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Col des Borderes
Col des Borderes

mountains_cat2Col des Bordères

Col has been used by Tour de FranceCol des Borderes is a Cat 2 climb in Hautes Pyrénées. The summit is 1157 metres altitude. This is a very beautiful climb, I would say that as I live on it’s lower slopes in Saint-Savin. Bordéres comes from the Gascon language and means “Barns”. You can start from Argeles-Gazost or From Pierrefitte-Nestalas. It is Cat 2 from either direction. From Argeles-Gazost you can climb the col from either side, north or south. From Col du Soulor you can take a right turn in Arrens and ride the last 3km, be warned it is steep. It is not a very difficult climb but it is irregular with downhill and flat sections and some ramps up to 16%. The best thing is the very quiet roads and beautiful bucolic scenery.

Col des Borderes
Col des Borderes – Arrens

Climb Col des Borderes

Cat 2 from Pierrefitte-Nestalas. 17km @ 4.9% climb 820 metres. Road D13.

Take the D13 over Coté de saint-Savin, through Saint-Savin village and through Arcizans-Avant. D13 will turn right for Bun about 9 km into the climb.  Just continue to follow on the road straight on direction Estaing on D103. The next kilometer after this junction is the hardest of the climb. At Estaing take the right turn signposted Col des Bordéres and Arrens. From here there are 2km @ 10% before it eases off in the last kilometre before the summit. The descent into Arrens is steep and twisty on a narrow road.


Cat 2 from Argeles- Gazost. 14km @ 5%.

Take the D918 out of argeles in the direction of Col d’Aubisque and Col du Soulor. The first 3.5 km average over 7% to Arras-en-Lavedan. Take a left turn as you enter the village onto D103. This will be downhill for approx 2 km before you join D13. Turn right on to D13 and follow directions as above from saint-Savin.


Take D101 to Saint-Savin and join D13. Follow route as above.

Or continue on D918 to Arrens and follow as below.

Total distance: 2.46 km
Max elevation: 1161 m
Min elevation: 979 m
Total climbing: 182 m
Average speed: 17.60 km/h
Total Time: 00:08:31


Cat 3 from Arrens. 3.6km @ 7%.

In Arrens follow the signs for Lac d’Estaing. The climb is 3.6 km @ 7%. It feels much harder than that as the gradient will hit 14%.

Total distance: 3.51 km
Max elevation: 1192 m
Min elevation: 924 m
Total climbing: 268 m
Average speed: 18.38 km/h
Total Time: 00:11:31

Tour de France

Col des Borderes has made 2 appearances in Le Tour de France. Both were the short climb from Arrens on the western side, a Cat 3.

1987 : T. Van Vliet
1989 : Indurain.


Port de Lers
Port de Lers

Mountains Cat-1Port de Lers

Col has been used by Tour de FrancePort de Lers (or Port de l’Hers or Port de Massat) is a Cat 1 climb in Ariège, between the communities of Aulus-les-Bains (west), Massat (north) and Vicdessos (east). The summit is 1516 metres altitude.

Cat 1 from Vicdessos, the climb is 11.5 km @ 7%, gaining 807 metres. Road D18.

Port de Lers Vicdessos profile
Port de Lers Vicdessos profile

Cat 1 from Massat, the climb is 16.6 km @5.2%, gaining 868 metres. At 3.8 km from the summit is the junction with the climb to the Col d’Agnes. Road D18. On paper this should be Cat HC but Le Tour de France have always rated it Cat 1.

Port de Lers Massat profile
Port de Lers Massat profile

Tour de France

2012 :  Sergio Paulinho (POR)
2011 : Gorka Izagirre (ESP)
2004 : Michael Rasmussen
1995 : Pantani

Port de Lers Photo Gallery

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October 2014 has been glorious so far with no cold or wet weather at all. Temperatures have been in the mid 20’s mostly and even over 30c for a few days. It is set to continue into next week when a change will come bring a feel of winter for the first time.

A few photos from the last 2 days, from a ride up Hautacam today and Cambasque yesterday.




Mountains Cat-HCCauterets-Cambasque

Col has been used by Tour de FranceCauterets-Cambasque is a 15 km climb from Pierrefitte-Nestalas to 1330m altitude. The first 10km are easy enough but after the town of Cauterets it kicks-up very sharply for 3km before easing off for the last 2. Cambasque has been used as a stage finish by Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana. The name means “Basque Land”.

Cauterets-Cambasque, 1km from the finish.

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Track name: | Distance: km | Elevation: +m -m (net: m)
Cafe: 42.889054, -0.114246
Mur de Cauterets: 42.919381, -0.092740
Cambasque: 42.886656, -0.117717
Cambasque: 42.886813, -0.121708
Gorge de Cauterets: 42.948664, -0.082741
Cafe: 42.959061, -0.074437
Drinking Water: 42.963073, -0.068289
Route du Sud: 42.956548, -0.079737
Cambasque Start: 42.957585, -0.076561
Cambasque: 42.882883, -0.142994

Climb Cambasque

Cat HC. From Pierrefitte-Nestalas it is 16.1 km @ 5%. You will climb 850m. Road D920.

