Despite pinning Mike to the road during the 2007 Etape du Tour, he still has a special affection for the Col de Peyresourde.
As one of the oldest climbs in the Tour de France, first featuring in 1910, starting from the spa town of Bagnères-de-Luchon, the Col de Peyresourde is a deceptively tough ascent. 14.5km in length and although only climbing at an average gradient of 6.5% up to 1,569 metres above sea level, don’t be fooled by the numbers. The road ramps up straight out of Luchon, continually tickling the legs and edging you ever closer towards the red. The Peyresourde’s a cunning little fox, regularly applying the pressure and threatening to turn you around and send you packing back to Luchon for an early shower. Take your time, keep the faith, and you will be rewarded for all your hard work. With 4 kilometres to go, the road opens up to reveal the Midi-Pyrenees in all its finest, putting everything in perspective once more. The climb is one thing, but the descent is something else altogether. Without doubt, an absolute masterpiece of a mountain.
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