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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
From Pau to Hautecam
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.
From Argeles Gazost to Lac de Cap de Long
A classic day in the Pyrenees taking in two legends and one local secret climb. We start in Argeles with a long drag up the valley until we hit the Tourmalet. After summitting most famous climb in the Pyrenees we take on one of the best descents before immediately hittling the Aspin. From here we roll down the valley to the tough, long and at times steep Lac de Cap de Long. We finish with a descent into St Lary for some great local food and recovery.
From St Lary to Luchon
The final leg of the Circle of Death is normally just a quick climb of the Peyresourde but we wanted to spice up the last leg. We start by going over the Col d'Azet straight out of St Lary and then take on the Peyresourde. From here we turn left onto the Port de Bales and then to the hairpins of the Col de Mente. You will earn your post ride beer in Luchon on this epic four col day in the Pyrenees!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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||Quantity||Total|
|28th Aug - 1st Sep 2019||Best Western Hôtel Continental||Single Room||£849||£849||Book Now|
|Twin Room||£1399||£1399||Book Now|