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Going higher than ever before

In 1910 Col du Tourmalet was part of the Tour de France for the first time taking cyclists higher than they had ever been before. They needed to pedal over a 2.000m giant. To make this possible Henri Desgrange, at that time the director of the Tour de France, paid the local authority 3.000 francs to replace the goat track over the Tourmalet with a road.

Octave Lapize was the first one reaching the top and apparently calling out “You are murderers. Yes, killers!’’ towards the organization. Not sure if this was only about the Col du Tourmalet, as this was just one of the seven climbs that day covering probably a distance over 300 kilometers, which was quite normal in those days. He has been honored with a statue which marks the end of the climb. It can be crowded around this statue, as cyclists are queuing to get their photos taken in front of it.

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