The Col Collective

Tourmalet Celebration

Tour Overview

The Col du Tourmalet is amongst the oldest and most prestigious climbs in Tour de France history, and what better way to start the season than by escorting the iconic Octave Lapize statue back from his winter hibernation in the valley up to the 2,115m high summit of the Tourmalet, where it’ll then keep a watchful eye over hundreds of cyclists all summer long. A truly unique day of Tourmalet celebration, 2021 marks the 20th anniversary of la Montée du Géant, making it an even bigger carnival occasion than ever before! Ride the most famous peaks in the French Pyrénées, including the Col d’Aubisque, Col du Soulor, Col d’Aspin, Luz Ardiden, Hautacam and of course the legend itself…...Tourmalet! 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 vélo back at our charming period guest house.

This is based on our signature week with a special Tourmalet twist, escaping to the biggest peaks and helping you become a more accomplished mountain rider, whilst creating mountain memories with The Col Collective and new friends and that will live with you forever.


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 being on the bike for 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 each day consists of 1 to 2 climbs, 100km to 115km in distance with 2,000m to 2,500m of ascending. We’ve structured the week to capture the true beauty of the Hautes Pyrénées, and are flexible to be able to make days easier or harder so that everyone can get the most from their week in this truly spectacular region.

2021 Dates & Prices

As the grand opening of the Tourmalet happens just once per year, this will be a one-of-a-kind week with a maximum group size of just 8 riders, so that we can really support you in the best possible way throughout the week.


Wed 2nd - Tue 8th June 2021 (6 nights) - Very limited availability. Please contact for details.


€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.

Your stay with us includes

A relaxing environment where we take care of you from start to finish:

  • 6 nights boutique style accommodation at The Col Collective HQ based on a twin share basis. We are a small but beautifully formed guest house therefore single supplement rooms are limited. Please enquire and we will do our best to accommodate. See more about the house in “accommodation”.
  • Personal airport collection and transfers from Toulouse (1 hour 35 transfer to the house). Arrangements can be made for collection from Lourdes train station or airport (10-20 minutes transfer time respectively). For those transiting in Paris a ”direct TGV rail service is available to Lourdes train station”.
  • The Col Collective limited edition cycling jersey.

Tasty and nutritious food, locally sourced and lovingly prepared to satisfy your palate and hunger:

  • Hearty “cyclist” breakfast to get the day started (our local bakery is the stuff of legend).
  • Home cooked healthy evening meals, heartfully prepared using fresh local produce - including beer, house wine and soft drinks.
  • One evening meal out at our award winning local Pyrenean restaurant.

On the bike fully supported experience:

  • Fully guided rides with Mike and The Col Collective team.
  • Support vehicle on every ride.
  • TORQ nutrition energy products with guidance on fuelling on and off the bike.
  • Numerous and diverse on the road snacks, tailored to your preference.
  • Daily photos capturing the core spirit of your time and achievements with The Col Collective.

A thorough recovery to keep you going longer and stronger:

  • TORQ recovery shake after each ride, plus post ride snacks and hydration.
  • Unlimited daily use of NormaTec recovery “moon” boots.
  • Fresh water swimming pool to cool off and relax your muscles.

Keeping it simple for you:

  • Daily kit wash.
  • Bike valeting service.
  • Workshop, in house mechanic, bike tools and secure storage.
  • Words of wisdom, help, advice and education throughout the week from Mike and The Col Collective team.

What makes The Col Collective Cycling Tours experience unique?

More than just a cycling tour, an authentic experience

  • Hosting you in our 16th century Pyrenean farm house creates a truly unique and homely environment for you to take a week of relaxation, self-care and incredible mountain challenges. We’re here to share all of our experience with you.
  • Group sizes are kept to a maximum of just 8 riders. This creates a truly personal experience with a 2:1 guest to staff ratio, ensuring that we can offer the absolute highest level of support and service in every area of your week.
  • While the bike riding is an obvious highlight, it’s the before and after that really makes The Col Collective experience unique. From breakfast in our dining room to evening chats in the open air as the sun sets over the mountains, and the scent of our stone baked pizza oven fills the air, we are here as a large family.

More than just a riding event, the experience of riding like a pro without the stress

  • From his childhood, Mike Cotty has lived for the mountains, slowly evolving his passion to become an expert and to be able to share and support you in your own journey to the summit both on and off the bike.
  • Based on his experiences at professional team camps, his connections in the cycling world and with the support of the brands that he’s worked with for many years, we are proud to be able to take care of you like a pro just without the stress of racing. Quite the opposite in fact, we encourage riders to take their time, to savour the moment and let the essence of the mountains run deep inside your soul.
  • Our team will offer you professional advice and guidance on bike skills, techniques, training, nutrition and mental preparation, all tools used by the pros and an increasing part of every day life.

More than just a moment, a lifetime experience to remember forever

  • The Col Collective’s values are deep and simple. We care about health, wellbeing, mindfulness and nature. We believe that by sharing these with you, we support our guests to become better versions of themselves.
  • Sharing our mountain passion and creating the most personal and well supported experience is our number one goal.
  • Join us to simply share the gift of nature and the great outdoors with each other. We will create this uttermost personal experience for and with you.
  • This is what we believe in. This is who we are. This is what we wish to bring to you.

What’s new in 2021?

