Tour de France 2023 – Update II

Tour de France LogoNew Tour de France 2023 update.

The pros already moved on from only two Pyrenees stages which brought more spectacle than many expected.

As I have no less than 15 stages – provided I do not blow myself up like I did during my Tour of 2021 – I will have a lot more climbs to chose from.

But the more I look at/study the map on climbfinder, the more I realize that those are not enough to squeeze every one of them in.

In my – base camp – area, there are plenty hardly worth a second look, but the list of those I consider a “must” is just too long…

I also do not want to spend too many hours on car transfers, but I won’t be able to avoid those either.

In my previous Tour de France 2023 post, I described my first stage and I think it would make sense to make the reverse of that my last.

Mostly depending on how I feel, I might skip the final descend down the Port de Balès.

I don’t think it will save time, as I’m usually faster on the descends than Paula in the team car, so I will then have to wait at the bottom anyway 😂

At any rate, these two stages will have covered both ends of the Col d’Aspin, the Col de Peyresourde and the Port de Balès.

From Bagnères-de-Bigorre, the following cols are on the “must do” list:

There are a few more almost starting at my doorstep, but they go on the “nice to tick off” list and/or can be climbed on a “rest” day…

From Argèles-Gazost the list is not any shorter:

  • Col d’Aubisque – two for the climb of one, as this is via the Col du Soulor – if I want to challenge myself, I’d first get to that “split”, descend to Arthez d’Assons and climb the Soulor from there (too), before continuing to the summit of the Aubisque. The Aubisque from both ends in one stage is a possibility too 🙂  As you can see – on the map – I also have the alternative of climbing up the Aubisque via the Soulor from Arthez d’Assons, then descend to Laruns and climb that other end of the Aubisque.
    • The latter could, however, also be included in a stage starting in Laruns, which is about 1.5 hours by car from Bagnères-de-Bigorre:
      • Start with the Col du Portalet, descend back and then tackle the Aubisque, descend over the Soulor back to Agrgèles-Gazost and return home by car from there.
      • Or, combine the Portalet with the climb of the Col de Marie-Blanque (Bielle / Escot) and then go home by car from the summit or after the descend.

Furthermore, there’s the Gran Fondo Marmotte Pyrenees – that officially starts in Argèles-Gazost and finishes in Luz Ardiden.

Doing that would save me from breaking my head on how to include Luz Ardiden in a stage, other than combined with (both ends of) the Tourmalet, which is exactly what the Marmotte does.

It also includes the Hourquette and the eastern approach of the Col d’Aspin. The latter is a pity, as I already have that planned for my prologue – unless I forfait that…

Then again, it ticks off one end of the Hourquette, meaning I could do another stage – from Anzican or Guchen – including the Granges the Lurgues and the Anzican end of the Hourquette.

Starting this Marmotte from my doorstep or from Campan is, like the Marmotte Alps I did, a lot smarter, saving car transfer time.

I will try and work out some of the described alternatives into actual stages, but my experience is that my planning ends up in the shredder after a day or two anyway 😂

My version of the Marmotte Pyrenees



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