16th to 22nd Sept ’18Join us on the official Raid Pyrenean. A 100 hour challenge that takes you from Hendaye on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean to the beautiful seaside town of Cerbére on the Mediterranean via the high cols of the Pyrenees Mountains in 5 stages. This is a hard but beautiful riding challenge and if you are reasonably fit and regularly ride your bike then this is will be an excellent achievement and well within your grasp.
Our route takes you on the quite country roads over the most famous climbs in the world. Each day will be ridden at a reasonable pace with a relaxing stopover in 2** hotels along the route. Our support will always be there with either water for your bidons or a hot cup of tea on top of the climb. You will not need to carry anything other than yourself over the mountains.
We provide you with our very own Carnet de Route and daily route cards. We try and stay to the quiet roads but do follow the official 100 hour route. We also give you a fantastic cycle jersey so you can ride the tour in style.
The itinerary may change from time to time but is basically the set route for our version of the Raid Pyrénées. If you are reasonably fit you will be able to complete this course but will need to train for it. There is always vehicle support in case you get into difficulties.
All your luggage and bike containers are transported between stages. There is also mechanical support available so you do not have to worry about anything than enjoying the ride.
We will pick you up from Toulouse airport in the morning and transfer you to the starting hotel in Hendaye. You also have the option to fly directly to Biarritz and we will meet you at the hotel in the afternoon. Time for building bikes and a test ride down to the sea front before having the welcome meal.
The first day takes you from the Atlantic Ocean into the low Pyrénées taking in the Col de St-Ignace (169m), Col de Pinodieta (176m), Col d'Ipharlatze (328m) and the Col d' Osquich (500m). These are all small climbs that should allow you to get a taste of what is to come. We stay in the pretty village of Lurbe St Chritau and have a welcome evening meal in a great little hotel nestled on the side of the mountain.
After a short rolling ride from from Lurbe St Christau, the first climb of the day is the Col de Marie-Blanque (1035m) a beautiful but very steep climb. The descent is well worth the effort though and we swing down to a beautiful ride into Laruns before starting the ascent to the Col D' Aubisque (1709m) and a welcoming lunch at the top with stunning views. The descent from the Aubisque is spectacular riding through mountainside tunnels and very narrow roads perched on the side of the cliff. The Col de Soulor (1466m) is next but most of it has already been climbed so it passes without a hitch before descending into Argelès Gazost where we turn right and head up to the big one. The Col Du Tourmalet (2115m) is last on the list and we will take our time climbing before hitting the summit and the famous café & shop where you can buy all the Tourmalet memorabilia before descending into St Marie de Campan and a well earned beer and rest.
We start out at the base of the Col d'Aspin (1489m) but this is a gentle warm up for the first 6 km before the final 5 km of real climbing. At the summit you will be face to face with a cow or a range of other animals, but they are all friendly. We then ride over the Col de Peyresourde (1569m) and over the Col des Ares (797m) and the Col De Buret (599m) which warms the legs up before the start of the Col De Portet d' Aspet (1069m) where you can see the monument of Fabio Casatelli. We head down into the valley towards St Girons before heading down into the Gorge de Ribaouto and the hotel in Massat which is a very welcome sight.
The Col de Port (1249m) is right on the doorstep of the hotel and is a nice gentle climb before heading up the valley through Ax les Thermes and the start of the climbing to the Col de Peyremoyens, which borders the Principality of Andorra. Down into the valley and then the bumpy ride past the Col de Riagat and onto the Col de la Perche. Then finally the fantastic descent directly to the hotel in Prades. Here you can relax by the pool with a beer and after dinner stroll into the beautiful village square of Prades.
The last stage in this epic personal achievement. 85km downhill to the Mediterranean and hopefully with a tailwind. A gentle ride in and then relax in the seaside restaurant where we can have a well earned lunch after dipping your toe into the water to seal the challenge. We will then load the bikes and head back to Toulouse for the evening where we will go out to a restaurant for the celebratory meal where we can chat about the week and receive your certificates.
You will be staying very close to the airport at Blagnac (Toulouse) so after breakfast you can leave for the airport or if your flight is later you can leave your luggage at the hotel and head into the city centre for a browse around the shops.