Classic Pyrenees

12 to 22 September

In the same vein as the Classic Alps, this is a new version of the second CCC event first held back in 2010. The Pyrenees have often been the second revelation to riders once they have been blown away by the Alps.

Book now

The Stages

Stage 1

Rivesaltes to Foix

199kms, 4000m

Main climbs:
Auzines, Aussiere, Port de Pailheres, Soulombrie

Through the Rivesaltes vineyards and then climbing the arid eastern slopes of the Arriege region, we head towards the wonderful Port de Pailheres, the"Eastern gate" to the Pyrenees. The final climb up onto the 'Haute Corniche' road above the valley that will take us to the medieval town of Foix is equally as impressive.

Stage 2

Foix to Bagneres-de-Luchon

203kms / 5000m

Main climbs:
Jouels, Saraille, Core, Portet d’Aspet (E), Menté, Port de Bales ( N).

A tough stage: after the densely wooded climb away from Foix we head into typical rural scenery with the steady climb to the Col de Core. The three final climbs, all Tour de France 'regulars', give us our first taste of what the Pyrenees is loved and hated for!

Stage 3

Luchon to Argeles-Gazost

156kms / 4800m

Main climbs:
Peyresourde (E), Azet, Hourquette d’Ancizan (S), Tourmalet (E), Hautacam.

The list of Classic Climbs continues here. This stage really shows off the best of the Pyrenees and is bathed in Tour de France history. The Hautacam ( up & back) at the stage-end gives those who have had enough for one day an option to omit this one and go straight to the hotel.

Stage 4

Argeles-Gazost to Esterencuby

184kms / 4900m

Main climbs:
: Soulor, Aubisque, Marie Blanque (E), Bagargui

Part One of twin stages that takes us over some Classic name climbs before we explore that most remote part of the Pyrenees : the French Basque Country. Open grass landscapes that are quite unique. Roads wind across the ridges, giving shepherds access to their roaming herds of sheep. We stay in a tiny hotel buried in one of the many tranquil wooded valleys of this stunning area.

Stage 5

Esterencuby to Argeles-Gazost

179kms / 4500m

Main climbs:
Asquetta, Burdincurutcheta, Landerre, Marie Blanque (W), Spandelles.

Part Two is just as wonderful, tough and unforgettable. Another stage that epitomises what these events are about : losing ( or confronting) oneself in spell-binding landscape, alone with bike, road, fellow riders, and the sky.

Rest Day

Argeles Gazost. Our hotel is in town : shops, cafés and restaurants nearby.

Stage 6

Argeles-Gazost Loop

180kms / 5200m

Main climbs:
Luz Ardiden, Troumousse, Tourmalet (W), Couret, Croix Blanche

Luz Ardiden featured in the 2021 Tour; Tourmalet features almost every year, both are total MUST-RIDE climbs of course! But Troumousse, Couret and Croix Blanche are for the connoisseurs! A stage balanced between 'pilgrimage' and discovery! The perfect day out in the Pyrenees.

Stage 7

Argeles-Gazost to Bagneres de Luchon

188kms / 5,200m

Main climbs:
Pandelle, Beyrede, Aspin, Hourquette d’Ancizan (N), Peyresourde (W), Superbagneres.

Another mix of Tour climbs and the rural backroads so typical of the Pyrenees. This stage returns to Luchon via some of the most bucolic corners to be found in this massif. Our final climb ( up & back) again gives tired legs the option to cut straight to our hotel.

Stage 8

Luchon to Oust

202kms / 4860m

Main climbs:
Port de Bales (S), Ares, Portet d’Aspet (E), Portech, Rille, Peguerre, Crouzette.

Port de Bales deserves a second visit for sure : both sides offer extraordinary experiences. Further along the way we take on the shorter, much steeper side of the Portet d'Aspet before exploring more of the steep wooded climbs so typical of this part of Arriège.

Stage 9

Oust to Ax-les Thermes

168kms / 4700m

Main climbs:
Latrape, Agnes, Port de Lers, Plateau de Beille, Ax-les-3 Domaines.

A more perfect combination of climbs that show off what is so unique about the Pyrenees would be hard to find. More Tour de France history visited here too. The up & back Ax-3-Domains climb features less often than some but is well worth the effort, unless another short-cut to the hotel proves too tempting!

Stage 10

Ax-Les-Thermes to Rivesaltes

196kms / 4200m

Main climbs:
Chioula, Pradel, Port de Pailheres(W), Garabell, Jau, Auzines

Straight up out of our hotel via the Chioula climb to get to the wonderful, and tough, Pradel climb, which in turn leads us to the foot of the Pailheres, our way back 'out' of the High Pyrenees and back into Arriége. Superb views from the col de Jau reward us for our final long climb before we wind along a bumpy profile of quiet roads through the reputed vineyards of the Rivesaltes region.