Col du Tourmalet is the most famous climb in the Pyrenees, mainly due to its presence in Tour de France. It has been included more than any other pass. Tour de France’s impact on Col du Tourmalet is clearly visible at the top, where The Giant of Tourmalet (Le Géant du Tourmalet), frequently nicknamed Octave in honor of Octave Lapize, the first rider to cross the Col du Tourmalet watches the top. A memorial to Jacques Goddet, director of the Tour de France from 1936 to 1987, can also be found at the col.
It was also here Alphonse Steines sent a telegram to Henri Desgrange, Tour de France organizer, after being saved by rescuers in deep snow: “Crossed Tourmalet stop. Very good road stop. Perfectly feasible”.
Despite the hype, we think Troumouse and Tentes are better options in this area, but it’s a great climb nevertheless.