GFNY Announces: GFNY Lourdes Tourmalet
GFNY tackles Tourmalet
On June 12, 2022 you get to tackle the iconic Col du Tourmalet at the new race: GFNY Lourdes Tourmalet.
Col du Tourmalet (alt. 2115m) is the most-used mountain pass by the Tour de France and among the most important and famous cycling mountains in the world. It was first used at the Tour in 1910. Watch the climb at the Tour today and race it yourself on June 12, 2022!
Lourdes is the largest Marian pilgrimage destination in the world. Approximately 5,000,000 pilgrims visit Lourdes each year to visit the Sanctuaries Notre-Dame de Lourdes, which contains the Grotto and churches.
Besides the Roman Catholic pilgrimage, Lourdes is famous for its historical architecture. It has been inhabited for over 2000 years and holds historical artifacts, monuments and buildings. Atop a rocky embarkment in the center of Lourdes, lies the Château Fort de Lourdes, a fortified castle that is 1000 years old.
Lourdes offers direct access to stunning Pyrenees nature like Pont d’Espagne at the heart of the Pyrenees National Park, where you can see exceptional wildlife and plants. Pic du Midi de Bigorre (alt. 2877m) has panoramic terraces, or visit the Pic du Jer for a dramatic overview of Lourdes and scenic hiking. There are many outdoor activities to enjoy in and near Lourdes. You could also check out Halles of Lourdes, the covered market, or simply relax and enjoy the fine Occitanie cuisine.
On the long course of GFNY Lourdes Tourmalet, you leave Lourdes and the Sanctuary of Notre Dame de Lourdes quickly behind to conquer one of the holy cycling grounds: the 2115m-high Col du Tourmalet.
The first 15km are mostly flat, which will make for a nice warm-up. After the village of Villelongue, you will begin the nearly 30km-long ascent over one of the most famous climbs in the world. The first 13km climbs gradually, with a few steeper pitches and descents.
At km 28, in Luz-Saint-Sauveur, the climbing gets serious, with the final 18km to the top of Col du Tourmalet averaging 7.2%. The best of the best climb it in under one hour, but it will take you up to two hours to reach its revered top with amazing views.
After a 30km descent, the town of Bagnères-de-Bigorre marks the beginning of a challenging last third of the course. The 6km-long Col de la Saoucede and 3km-long Cap de Germs in the Pyrenean foothills are easy on paper, compared to Tourmalet. But given that you just climbed Tourmalet and both climbs have sections in the double digit percent steepness, they will leave a mark on your legs and mind.
While the whole course may seem short, with just over 100km in length, it’s the combination of the high altitude Tourmalet and 2800m of climbing that make this course a true GFNY. Back in Lourdes, the post-race celebrations will await you.
Long Route – 107km
Medium Route – 55km
Traveling to Lourdes is a smooth experience. The South of France offers many travel options with multiple nearby airports, an extensive railway network and great road infrastructure.
The fastest trip from outside Europe is flying via Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) to Tarbes-Lourdes (LDE) or Pau-Pyrenees (PUF). From CDG, take the TGV train (several connections to Lourdes). From LDE or PUF, take a taxi or rent a car.
Distances to Lourdes from nearby airports:
LDE (15km) – driving time 0:15
PUF (65km) – driving time 0:45
BIQ (170km) – driving time 1:35
TLS (180m) – driving time 1:45