau popularity rank : 134
Col de l'Aspin via Arreau: 5 reviews
I ride this climb a couple of times a year and nearly always ride part of the way up with a rider from another country, because the place is such a magnet for riders from around the world. It gives a mixture of conditions, from wide open bends and exposed fields with spectacular views to peaceful shaded woodland. The col is always busy with friendly tourists happy to take your photo by the sign and the descent over towards the Tourmalet is stunning mature evergreen woodland. Not too long but with some steepish bits and a nice easy start. The roads are narrow, so it feels like the historic climb it is.
Did this climb the day the 2009 Tour de France went over prior to the Tourmalet climb and descent into Tarbes. Beautiful day and really good vibe from the fans gathering along the road. The climb is steady and offers great views as you go up. Not easy but one where you can challenge yourself by how fast you climb. Seracollin is a nice town to leave from to get there. Seeing the Tour there was fantastic and added a great deal to the experience except descending was limited to riding the brakes the whole way down. Seeing yourself later on TV as the leaders went by, priceless.