With a route that straddles the border between France and Spain, and marries the Atlantic coast with the Mediterranian, the Randonnée Pyrenees is a classic Pyrenean raid. We’ve used insights from Graeme Fife’s Great Road Climbs of the Pyrenees to tailor a route that combines the dramatic gradients of lesser-known climbs with Tour de France stalwarts. The riding is complimented by the food and culture of the Pyrenees – a competitive mix of French, Spanish, and Catalan heritages.
“The roads are quieter and less ‘engineered’ than the alps but offer incredible views and challenges. The terrain feels more ‘human scale’ and perfectly suited to cycling. Travelling from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean is an unique adventure, reconnecting the rider to the soul of cycling.”
– Simon Mottram, Rapha CEO
Biarritz » Collioure
Sunday 28th September to Sunday 5th October 2014
Marie Blanque, Aubisque, Tourmalet, Aspin, Peyresourde, Col de Portet d’Aspet, Col de Port.
- Total distance: 865km
- Total elevation: 15750m
Full price of trip (excluding airfare): £3000 | US$4800 | €3600
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Custom Pinarello Dogma K race bikes may be rented for this tour – £250 | US$400 | €300
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Day 1: BIARRITZ – OLORON-ST MARIE
Stats: 130km (3070m of climbing)
Main Climbs: Col des Plombieres, Col d’Osquich
We leave Biarritz’s Grande Plage and undulate towards the foothills of Basque country.
Day 2: OLORON-ST MARIE – ST SAVIN
Stats: 115km (2615m of climbing)
Main Climbs: Col de Marie Blanque, Col d’ Aubisque
A classic Tour combo of the Marie-Blanque and Aubisque/Soulor is in store today with Pyrenean panoramas on display.
Day 3: ST SAVIN – LUCHON
Stats: 110km (3050m of climbing)
Main Climbs: Col du Tourmalet, Col de Peyresourde
The Giant of the Pyrenees, the Tourmalet, is the Tour de France’s most climbed mountain pass. A big day for any rider.
Day 4: LUCHON – ST GIRONS
Stats: 130km (2910m of climbing)
Main Climbs: Col de Portet d’Aspet, Col du Portillon
More tough climbing on stage four but involving beautiful tree-lined ascents and lush scenery.
Day 5: ST GIRONS – GINCLA
Stats: 165km (3760m of climbing)
Main Climbs: Port de Pailheres, Col de Port
A stunning parcours undulating past the famous Trimouns talc mine. The Pailheres is also the second highest point of the week.
Day 6: GINCLA – COLLIOURE
Stats: 130km (1500m of climbing)
Main Climbs: Col Palomere, Col d’Aussieres
The final stage says adieu to the high mountains as the azure Mediterranean appears on the horizon. The fishing town of Collioure, a favourite subject for Picasso and Matisse, is the perfect place to reflect on such an incredible journey.