September 16-18th, 2016.
A two day round trip of 269km. You will arrive in Toulouse on Friday evening and be picked up along with your bikes and transferred to Tarascon. This transfer takes about 70 minutes. Then unpack your bikes and meet for a quick drink. We will finish bike assemble in the morning after breakfast We will be staying in friendly local 2 star hotels for this weekend.
Day 1, Ride 145km: 2 Cols (a third Col can be ridden adding 20 km)
After breakfast we set off following the 2007 L’Etape du Tour route. We start out of Foix at a steady pace before reaching the first climb of the day, The Col de Port, a long but easy climb with no really steep parts. The Col de Port is 11.4 km long and rises to 1249 m at an average of 5.3 %.
The next 40 km is through beautiful undulating scenery and takes us to the second climb of the day, the Col D’Agnes, from Aulus les Bains the Col is 10.2 km long and rises to 1570m at a gradient of 8.1 %.
You will have ridden about 80 km so far and we will stop for refreshments. All along the route Velocamp will provide more drinks as and when you require them.
The next 60 km is a fast pace decent with a flat finish into the spa town of Ax–les-Thermes, where we will stop for the night and a well deserved dinner.
(There will be the choice to take on the Plateau de Beille, the famous Tour de France Climb, for those with extra in the legs. This adds 20 km to the ride)
Your bags will have been sent on ahead to the hotel.
Day 2, Ride 124km: Port de Pailheres
The following morning we are straight into the biggest climb of the 2 days, the Port de Pailheres, featured in the 1013 Tour de France. At 2001 m and 6.9 % average gradient it climbs 1281m over 18.6km and is a monster HC climb. From the summit col you can see all the way into Andorra and Spain!
The fast and windy descent through Alpine pastures and the famous ‘Crusader route’ of the Gorge De St George with its overhanging limestone walls goes all the way to the village of Axat, through some of the most stunning scenery in the Pyrenees. From here it is an undulating ride to the sleepy town of Quillian. The climb out of Quillian is cat 3 and is 6 km long. When you reach the top remember to take in the views before a superfast road takes you to Puivert. The next 45 km takes in some stunning scenery in the foothills of the Pyrenees.
We arrive back in Tarascon where you will be able to shower and get ready for your return trip to Toulouse and your flights departing to the UK from 9 pm onwards.
Fitness requirement: 3
Course price £425