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Col d’Aubisque

Col d'Aubisque
Legendary climb
  • France
  • 1.709m
  • 18.8km

About the Climb

The Col d’Aubisque (1.709m) is one of the great legendary climbs of the Tour de France. It’s the second most famous climb in the Pyrenees after the Col du Tourmalet (2.115m) and has been in the Tour de France more than 70 times.

In 1926 one of the stages crossed Col d’Aubisque and is legendary in the history of the Tour de France. Many historians claim that it was the hardest stage ever. At the summit a monument of Lucien Buyee, winner of the 1926 Tour de France, marks this Epic moment in cycling history.

In comparison to many other well-known cols, the Col d’Aubisque does not have one clear side that is most popular for cyclists. From the east side, the climb begins first with Col du Soulor, and therefore the ‘real’ climb is often referred as the one from the west side near the village Laruns. So let’s highlight the climb via Laruns first.

‘Col d’Aubisque has been in the Tour de France more than 70 times’

The heaviest part of this climb will be at the end with sections hitting 10%. In total you will gain 1.190 meters covering 18.8km in distance. The average gradient is 5%, which is mainly because the first part of the climb is quite gentle. The real work starts around 8-9 kilometer, so that is about when you reach the Cascade de Valentin. From that point on, until reaching the summit, the gradient will not drop down below 8%.

Starting via Col de Soulor, the Col de l’Aubisque ascent is 30.1km in distance and you will gain 1247 altimeters. The average gradient is 4.1% with a maximum slope of 9%.

This side is characterized by deep soils, a tunnel with a bend and a beautiful view over the green meadows. At 2.5 kilometers from the top is a plaque on the left in memory of the Dutchman Wim van Est. He was the first Dutchman to wear the yellow jersey in the Tour of France, but slipped in the descent of the Col de l’Ausbisque wearing the yellow jersey. He fell 70 meters, survived, but did lose the yellow jersey that day. He he had to be pulled back on the road with 40 tied up racing tires. Footage on his rescue showed up for the first time in 1992. The Global Cycling Network mentioned him in a video, as one of the toughest riders of all times.

Video of the climb

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