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CyclingUp: Luz-Ardiden

Region: French Pyrenees
Climbing effort: 825 cep
Elevation meters: 1030
Steepest kilometer: 10.3%

Steepest 250 m: 12%
Foot: 685 m    Top: 1715 m
Mean slope: 7.6%
Length: 13.5 km

From: Luz-St-Sauveur
Road conditions (2014): good
Other race bikers: 5-10 per hour
Motor vehicles: 10-30 per hour
Scenery and road: circle landscape (2/5)
Restaurant or bar near top: no

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Profile Luz-Ardiden

The climb to Luz-Ardiden reminds of that to Alpe d'Huez. Both climbs are steep with the first half being steeper than the second half and both end at a ski resort. Both have been the finish location of many Tour de France stages though the frequency is less for Luz-Ardiden than for Alpe d'Huez (8 against 18 during 1985-2011). Also, in other aspects Luz-Ardiden is less than its counterpart in the Alps. There are far fewer cyclists and cars and Luz-Ardiden has fewer elevation meters, though only 86. As mentioned, the steepest part of the ascent (8-11%) lies in the first half. It starts just before the village of Sazos and includes the stretch with 8 hairpin bends before and after the village of Grust. In the upper part the forests give way to a more open landscape. Note that with less than 2 kilometers to go, one has to turn sharply to the left in the direction of Aulian. I have no idea about the panoramas and the ski lifts that must be visible during the final part. A dense fog inhibited to see anything but the nearest 20 meters.

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