CyclingUp: Col du Tourmalet-west

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Region: Pyrenees
Climbing effort: 1096 points
Elevation meters: 1404
Steepest kilometer: 10.1%

Steepest 250 m: 11%
Foot: 711 m    Top: 2115 m
Mean slope: 7.4%
Length: 18.9 km

From: Luz-St-Sauveur
Road conditions (2014): good
Other race bikers: 10-25 per hour
Motor vehicles: 60-180 per hour
Scenerie and road: (4/5)
Restaurant or bar near top: yes



The Tourmalet is doubtless one of the most famous Tour de France cols. Anyway, it is the most climbed pass in the Tour (82 times until to 2012), thanks to the challenge it offers and its strategic position. Is sometimes happens but I had a good day when I made it, though it is not an easy ascent with about 1400 meters to climb. At present (2015) the Tourmalet-west is the hardest of this site's collection of climbs in the Pyrenees. In terms of steepness, the slope is quite constant with 7-9% over most of the length of the tour. The exception are the final two kilometers, which are somewhat steeper with 9-10%. It is difficult to rate the Tourmalet in terms of scenic beauty. The first part up to Barège is disfigured by the wide channel that has been built to domesticate the river that streams through the valley.sind The second part is more scenic and the final few kilometers are even impressive due to steep, dark and high mountain faces. Unfortunately, one is at quite a few places reminded of the fact that ski tourism is the most lucrative means of earning money in this area.

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