Our Grand Cols week is for those that are inspired to conquer the greatest cols in the French Pyrénées. Ride the most famous peaks and add your legend to the Tourmalet, Aubisque, Aspin, Hautacam, Luz Ardiden and many more.
With full support from The Col Collective, ride with and learn from Mike Cotty and the team on the bike each day and recover and relax après velo back at our period guest house.
This is our signature week and is all about escaping to the biggest peaks, helping you become a more accomplished mountain rider and creating memories with The Col Collective that will live with you forever.
WHO’S IT FOR?
This week is designed for intermediate level riders, guiding you around the greatest climbs made famous by the Tour de France. We’re blessed with having so many options from the door to stretch your limits and keep you hungry for more. If you’ve ridden in the mountains before and are comfortable riding 4-5 hours per day then this is the week for you. We won’t be racing up any climbs so you can set your own pace and we’ll be there to support you all the way to the summit. Typically days consist of 2 climbs, are around 100km in length with between 2,000m to 2,500m of ascending, giving yourself time to challenge yourself but (most importantly) enjoy this beautiful region.
Our Grand Cols week is limited to just 8 riders to keep the group small and personal, so we’ll be able to really support you in true Col Collective style all the way to the summit (and down)!
Sat 24th - Fri 30th July 2021 (6 nights) - Sold Out. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for reserve availability.
Wed 18th - Tue 24th August (6 nights) - Limited Availibility.
€2,895 per person - based on twin share. Includes our ‘all inclusive’ meal package.
€495 - single supplement. As we have limited rooms in our guest house please contact us in advance to confirm availability.
A relaxing environment where we take care of you from start to finish:
Tasty and nutritious food, locally sourced and lovingly prepared to satisfy your palate and hunger:
On the bike fully supported experience:
A thorough recovery to keep you going longer and stronger:
Keeping it simple for you:
What makes The Col Collective Cycling Tours experience unique?
More than just a cycling tour, an authentic experience
More than just a riding event, the experience of riding like a pro without the stress
More than just a moment, a lifetime experience to remember forever
What’s new in 2021?
THE WEEK IN BRIEF > 10 Cols / 535km / 11,000m elevation
Day 1 - Collection from Toulouse airport at midday, bike build and light spin to loosen the legs and get ready for the week
Day 2 - Col du Soulor and Col d’Aubisque including Cirque du Litor > 105km / 2,000m elevation
Day 3 - Hourquette d’Ancizan and Col d’Aspin from Campan > 110km 2,000m elevation
Day 4 - Luz Ardiden and Hautacam > 110km / 2,500m elevation
Day 5 - Transfer to Bagnères de Luchon: Peyresourde, Azet & Aspin > 110km / 2,500m elevation
Day 6 - Col du Tourmalet from Luz Saint Sauveur > 100km / 2,000m elevation
Day 7 - Final big breakfast, high fives, bike packing and transfer back to Toulouse airport for 12pm noon drop off
Learn more about some of the climbs you’ll conquer throughout the week here.
Arriving in Toulouse we’ll collect you and your bike at midday. Snacks and light refreshments will be available on arrival at The Col Collective HQ where we’ll have time to get the bikes built and prepped before a gentle leg loosener ride (the Tourmalet will have to wait another day!). Relaxing by the pool or catching up on recovery after travelling is also an option. Today is an easy day to get you ready for the week ahead. Over dinner Mike will chat you through the schedule for the coming days and no doubt a few tall tales will be told along the way.
The Cirque du Litor is one of the most picturesque roads in the world, joining the famous Col d’Aubisque and beautiful Col du Soulor along what appears to be no more than a craggy cliff edge. Steeped in Tour de France history, it first featured in the 1910 Tour during an unfathomable 326km stage from Bagnères de Luchon to the Atlantic coast. A gentle start will allow the legs to come around after yesterday’s travelling as we head into the hills. From the north the Soulor is a hidden gem that always leaves us in awe and serenity as we start to ascend deep into the mountains. Ride in awe at the Cirque du Litor before taking a breather for coffee and Gâteau Basque at the summit of the Aubisque. Now awaits the first big descent of the week and what an absolute stunner it is.
Although Hourquette d’Ancizan may be a less familiar ascent it’s one that caught me by surprise with its unbelievable serenity the first time I rode it. Memories of that day always put me in a good place so I wanted to share that same experience with you all. We’ll start the day by rolling out through the Campan valley where we’ll tackle the first 6,5km of the Col d’Aspin. An unassuming right hand turn takes us away from the main road and into a world of cycling magnificence as the road meanders for 8km to its 1,564m high summit. Breath deep, the mountain air is so pure it’s invigorating. We’ll pick up the Aspin once again from where we left it to ride its last 5km to the 1,489m summit, where the road opens up and you’re gifted with sensational views of the Pic du Midi de Bigorre (2,877m) and the Louron and Aure valleys.
