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Your 9 day itinerary - find out what's happening each day as you conquer the Pyrenees from Atlantic coast to Mediterranean coast.
On arrival we’ll transfer to Hendaye, on the Atlantic Coast, where we’ll spend some time preparing for tomorrow’s ride.
Drive approx 2.5 hours
The big day. Our ride starts on the seafront as we cycle along the Basque Coast, before saying goodbye to the Atlantic and heading inland. It’s not long before we are among the foothills of the Pyrenees. We pass through small towns en route to our most demanding climb of the day – the Col d’Osquich (500m). This is great practice for the more challenging climbs to come. We finish in the old town of Oloron-Sainte-Marie.
Cycle approx 138 km (86 miles)
Today we’re in real Tour de France country. Our route takes us to the Col de Marie Blanque (1,035m), a Tour staple since 1978, and winds steeply up to its summit. Next is the Col d’Aubisque (1,709m), a true Tour legend, providing wonderful views of the surrounding peaks. Our descent is steep initially, but levels out as we reach the Col du Soulor (1,474m). Then it’s downhill all the way to the idyllic town of Argelès-Gazost.
Cycle approx 89km (55 miles)
Today is the most demanding of them all – three infamous Tour climbs. First is the Col du Tourmalet (2,115m). It provides unsurpassed views – but our real reward is getting to the top of a climb which has inspired cyclists for generations. Next is Col d’Aspin (1,489m). Then it’s not far along the valley to Avanjan and our last climb of the day. The Col de Peyresourde (1,569m) is yet another illustrious climb, treating us to spectacular panoramic views.
Cycle approx 113km (70 miles)
Today’s route is far less strenuous than yesterday’s epic ride. We start with a smooth 20km downhill before our first climb, the Col des Ares (797m). Next it’s on to the Col de Portet d’Aspet (1,069m), another Tour legend. Our descent takes in scenic villages all the way down to Saint-Girons.
Cycle approx 82km (51 miles)
The day begins with a picturesque ride along the Gorges de Ribaouto. We then start the Col d’Agnes (1,570m) before climbing the Col de Port (1,249m) which is demandingly long, though never excessively steep. The descent takes us almost all the way to Tarascon-sur-Ariège before we arrive in Ax-les-Thermes.
Cycle approx 117km (73 miles)
Our final day of cycling is a long one. We immediately start the ascent of the Port de Pailhères (2,001m) – our second-highest col – before crossing the minor Col de Moulis (1,099m) and Col de Garavel (1,256m). The Col de Jau (1,506m) is our final climb. With the Pyrenees behind us and the Mediterranean before us, the views are breathtaking. It’s then on to our finishing point on the beach at Argelès-sur- Mer. That’s it, we’ve done it – it’s time to enjoy a well-earned rest or celebrate, if you have the energy.
Cycle approx 148km (92 miles)
Today you’re free to relax on the beach or explore the town. In the evening we’ll gather together to celebrate with a slap-up dinner.
Transfer to Toulouse, fly home and let all that we’ve achieved sink in.
Join Team Macmillan for our Pyrenees Challenge
Call 020 7840 7875
Write to Cycling, Macmillan Cancer Support, 89 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7UQ
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