The Tourmalet and the Circle of Death


When Luigi Lucotti, the Italian climber crossed the peak of the Tourmalet in 1919, he uttered ” I don’t want to race anymore!”. It is three weeks until we head to, as Graeme Fife calls it, “The Circle Of Death”. The amount of Cols to ride in that region are the who’s who of Tour de France climbs, but the stand-out climb is the Tourmalet (or the Tour Malet as I like to call it). The climb where Armstrong threw that now famous backwards look at Ulrich before he shot off up the road. It will be my first time riding it and doing the pre-ride research is kind of intimidating. 18.5km long, 6939ft, with a maximum gradient of 9.5%. Sounds like from all the reading that weather makes a big difference, so we are praying for a day like the one in the shot below. The cafe at the top has become a homage to cycling and all of the tours that have passed over the summit. Looking forward to a hot chocolate and the view back down the valley.


Categories: Routes

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