Climbing up to 1,715m at an average gradient just shy of 8% Luz Ardiden has been the scene of much drama over the years as the pros battle their way to the ski station summit. With a prestigious list of winners including Delgado, Indurain, Virenque, Jalabert, Armstrong and more, its close proximity to Spain means it’s one of the rare climbs that has featured in the Vuelta a España as well as the Tour de France. In fact, it was in the 2003 Tour when Armstrong had a falling out with a spectator’s musette, bringing him to the ground on the early slopes, leading to a frantic chase and eventual stage win…..fairytale stuff indeed. Known as the Alpe d’Huez of the Pyrenees for its similar stats in terms of length and elevation gain (OK, LA has 30 bends as opposed to ADH’s 21 but who’s counting?) it’s with 4km to go when the summit comes into view and the switchbacks start to flow. This is what we’ve come for! Take a deep breath and let the wonders of Luz Ardiden soothe your soul.
After some well deserved refreshments and a blast back down the Gorge de Luz we’re soon onto the early slopes of Hautacam, with its fluctuating gradient and cheeky pitches, this is a climb that needs careful pacing to get the most from it, allowing you to enjoy the big valley views. We’ll meet at the top for a Col Collective team selfie before allowing gravity to be our best friend on a descent of pure exhilaration straight back to our HQ!
A short transfer in The Col Collective team cars to the spa town of Bagnères de Luchon starts the day where a trio of cols await. Starting with the classic Col de Peyresourde, a climb that needs little introduction with its long and illustrious history with the Tour de France, taking us from the Haute-Garonne back to the Hautes-Pyrénées. After a well deserved crêpe stop at the summit we’ll turn our attention towards the Col de Val Louron Azet, with switchbacks aplenty up to its 1,580m summit and a 360 degree view of the 3,000m high peaks of the Pyrénées to savour, it’s one of my favourite spots in the whole region and one that gives you a real perspective of your mountain journey. Finishing off with the eastern side of the Aspin from the pretty village of Arreau this is going to be a big and beautiful day in the saddle and a real col conquering adventure from Luchon back to base.
The final big one and to be honest there’s no other way to finish the week than with the legendary Col du Tourmalet from Luz Saint Sauveur. At 19km in length the early slopes can often be a harder battle mentally than physically until mid distance when we’ll hook a right and join the Voie Laurent Fignon (old Tourmalet road) that’s reserved as a gem for cyclists with its faded road markings from past Tour de France battles and an array of wildlife both great and small to keep us company. Keep the faith (and your composure), soak up the Tourmalet, bask in its history, be proud of yourself for a magical week in the mountains as the Pic du Midi comes into view: it’s time for one last victory salute. Vive le Tourmalet!
Following a well earned mountain breakfast bonanza it’s time to pack and prepare for a transfer back to Toulouse airport for a midday drop off.
This is a general itinerary to give you a good idea of what to expect. We may make some adjustments if we think we can further improve the week or if we need to dodge Mother Nature at any time. There’ll be options throughout the week to make days longer by adding a climb or two, or shorter (with transfers to or from climbs) depending on how you’re feeling so rest assured we’re here to look after you.
Located in the heart of the Hautes Pyrénées with views towards the 2,877m Pic du Midi de Bigorre, The Col Collective guest house is a perfect base for cyclists looking to tackle the most prestigious Hors Catégorie climbs, gentle rolling roads or even flatter farmlands that give this area so much charm and character.
We have 5 beautifully appointed en-suite guest bedrooms which can hold a total of 12 people. All of our rooms are named after local peaks or cols and each bring their own unique feel of the Hautes Pyrénées to life.
4 rooms are located in the Grange and 1 room is located in the Maison de Maître. All are warmly appointed and allow for peaceful relaxation and recovery after a great day of cycling. Each room is private and spacious and offers flexible accommodation with the choice of either two single beds or one super king size bed. Complimentary services available in each room include:
Après vélo we welcome you to enjoy our pool, also known as ’the recovery zone’, cultivate your tan lines in our generously sized courtyard or take a spin into town for a coffee and culture.
Please complete the below booking request form so that we can start working with you to confirm your Col Collective cycling adventure. We’ll give you a call or send you an email with more details, also prior to booking we can answer any questions that you may have. Once you’re happy and have confirmed the booking we ask for a 30% deposit of the full price of the tour at this time, with the remaining balance paid in full 12 weeks before the tour. Changes and cancellations are detailed in our terms and conditions.
Thank you for your interest. We look forward to welcoming you to our mountains!
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