Col Collective – Is this the most underrated climb in the Pyrénées?

Located in the Ariège department in the Occitanie region of south-west France, the Col de Pailhères joins the village of Mijanès in the east to the spa town of Ax-Les-Thermes in the west. Despite being just one of two road passes to top 2,000m in the French Pyrenées (the other being the legendary Col du Tourmalet at 2,115m) the Pailhères was a relative late comer to the world of professional cycling, appearing for the first time in the Tour de France in 2003.


A popular climb amongst cyclo tourists crossing the Pyrénées from coast to coast the Pailhères has a certain serenity that only increases the higher you go and, although it may only be 10.4km from Mijanès, with switchback upon switchback and views that’ll leave you in complete awe it’s a far grander climb than it may otherwise have you believe.

We hope you enjoy our journey to the Ariège. If you could spread the word by sharing amongst your friends we’d be truly appreciative as just this small act helps us greatly.

It’s that time of year again! Are you ready for the Tour of Sufferlandria, the greatest Grand Tour of a Mythical Nation in the world? Nine straight days of Sufferfest videos to benefit the Davis Phinney Foundation and their work to improve the lives of those affected by Parkinson’s Disease. In the past two years, Sufferlandrians raised over to $250,000 for the Foundation. Resolve will be tested. Sacrifices will be made. Legends will be born. Chamois will be shredded and prizes will be won! GREAT prizes too! As the official sponsor of Stage 3, we’re giving you the chance to win a place on our Tour de France cycling tour this summer, and for every $10 raised or donated you’re entered into a monster prize pool worth of €25,000! Don’t overthink it people, let’s all have some fun together and help raise as much as we can for the Davis Phinney Foundation. See you on the start line!


Thanks for joining us this week, we’ll be back again soon from another beautiful mountain. Maybe in the Alps, perhaps the Dolomites, or could it be somewhere totally new? I guess you’ll have to wait and see. Until then, ride safe and enjoy!

Mike Cotty has been bringing the mountains to life through his inspiring videos for over 5 years and TORQ have been fuelling him and the Col Collective for the entire journey. The Col Collective Cycling Tours have since sprung to life.

Why not join us for one of our cycling tours in the French Pyrénées, Dolomites and Italian Alps. For more details visit

Thank you to our partners Mavic, Cannondale, Exposure Lights, Lezyne, MyPower by InfoCrank, Muc Off, The Sufferfest, TORQ and USE for enabling us to bring these truly special mountains to life for you all. If you're in need of new bike kit in the future and you enjoyed this video then bear them in mind and help keep the wheels turning :-)

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Stay well, ride safe and thank you for watching.


Mike Cotty
The Col Collective

The Col Collective Tours are fully stocked with TORQ Performance products. And this season they will also be debuting our new TORQ SNAQ range. So if you fancy going out to Mike’s boutique-style guest house in France and spending some time riding the Cols, rest assured you’ll be TORQ Fuelled whilst you’re there too.