Our Tour de France week will capture the beauty of the mountains and the colours and character of the Tour as it passes through the Pyrénées. Combining peaceful yet challenging ride days with the spectacle of the world’s biggest race, whilst enjoying every minute with The Col Collective. Riding and watching the Tour in the same week is a surreal experience that often has us pinching ourselves in disbelief at just how magical the mountains can be.
WHO’S IT FOR?
This week is for those who want to experience the magic of the Tour de France close up while also having a challenging and rewarding week on the bike. We’ll be tackling some off the most legendary climbs in the sport plus we’ll be getting up close and personal with the Tour as the pros go full gas in the Pyrénées.
On average rides are around 100km with 2,000m of elevation gain, and plenty of opportunities to extend the shorter days or cut the longer ones depending on how you’re feeling each day. We want this week to be a celebration of the Tour de France, a chance to conquer the most prestigious peaks and a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience it all with personal support from The Col Collective.
We’re offering 7 nights accommodation and a maximum group size of just 8 guests with 2-3 guides so that we offer the best possible experience and levels of personal support both on and off the bike.
15th - 22nd July 2019 (7 nights)
€2,550 per person - based on twin share, includes our exclusive Col Collective mountain essentials kit bag! See ‘what’s included’ for details.
€500 - single supplement. As we have limited rooms in our guest house please contact us in advance to confirm availability.
10% discount for non-riding partners.
5% discount for group bookings of 3 or more.
The Col Collective premium mountain essentials kit bag!
We are currently working on our 2019 Col Collective kit bag which will include the highest quality mountain essentials gear from our premium partners including custom limited edition Col Collective jersey, nutrition, lighting, tools and more. In 2018 the value of this kit bag was over €850!
THE WEEK IN BRIEF > 10 Cols / 605km / 12,000m elevation
Day 1 - Collection from Toulouse airport at midday, bike build and light spin to loosen the legs
Day 2 - Col du Soulor (1st climb on Stage 14) and Col d’Aubisque including Cirque du Litor > 105km / 2,000m elevation
Day 3 - Col de Peyresourde and Hourquette d’Ancizan (both climbs from Stage 12) > 95km / 2,000m elevation
Day 4 - Col du Tourmalet from Saint Marie de Campan 105km / 2,000m elevation with an option to add Luz Ardiden > +25km / 1,000m elevation
Day 5 - Hautacam > 60km / 1,100m elevation and visit to Pau to watch the Stage 13 Individual Time Trial
Day 6 - Col du Tourmalet from Luz St Sauveur to watch the finishing climb of Stage 14 > 105km / 2,000m elevation
Day 7 - Col d’Aspin and Hourquette d’Ancizan from Saint Marie de Campan > 110km / 2,000m elevation
Day 8 - Breakfast basking in Tour de France glory, bike packing and (sadly) transfer back to Toulouse airport for 12pm noon drop off
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.
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 spin. 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 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 good after travelling the day before as we head into the hills. From the north the 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. In just a few days time the Tour de France will ascend the Soulor as the first climb of Stage 14 so you’ll have a perfect view of what they face. 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.
A short transfer to the spa town of Bagnères de Luchon sets up what’s to be a beautiful day as we get up close and personal with both of the climbs that the Tour will cover in Stage 12. Starting with the Col de Peyresourde, another truly historic Tour mountain that first featured in the 1910 race, taking us from the Haute-Garonne back into the Haute-Pyrénées (with a cheeky crêpe stop at the summit). A fast descent and short valley will lead us to the picturesque village of Arreau where we’ll ride the harder side of Hourquette d’Ancizan, a narrow 10km road climbing up to 1,564m with an average of over 8% is certainly going to be a test worthy of the Tour de France!
Continuing our footsteps following the magic and history of the Tour de France, today we’re heading to Saint Marie de Campan, the town where in 1913 Eugène Christophe repaired his broken forks at a local blacksmiths 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! A flat 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 of the legendary Col du Tourmalet. Arguably the most iconic col in Tour de France history the Tourmalet is a big test - 17km long with an average gradient of 7.4%. The highest road pass in the French Pyrénées at 2,115m, making it to the summit and gazing out at the view is worth a million laboured pedal strokes every time, and if you still have the legs the serpentine slopes of Luz Ardiden, 13km topping out at 1,715m, await as an optional extra to round off a sensational day of cycling.
After the last two big days in the saddle it’s time to taper things back a notch to allow you to recover. OK, so that’s the theory. The reality is today we’ll take a ride up Hautacam, a climb that’s known as one of the toughest there is with its fluctuating gradient and steep pitches that make finding a rhythm almost impossible. Rolling out to Argèles Gazost provides the perfect warm up. As it’s a ski station summit you can choose to push it on or hold back to enjoy the views. We’ll meet at the top for a Col Collective selfie and a coffee stop before descending back to base where we’ll freshen up and head to Pau to watch the Stage 13 Individual Time Trial.
As the energy of the Tour and distant hum of helicopters gets ever closer today the Tour finishes at the 2,115m high summit of the legendary Col du Tourmalet! Having ridden the eastern approach earlier in the week this time we’ll head west, tracing our way up the Gorge du Luz, to Luz St Sauveur where amidst the fans and carnival atmosphere we’ll find our spot to watch the race as the mountain goats and team leaders show us how it’s really done in style! Allez, allez, allez!
Following yesterday’s drama we’re going to calm things down a little as we tackle another Tour de France classic, the 1,489m high Col d’Aspin followed by a final foray with the donkeys on the serene slopes of Hourquette d’Ancizan (8.6km at an average of 4.7%) both ridden from Saint Marie de Campan. With spectacular views, idyllic peaceful roads and the iconic 2,877m high Pic du Midi de Bigorre keeping a careful watch over our every move.
A Tour de France breakfast fit for royalty awaits and with mountains and memories to last a lifetime all that’s to do now is 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.
Located in the heart of the Hautes Pyrénées with views towards the 2,877m Pic du Midi de Bigorre, The Col Collective HQ 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 velo we welcome you to enjoy our heated 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 tour. 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!
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