Taking Shape - The 'Coasts and Cols' Tour Route

I believe that within everyone, there is a desire to explore. A desire to push the boundaries of what you know, and where you've been. A desire to take the road less travelled.

The 'Coasts and Cols' Tour was born out of my innate desire to explore; to see new places, and meet new people - all from the saddle of a bicycle.

What was once a pipeline idea, is now taking shape: with dates, details and routes. In this post, I thought I would provide a bit of an update...

The 'Coasts and Cols' Climbs

The elevation profile of the 'Coasts and Cols' Tour looks rather worryingly like the heart rate graph of someone that is going into cardiac trauma; before flat-lining. It correlates to my upward and undulating route, from the moment I leave the north coast of Spain; this is then followed by the brutal and numerous cols of the Pyrenees; before rolling back up through France, on the flat plains of the west coast.

The spikes and troughs in the route profile are notable, so here's the list of the planned ascents, with over 500 metres elevation gain:
  • Puerto de Alisas (Spain) - 17.1 km - 627 m elevation gain
  • Alto de Dima (Spain) - 10.4 km - 510 m elevation gain
  • Alto de Orhy (Spain) - 18.7 km - 781 m elevation gain
  • Port Larrau (France) - 10.0 km - 650 m elevation gain
  • Col de Marie Blanque (France) - 9.1 km - 713 m elevation gain
  • Col d'Aubisque (France) - 12.0 km - 919 m elevation gain
  • Col du Tourmalet (France) - 20.8 km - 1,441 m elevation gain
  • Col d'Apsin (France) - 12.5 km - 637 m elevation gain
  • Col de Peyresourde (France) - 9.4 km - 641 m elevation gain
  • Col de Mente (France) - 9.9 km - 853 m elevation gain
  • Col de Portet d'Aspet (France) - 4.4 km - 433 m elevation gain
  • Col du Port (France) - 12.3 km - 595 m elevation gain

The 'Coasts and Cols' Metrics

These are the totals for the planned route. I am sure they will vary slightly from the final stats, because "the best laid plans of mice and men..."; but hey...
  • Total distance: 1,895 kilometres
  • Total elevation gain: 28,000 metres
  • Total days riding: 9.5 days

The 'Coasts and Cols' Route Maps

Part 1: Santander to Carcassonne

Part 2: Cascassonne to St. Malo


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