From Pierrefitte-Nestalas the grade kicks up very quickly for the first 2 km it then eases off until 7km up the climb where you reach Mur de Cauterets. This is a new section of road constructed after the floods of 18th June 2013 washed the old road away. This is one very hard kilometer to the top of the Mur. From there it is easy to Cauterets.


Cauterets is a beautiful town surrounded by high peaks. It is a popular ski destination in winter and is usually the last ski resort in the Pyrenees to close each spring. In summer it is popular with hikers. This road to cauterets also leads to Pont d’Espagne one of the most popular natural sights in France. In July and August the road is very busy as over 1,000,000 tourists visit.

After Cauterets take the right turn sign posted for Cambasque or go straight on for Pont d’Espagne. The next 3 km are the most difficult of the climb with the gradient never going below 10%. There is a short downhill before the last km @ 7% to the ski station car park.

Total distance: 15.88 km
Max elevation: 1283 m
Min elevation: 454 m
Total climbing: 833 m
Average speed: 18.17 km/h
Total Time: 00:53:16

Tour de France

Le Tour de France has had one finish in Cauterets and 2 at Cambasque.

1953 Finish in Cauterets 934m: Lorono

1989 Finish at Cambasque: Miguel INDURAIN (first stage win)
1995 Finish at Cambasque: Richard VIRENQUE (the stage in which Fabio Casartelli died).
2015 Finish in Cauterets ?

Cambasque in Vuelta a Espana

2003 stage won by Michael Rasmussen.

Cauterets-Cambasque Photo Gallery

Port de Pailhère
Port de Pailhère

Mountains Cat-HCPort de Pailhères

Col has been used by Tour de FrancePort de Pailhères (or Col de Pailhères) ia a Cat HC climb in Ariége between Mijanès (south-east) and Ax-les-Thermes(west). The summit is 2001 metres altitude. It was first used in the 2003 Tour de France, since then it has become one of the most popular climbs with cyclotourists. Port de Pailhères has replaced Col de Puymorens (busy road) as the most popular route for cyclists doing a coast to coast ride.

Climb Port de Pailhères

Cat HC from Mijanes, the Col de Pailhères is 10.6 km @ 8.2%, gaining 871 m. Road D25. Lots of hairpins.

Port de Pailhère
Port de Pailhère
Port de Pailhères
Port de Pailhères

Cat HC from Ax-les-Thermes, the Col de Pailhères is 18.6 km @ 6.9%, gaining 1281 m. It gets steeper near the summit with a max of 10.5%. Road D25.

Port de Pailhère
Port de Pailhère

Tour de France

2003 : Mercado
2005 : Totschnig
2007 : R. Perez
2010 : Riblon
2013 :  Nairo Quintana

Port de Pailhères Photo Gallery

Col de Portet d'Aspet
Col de Portet d'Aspet


Col has been used by Tour de FranceCol de Portet d’Aspet is is a Cat 2 climb in Haute-Garonne. The summit is 1069 metres altitude. It is situated on the D618 road between Aspet, Haute Garonne to the west and Saint-Girons, Ariége in the east. The climb is short but very steep on the western side. It was in the first mountain stage in 1910 Tour de France.

Col de Portet d'Aspet
Col de Portet d’Aspet

Climb Col de Portet d’Aspet

Cat 2 from Audressein (Ariège), the climb is 18.14 km @ 3.1%, gaining 557 metres. Road D618. The climb proper starts at St. Lary, 5.9 km from the summit @ 6.8%, with the steepest sections at 10.6% near the summit.

Cat 2 from Aspet (Haute-Garonne), the climb is 14.31 km @ 4.2%, gaining 594 metres. Road D618. The climb really starts at the D618/D44 junction (also the start of the climb to the Col de Menté), 4.4 km @ 9.6%, with several sections up to 18%.

Fabio Casartelli

It was on the descent here, just 100m above the D618/D44 junction that Olympic Champion Fabio Casartelli was killed in a fall in the 1995 Tour de France. There is a memorial to Casartelli 100m further up.
The accident happened on July 18, 1995 during the fifteenth stage from Saint-Girons to Cambasque. Casartelli sustained heavy facial and head injuries and lost consciousness. He died in the helicopter on the way to hospital.

