Climbing 12.000 mt in 6 days, or less, is no mean feat. Pyrenees are only accessible in the summer. They are the myth, the old creature played down between Mediterraneo sea and the Atlantic ocean. Riding here always delivers a maelstrom of emotion to those chasing the wheels.
The TWS raid of Pyrenees took many of the great mountains in this part of the Europe. If you try to compare them to Dolomites you can find out that they are so different. They are wild and isolated.
This 6 days ride made through all the day and then the day after again calling for mental strength then muscle. Eager feet can’t wait to climb these peaks. You have to own these paths, grabbing every single piece of tarmac. Your heart burst at those views, where stunning valleys open up at those wild and huge mountains
Our man rode through some peaks became famous because of the Tour. They had been the joy and the pain of some king of the cyclist.
The trip started from Cerét. The first day was one of the hardest. Climbing five cols. Our man faced one by one. This stage meant to be serious from the first step. Nobody was on the road. The full of Larch slopes of Col Fourtou, the sunny Col du Xatard, the Col du Palmer the wild Cold de Jau and the Garavel. The green all around was thunderous. The pedal bites, while fields of ferns enlarged themselves until the Jau peak. Here he bumped in a weird american who was cycling from …to Paris. A kind lady cooked for him incredible galette in her little track. But you have to stay focused and keep your power, this is only the start.
He left Tarascon in the early morning. The road took the wheat fields outside the small town. The light come over from the ground letting shining again that green all over around. It has been an up and down, starting with that badass of Port de Lers: 28 km long with permanent gradient.
A stubborn climb as the men that decide to ride it was. The following Col d’Agnes and Col de Latrape were easy to do. He let reached Seix on a romantic descent, running along a creek.
Ready to ascend the next peaks totally drown in a cloud. For tough guys only. Col de la Core, Col de Portet d’Aspet and Col de Menté. The 3 Grand Prices of the Pyrenees. Heading to la Core the fog was rolling in all over him, but all of a sudden it left the room to an incredible view where the wood became fields of thick grass. A small blue lake was staring at our man. Later he was touched in front at the Casartelli monument during the descending of the Aspet in a tiny rain. He was so close to the history and myth of the Tour. On the Col de la Menthe he catch the sight of the unique Firs forest.
This day was a reward for have been pushed harder. Easy and delightful. In this day our man reached the Haute Pyreenes popping round to Spain. Col de Peyresurd was covered by huge grazings that were stunning as its endless ascent was. Full of hairpin turns. Hitting the road and staying stick on the pedals our man headed to Arreau. Hey guys here you can eat the most delicious gallete ever.
This day is the day. Our plucky guy had to tackle the Col d’Aspin and the Tourmalet. Two monster. Two tries hard. Early morning, Aspen was quite easy to do in a sunny day. The dew cover fields full of wild flower, the legs were full of power. No people. No car. Paradise. It was only he, the bicycle and the nature. He hit the road while he approached the king of the mountain. 17 km e 1274 mt of gradient: the Tourmalet. You can’t understand well when the ascent begin. It has a 5% gradient, no joke! But half in a while it increase until your muscles blow up in your legs. Our man stroke out in pursue of glory. No matter.This is the king of the peaks sticked in a great valley as an ancient creature is. He did it well. A proof of bravery and pure poetry.
Tourmalet gave our man the energy to make it through the next day. Starting from Argelès Gazost ,where a couple of weird french gave him hospitality, he climbed his last stage easily. Col de Bordères, Col du Soulor, Col d’Aubisque, a sharply inclined green hill. The journey was finished.
The raid is an incredible coast to coast on the bike, is made for guys who ride because they love it and they strive to improve and to push their self harder. They love to explore. They are alone on the road but not alone at all in this. This is for sure a memorable trip out of the saddle.