Stage four of the Haute Route Pyrenees 5-day gran fondo saw competitors tackle the storied slopes of Col du Tourmalet, just a days before the Tour de France.
Col du Tourmalet is, along with Mont Ventoux and Alpe d’Huez, one of the three great cycling climbs of the Tour de France. The pass, the highest road in the Central Pyrenees, has been crossed by the Tour de France over eighty times – making it the most used climb in Tour history – and will once again be crossed on Thursday 15 July 2021.
The climb is 17 kilometres in length at an average gradient of 7.4%; the last kilometre is the steepest with an average gradient in excess of 10%. As difficult as the Tourmalet is to climb, it offers unequalled views of rugged green Pyrenean landscapes bathed in bright sunshine with endless peaks and valleys extending into the distance in all directions.
Spaniard Marco Rodero won the 120 kilometre Haute Route queen stage with 3350 metres climbing in 3:14:00, just ahead of Santiago Gerez (3:16:12) and Luis Bapst (3:16:44).
Almudena Arrechea was the first women in 4:22:22, followed by Ana Maria Ybarra Corcuera (4:30:32) and Alice Morel (4:51:50).
Both Rodero and Arrechea also sealed victory in the General Classification for their respective races after 600 kilometres of racing and 15000+ metres of climbing.
PHOTOS: Haute Route
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