Tour de France

1910 : Lapize
1911 : Duboc
1912 : Defraye
1913 : Engel
1914 : J. Alavoine
1919 : (neutralisé)
1920 : Lambot
1921 : Goethals
1922 : Alavoine, H. Barthélémy
1923 : H. et F. Pélissier
1924 : Beeckmann
1925 : Bottecchia
1926 : Beeckmann
1927 : Frantz
1928 : A.Magne
1929 : Delannoy
1930 : Binda
1931 : A. Magne
1932 : Barral
1933 : Schepers
1934 : Vignoli
1935 : F. Vervaecke
1936 : Ducazeaux
1937 : Berrendero
1938 : Bartali
1947 : Bourlon
1951 : Bartali
1956 : Gaul
1957 : Stolker
1958 : Bahamontes
1960 : J. Planckaert
1962 : Bahamontes, Poulidor
1963 : Bahamontes
1964 : J. Jimenez
1965 : J. Jimenez
1966 : J. Jimenez
1967 : F. Manzaneque
1969 : Delisle
1971 : Fuente
1972 : C. Raymond
1973 : R. Martin
1984 : De Rooy
1988 : Rooks
1995 : Virenque
1997 : Brochard
1998 : Elli
2001 : L. Roux
2002 : L. Jalabert
2003 : Virenque
2004 : Chavanel
2005 : E. Dekker
2007 : Lefèvre
2010 : Voeckler
2011 : Delage
2013 : Jeannesson
2014 : Thomas Voeckler

Col du Pourtalet
Col du Pourtalet

Col du Pourtalet

Col du Pourtalet, El Portalet or Portalet d’Aneu is a Cat HC climb to the border between France and Spain in Pyrénées-Atlantiques. The summit is 1794 metres and links the Ossau (France) and Tena (Spain) valleys.

The name is tautological as Pourtalet comes from the Gascon language and means the same as the French word Col.

The road across the pass is the A-136 on the Spanish side, and links to Biescas and Huesca. On the French side the D934 road connects the pass to the towns of Laruns, Oloron-Sainte-Marie and Pau. The road is usually closed by snow from November to late May.

Col du Pourtalet
Col du Pourtalet

Climb Col du Pourtalet

Cat HC from Laurns, the climb is 28.7km @ 4.5%, gaining 1279 metres. The summit is 1794 metres altitude. Road D934.

Cat 1 from Escarilla, the climb is 27.2km @ 3.4%, gaining 929 metres. Road A136. The road on the Spanish is a much bigger road as it goes to the Formigal ski station which has been a stage finish for Vuelta a Espana a number of times.

Tour de France

1991 : Declercq.

Col du Portillon
Col du Portillon

Mountains Cat-1Col du Portillon

Col has been used by Tour de FranceCol du Portillon is in Haute Garonne on the border between France and Spain. The summit is 1293 metres altitude.

Cat 2 from Bossòst in Spain, the climb is 8.6 km @ 6.8%, with 583 metres gain. The steepest section is at 8.2%, 3 km from the summit.

Col du Portillon
Col du Portillon
Col du Portillon
Col du Portillon

Cat 1 from Bagnères-de-Luchon, the climb is 10.2 km @ 6.5% gaining 663 metres. The final 7.9 km is at an average gradient of 8.4%, with the steepest section being at 13.9%.

Col has been used by Tour de FranceTour de France

1957 : Keteleer
1961 : Massignan
1963 : Ignolin
1964 : Poulidor
1966 : Mugnaini
1967 : F. Manzaneque
1969 : Delisle
1971 : Fuente
1973 : Ocana
1974 : Perurena
1976 : P. Torres
1979 : Bernaudeau
1993 : Rominger
1999 : Van de Wouwer
2001 : L. Jalabert
2003 : Virenque
2005 : Kroon
2006 : De La Fuente

Col de Puymorens
Col de Puymorens

Mountains Cat-HCCol de Puymorens

Col has been used by Tour de FranceCol de Puymorens is a Cat HC climb in Ariége. The summit is at 1915 metres altitude near the border of France, Spain and Andorra. It was first used in Le Tour de France in 1913 and last in 1993. The road to the col is very busy and it has very much fallen out of favour with cyclists over the last couple of decades. If climbing fro Ax-les-Thermes much of it is dual carriageway and there are lots of trucks using the route between France and Spain via the Tunnel du Puymorens. There is also a tunnel leading to Andorra. 2.8km from the summit there is a right turn which will take you to Pas de la Casa in Andorre and up to Port d’Envalira, at 2407 metres the high paved road in the Pyrenees. It is an unpleasant experience to cycle this road. Best avoided in my view.

Col de Puymorens
Col de Puymorens

Climb Col de Puymorens

Cat Hc from Ax-les-Thermes, 27.2km @ 4.4% gaining 1200 metres. Road N20 and N320.

Col de Puymorens
Col de Puymorens Profile from Ax-Les-Thermes


Cat 1 from Latour de Carol, 18.8km @ 3.6%. Road N20 and N320.

Col de Puymorens profile from Latour de Carol

Col has been used by Tour de FranceTour de France

1913 : M. Buysse
1914 : c.g.
1919 : Barthélémy
1920 : Lambot
1921 : Lucotti
1922 : E. Masson
1923 : H. Pélissier
1924 : Thys
1925 : Bottecchia
1926 : L. Buysse
1927 : Frantz
1928 : Frantz
1929 : B. Faure
1930 : c.g.
1931 : B. Faure
1932 : Cacioni
1933 : A. Magne
1934 : Vietto
1935 : F. Vervaecke
1936 : Ezquerra
1937 : Berrendero
1957 : Bourles
1964 : J. Jimenez
1965 : Perez Frances
1973 : P. Torres
1976 : Perurena
1993 : Rincon.