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Available Months 28th Aug to 1st Sept
Nights Available 4 Nights
Pyrenees France Riding into the Circle of Death

Riding into the Circle of Death

5 days, 4 nights in the heart of the Pyrenees taking on the classic climbs like the Tourmalet & Aubisque and stunning local rides including Lac de Cap de Long & Superbagneres.

Accommodation in 3 star hotels
Return airport transfers
Daily guided rides
Breakfast & Evening Meals
Optional Extras Bike Rental Available
Pyrenees by Sportive Breaks
Routes Details
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Event Info

Ride Notes

The Circle of Death is the name given to the toughest Pyrenees stage of the Tour de France and on this 5 day, 4 night tour we take in the classic climbs and local gems between Pau & Luchon in the heart of the Pyrenees.
Starting out of Pau, one of the most frequently used stage towns in the Tour and a place packed with character, we head down to the first climb, the mighty Aubisque. The first day finishes with a summit finish on the Hautecam before descending to Argeles Gazost.
On day two, we head over the Tourmalet and Aspin on the way to one of the best climbs in France, the Lac de Cap de Long. On the last full day, we climb the Col d'Azet, Peyresourde, Port de Bales and the Col de Mente before a final morning spin up Superbagneres. 10 amazing climbs in one amazing long weekend. Possibly the best short break for climbers anywhere in the world.

Real Rider Reviews

Mark, Sportive Breaks Rider, 2017: "Sportive Breaks' attention to detail and communication are spot on! Will be back next year. "

Ride Highlights

  • Climbing the Tourmalet

    The most used climb ever in the Tour de France, the Tourmalet features in the race almost every year and is THE classic climb in the area. We ride it on Friday.

  • Off the beaten path

    Ride some of the lesser known climbs in the Pyrenees. The Col de Mente & Superbagneres are spectacularly beautiful and quiet. Riding at it's best.

  • Lac de Cap de Long

    A one way climb going over 2,000m and one of France's best kept secrets. This should be world famous with it's perfect hairpins, amazing views and barely no traffic. It is our stage finish on Friday.

Meet the Team


Local Guide

Christian is a cycling legend in these parts. Born and bred in Luchon he is a natural climber with some impressive times up the major cols. There might be nobody on the planet with more knowledge of these roads.



France is John's favourite destination with it's rugged climbs and amazing food. He is there to help with anything you need and is in the support vehicle handing out bottles on tough climbs and setting up feed stations at the summits.

Trip Summary

  • 4 Night Breaks
  • Dates available: August 28th to September 1st
  • Total distance: Avg 138km per day
  • Total elevation: Avg 3,600m per day
  • Bucket List Climbs: Aubisque, Tourmalet, Aspin, Peyresourde
  • Prices from £699
Routes Details

Route Overview

After a short warm up spin on arrival day around Pau, we ride to Luchon over 3 big days before finishing with a final ride up Superbagneres on the last morning.

Stage One

Stage One

From Pau to Hautecam

Ride Distance 127
Elevation Gain 3120

Out of Pau we leave the town behind and head into the remote Pyrenees. After a 40km warm up we hit the Aubisque and take on one of the giants of the region. From the summit we descend down to Argeles Gazost before hitting our final climb, the Hautecam. This is one of the tougher climbs in the Pyrenees with a gradient that never settles. We then roll down into Argeles to spend the evening.

Climbs at Pyrenees

Col d'Aubisque

One of the true legends of the Tour de France, the Aubisque is the first climb of the Circle of Death riding into the remote high mountains of the Pyrenees. Gradients are steady at 7-8% and the climb gets more beautiful the higher you go.

Ride Distance 16.6km
Elevation Gain 7.2%
KOM  Robert Gesink 48 mins

Col du Tourmalet (Luz Saint Sauveur)

One of the most famous climbs in the world and the mountain used the most in the Tour de France. The climb itself starts with a fairly mundane long section in the valley passed smaller and smaller villages until you approach the ski lifts and the beauty increases massively. From here, you ride past sheep, lovely meadows, huge mountain vistas and into the high mountains. The mile markers that are such a loyal friend abandon you in the last 4km so when you finally hit the summit the feeling is part euphoria and part relief.

