Channeling Cycling Greats to Ascend the Col du Tourmalet in France
The sign at the bottom of the eastern approach is like an ill omen. Ahead lie 10.5 miles and 4180 vertical feet to the 6939-foot summit of the Col du Tourmalet, one of the highest road passes in the Pyrenees mountains between France and Spain and, more importantly, an infamous Tour-de-France climb. If you're not Lance Armstrong, it's an ego-bruising ascent that can feel like a pull through molasses when the gradient hits 10%. Take inspiration from pedaling greats, whose names are painted on the pavement. At the top there’s a café-restaurant and oversized statue of Octave Lapize, the first cyclist over the top when the Tourmalet premiered in the Tour de France in 1910.