Gurmencon to Luz St Sauveur – 134 km – 3324 metres
Today was insane. Definitely the hardest day so far and as far as cycling is concerned the hardest we’ve ever done. The day started off with a really cold winter morning, had to put our leggings and all that ‘Fame’ Leroy looking stuff!! We hit out first steep climb which was hard. Got greeted by loads of cows at the top, nice!
We started with the Col d’Aubisque. This and the Tourmalet (tomorrow) are the most feared legs of the Tour de France. We climbed up to 1709m with a 9 % gradient. The Col d’Aubisque is at the top of the main passage over the high butress that divides the old fronteir province of Bearn from the Bigorre region with two river gorges.
Then a mental downhill on which we clocked 75km’s per hour which was amazing!! Loved that. However, the worst was yet to come, our 2nd and biggest climb of the day , the Col de Marie Blanque which was pure insanity!!
Once we got to the top of the next Col we quickly put our clothing back on again ‘Fame’ style, and checked out Marcello on one of the biggest bikes we’ed ever seen! We continued through to Col du Soulor (10 km, 1474 m) and finally, Col de Spandelles (10 km, 1378 m, 5.8%) before riding through to Luz St Sauveur, a spa village straggling the Gavarnie and Bastan rivers with medieval architecture and a 12th century church. Lunch was well deserved and to finish off a long relatively flat cycle to our hotel. We are dead on our feet. We hit some freezing cold water up to the waist to help our tired legs and then dinner.
We can’t actually believe the worst is yet to come tomorrow with the dreaded Tourmalet. Lets see how we got on tomorrow.