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For many of us cyclists, riding some of the most famous climbs in cycling history is something we just have to do. We all have our own personal Bucket List of climbs we NEED to ride, so why not join us this year and follow in the footsteps of our cycling heroes and tick off more of that list!
If you haven’t yet drawn up your list, now is the time. Think back over the years to where many of the famous battles in the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia or the Vuelta a Espana took place or where stage winners rode away to steal an important victory. Each mountain has its’ own story to tell.
Here are some of our own personal favourites:
The Col du Tourmalet – the most visited Col in Tour de France history, whether finishing at the summit or just passing over. This regularly features in the Etape du Tour.
Col du Galibier – one of the highest climbs and many of us remember Marco Pantini in 1998 attacking here on route to Les Deux Alpes.
Col d’Aubisque – one of the few climbs to feature in both the Tour and the Vuelta.
How about Mont Ventoux, scene of many a battle, although the memory of Tom Simpson’s death on the Giant of Provence in 1967 makes a ride here a touch more poignant.
The Col de Joux Plane, one of the hardest climbs due to relentlessness of the gradient the whole way up.
The Stelvio, at over 2700m high, it’s huge, but getting to the top makes the view of the hairpins so worthwhile!
We have a great feature on our website about climbs, whether cols, cotes or montees! Click here to read more
If you want to tick a few climbs off your bucket list, we’ve got a few trips this year that can help you do just that!
Raid Pyrenean – our 7 day trip in June across the Pyrenees will see you conquer the likes of the Col du Port, Tourmalet, Aubisque, Portet d’Aspet, Aspin, Ares, Peyresourde and the Port de Pailhères
Route des Grandes Alpes – a 658km long ride from the Mediterranean to Lake Geneva in August, taking in the likes of the mighty Col de la Bonette, the Col du Vars, Izoard, Lautaret, Galibier, Iseran, Colombiere and the Cormet de Roselend.
Haute Route Pyrenees – the first of this year’s HR events, with 800km traversing the Pyrenees and riding the likes of the Marie-Blanque, Aubisque, Soulor, Tourmalet, Aspin, Port de Bales and mountain top finishes at Pla D’Adet and Cap de Long.
Haute Route Alps – one of the toughest week long sportives, covering 800km, but giving you the chance to ride the likes of the Bonette, Vars, Izoard, Galibier, Madeleine, Courchevel and the Lacets de Montvernier.
Haute Route Dolomites Swiss Alps – 900km from 5th-11th September taking in 21,000m of climbing including San Gottardo, the Stelvio, the Gavia and Giau.
The TDF, Giro and Vuelta this year take in a large number of famous climbs as always. For each of these Grand Tours this year, we have various trips covering a number of climbs, giving you the chance to ride the likes of Ventoux, Grand Colombier, Aubisque, the Stelvio and to Risoul.
Some of the main summer sportives take in famous climbs too. With the Etape this year, amongst others, you will be climbing the Col du Joux Plane, the Marmotte will take in many famous Alpine climbs before finishing with an ascent of Alpe d’Huez and the Gran Fondo Stelvio obviously takes in its namesake and the Mortirolo, two of the most beautiful climbs in the World.
Don’t forget Gran Fondo Milan San Remo as a way of riding some tough climbs before you hit the Poggio, or Quebrantahuesos, as this takes you over the Somport, Marie Blanque, Portalet and Hoz de Jaca.
And new for 2016, is the Marmotte Pyrenees at the end of August, which not only takes you over the Hourquette d’Ancizan and the Col d’Aspin, but does a double ascent of the Tourmalet (one from each side) before finishing with a climb up to Luz Ardiden! This will be a beast of a ride, just like its Alpine brother.
If covering a set number of climbs is your goal, why not get a group of friends together and let us put together a trip for you. We have many years experience organising private group rides, offering support on the road and sorting out all the arrangements, whilst you enjoy the cycling. This is a great way of organising a challenge for charity fundraising purposes. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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