Ride Distance 19km
Elevation Gain 7.4%
KOM  Thibaut P 55 mins

Col de Peyresourde (Avajan)

From this side, this is normally the last climb in a tough stage. The climb starts with gentle gradients before hitting some steeper stuff as the road winds up. The top section is full of long straights and sweeping views as you get to the summit and a great descent into Luchon.

Ride Distance 10km
Elevation Gain 6.6%
KOM  29 mins 24 secs


This is one of our favourite climbs in cycling. The start takes you out of Luchon as you follow the river up the valley over mixed gradients. As you go over a small bridge you are hit with high mountains all around you and a right turn takes you onto the final ascent up Superbagneres. The top section is glorious, fun hairpins with incredible views and almost no traffic. Enjoy!

Ride Distance 17.5km
Elevation Gain 6%
KOM  53 mins 56 secs

Pyrenees Cycling Itinerary

We run 4 night breaks to the Circle of Death from Wednesday to Sunday. We start in Pau and make our way over 3 rides to Lunchon before a final ride on departure day up Superbagneres.


Day One Wednesday


Arrive in Toulouse by 5pm for our 5.30pm transfer to Pau. We set bikes up before our welcome dinner at 8pm to discuss the next few days.

Day Two Thursday

Pau to Hautecam

We roll out at 8.30am after a large breakfast and roll down to Laruns. From there, we take on the mighty Aubisque before a long descent to the final climb of the day, the Hautecam. We then roll down to our hotel in Argeles Gazost.

Ride Distance 126 km.
Elevation Gain 3120 m.

Day Three Friday

Argeles Gazost to Lac de Cap de Long

Another 8.30am rollout for a classic Pyrenees day - up the valley to the Tourmalet, over the Aspin and finishing above 2,000m on the stunning Lac de Cap de Long before rolling down to our hotel in St Lary.

Ride Distance 135 km.
Elevation Gain 3850 m.

Day Four Saturday

St Lary to Luchon

One last big day in the Pyrenees. From St Lary we go over the Col d'Azet then the Peyresourde before tackling the Port de Bales and finally the multiple hairpins of the Col de Mente.

Ride Distance 150 km.
Elevation Gain 4010 m.

Day Five Sunday


We depart at 1pm for a 3pm arrival at Toulouse Airport. Before packing up our bikes, we have one last spin up Superbagneres, a beautiful and quiet climb, fitting for our final summit.

Ride Distance 36 km.
Elevation Gain 1170 m.

Airport Transfers

Airport collections are from Toulouse (TLS). The drive to Pau takes 2 hours and the drive from Luchon takes around 1hr45.


We will meet you in arrivals and give you a number to call if you are delayed.

Arrival Airport
Transfer Times
Toulouse (TLS)
Arrive before 5pm for a 5.30pm transfer to Pau.


We leave Port de Pollensa with plenty of time for you to check your bike, grab a last minute gift and have a stress free return flight.

Departure Airport
Transfer Times
Toulouse (TLS)
Depart after 5pm (transfer arrives in Toulouse for 3pm)


Book Now

Four night packages from Pau to Luchon over the classic climbs of the Pyrenees. Max group size is 14 with an on the road guide and support vehicle.

Date Hotel Name Room Type Price  
28th Aug - 1st Sep 2019 Best Western Hôtel Continental Single Room £849 Book Now
Twin Room £1399 Book Now

28th Aug to 1st Sept

4 nights

Single Room £849
Twin Room £699
  • Return Transfers from Toulouse
  • 4 Nights half board accommodation in 3* bike hotels
  • Ride nutrition
  • Daily rides with local guides & support vehicle
  • Flights
  • Insurance
  • Bike Rental