  • All inclusive meals. Package price includes all main meals at the house and when we eat out one evening at our local restaurant, meaning you have more for souvenirs!
  • The Col Collective Coaching > Personal training plans to support you in the lead up to your week in the mountains. (Additional fee applies, contact us for details when booking)

What’s not included

  • Your flights and travel arrangements
  • Bike hire. Please contact us to arrange if required
  • Travel and personal insurance
  • Additional sustenance outside of what’s listed above


THE WEEK IN BRIEF > 8 Cols / 530km / 9,000m 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 > 115km 2,000m elevation
Day 4 - Col du Tourmalet grand opening celebration from Luz Saint Sauveur > 100km / 2,000m elevation
Day 5 - Luz Ardiden and Hautacam > 110km / 2,500m elevation
Day 6 - Col du Tourmalet from Sainte Marie de Campan (in honour of Octave!) 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.

Day 1

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!) If you prefer to relax by the pool or catch up on recovery after travelling then no problem. 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.

Day 2

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 at its serenity as you start to ascend deep into the mountains, feeling the magnitude and beauty of your surrounds as you do. 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.

Day 3

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 the 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 Hourquette, 5km from its 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 of the Louron and Aure valleys.

Day 4

Celebrating the official opening of the Col du Tourmalet is a once in a lifetime experience as the famous Octave Lapize (the first rider to ever climb Tourmalet) statue takes its place at the summit of this legendary mountain. We’ll join the carnival in the picturesque village of Pierrefitte Nestalas, where the brass band starts to play and the procession begins! Ascending the gentler slopes of the Gorge de Luz there’s time to absorb and enjoy the celebration before the gradient rises and we start the 19km climb of the Tourmalet! Being part of such a celebration definitely adds to the allure of this famous mountain, the history that it holds and the good times we’ll share together forevermore!

    Day 5

    Climbing up to 1,715 metres 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 4 kilometres 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!

      Day 6

      The final big one and since we’re celebrating a very special mountain this week, there’s no better way to finish off than with the 17km eastern ascent of the Tourmalet from Sainte Marie de Campan, the historic village where, during the 1913 Tour de France, Eugène Christophe repaired his broken fork at a local blacksmith only to be given a fine by the race organisers for having outside assistance when he needed an extra pair of hands to operate the bellows! And you thought life was tough, eh? A gentle 30km start will allow breakfast to digest well before the road starts to tilt skywards and your superman or woman eye lasers fix themselves firmly on the summit. It’s only fitting that we bring our week to a close on arguably the most iconic col in Tour de France history, and the highest road pass in the French Pyrénées. Take a moment to reflect on a beautiful week, the mountain views appear endless and as they say in French c’est magnifique!

      Day 7

      After a hearty mountain breakfast, 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 or shorter (with transfers to or from climbs) depending on how you’re feeling so rest assured we’re here to look after you.

      About the house

      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:

      • Stretch mats and foam roller
      • NormaTec recovery system
      • Tea and coffee making facilities
      • Hairdryer…..gotta look good off the bike
      • Safe for valuables
      • Towels
      • Soap and shampoo
      • WIFI

      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.

      Chez Cotty was an inspiration made by the lovely people in it. The best moment of my life sits 2000m above the clouds at the peak of the Tourmalet. Thanks for making memories of a lifetime both on and off the saddle.
      Cormac - UK
      I just wanted to thank you both very much for a memorable stay at your lovely place in the Pyrenees. Despite being unable to ride (and I was very sad about that) I still very much enjoyed meeting you guys, imbibing the cycling chat and taking in the beautiful surroundings. Your dedication to cycling raised my spirits, which my pesky illness had been gradually eroding. I was so impressed by the serious work ethic applied to all your endeavours which was inspiring, you made us feel very welcome.
      Georgina - UK
      Guys, wanted to say a sincere thank you for a great trip. You made us feel more than welcome, it felt like we were staying with friends. The fact that you’re both genuinely great company helped that along! Absolutely love the concept of what you are trying to do, I think you’ve got a nice niche absolutely nailed.
      Ian - UK
      We had such a lovely time staying with you. I’ve had a few passions in my time (photography and skydiving [short-lived!] being two) and compared to either of those cyclists are just the best (and least geeky)! And you guys are top of the tree!! We must present a proper mid-life-crisis amateur look, but there was absolutely no condescension or impatience from Mike or anyone else. Thank you both again SO much for a truly memorable and absolutely brilliant time. Please give us early notice of next season! We will be recommending you to all our friends, but only after we have booked ourselves…
      James - UK
      I can't even put into words. I can't wait to get back here. I'll be on my bike training away for the next time. People ask me what is was like, honestly words can't do it justice. I can't wait to do it again. Gratitude doesn't scratch the surface. Namaste
      Jonathan - Canada
      Thanks again to you both for a great few days - you've got a winning formula and am sure you'll have some busy weeks coming up
      James - UK
      Thank you for hosting our best holiday ever! We had so much fun spending time with you and sharing fond memories of the cols and at the dinner table. We truly appreciate how you welcomed us into your home, your generosity, thoughtfulness and care are amazing.
      Matt and Ivy - SAN FRANCISCO
      Just wanted to say thanks to you all for hosting us. We had a great time. and the more I sit at my desk, the better the memories!!! You might have a few enquiries come through for next year from some of my friends and colleagues!
      Matthew - UK
      I cannot thank you enough for your amazing hospitality, your kindness and caring is phenomenal, Maccy has fallen in love with everything. We will be back very soon, massive appreciation of everything
      Tim - UK

      Booking Terms

      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 30% 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!

      Ride safe,

      Mike Cotty


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