The Col du Tourmalet connects the Adour valley to the Gave de Pau valley (Gavarnie). A commemorative stele is erected there in memory of Jacques Goddet, former director of the Tour de France. It was the first mountain pass above 2,000 m to be crossed by the Tour de France riders in 1910.
From Saint-Lary, you reach Sainte-Marie-de-Campan (37.6 km) via the Aspin pass. The climb starts at 857 m and culminates at 2 115 m. It is almost like the roof of the Pyrenees!
The climb is rather easy up until the avalanche barrier, but then it gets tough at the approach to La Mongie. You will see cows out to pasture and sometimes even meet them on the road. Can you feel your wings grow on this climb?
The climb begins at 857 m with an average gradient of 7% over 16.9 km and ends at 2,115m meaning a height gain of 789m. The climb will take about 1.5 hours.