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Tour De France

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Tour De France
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Who has been to a Col du Tourmalet stage of the Tour? To get close to the top on race day, is there a lift that takes you close or do you need to hike if you aren't planning on biking up the mountain before the stage?

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Perth, Australia
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1. Re: Tour De France
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There are some ski lifts from La Mongie up to the top, but that doesn’t solve the problem of getting to La Mongie (1800m) in the first place. You’d still need to walk or bike up earlier in the day.

You could try contacting the local tourist office to see if they know about any shuttle buses that might be put on for the day - I have seen them do this on the day I rode a sportive that took in the Tourmalet.

The eastern ascent road will probably not even be closed since the route comes up the western side (the opposite from La Mongie).

If you could ascend the western side then there is much more elevation gain from ski lifts from Bareges than from La Mongie. Assuming the lifts will even be running - I don’t know that for sure. I don’t think I’ve ever seen them running in summer although they might start them up for a special occasion.

Hautes-Pyrenees...
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As far as I am aware the lifts do not operate in the summer and in previous years the road up to the Tourmalet has been closed at least the day before - I should imagine it will be closed both sides as the road is narrow and the supporting vehicles need somewhere to go. Last year I understand that even cyclists were prevented from riding up to the cols.

Perth, Australia
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The main difference with this year's stage compared with previous is that the race actually finishes on top of the col. So the eastern road will not need to be closed for race route reasons.

I agree it's pretty likely that they will heavily restrict access up that road - there is quite a lot of parking at La Mongie itself but I imagine a lot of that will be taken over by the race organisation, TV etc.leaving very little for anyone else on the day.

But you would hope the eastern road could stay open to walkers and cyclists even if closed to cars.

I still think it would be worth contacting the local tourist office in the Tarbes / Bigorre area to see if they know if any of the local bus companies are going to cash in and run a shuttle service.

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I’ll be staying in Bareges. Do you think I can drive there after the Pau stage on Friday early evening or will the D918 be closed? When do they usually close to car traffic? Thanks

Perth, Australia
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I would be surprised if you could not get to Bareges on the Friday night. Even if the road up to the top of the col was closed, it would cause too much disruption to Bareges to close it that far the previous day. It's a sizeable village. You might be asked to show that you had a reservation or something.

Suggest you contact your hotel and ask them though.

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Cool thanks. Yeah it’s seems a pretty large village.

7. Re: Tour De France
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I've been to several mountain top finishes in the Pyrenees, but not this one. You should contact your hotel about a week before the race date to see if they have more details. The local police or other local government agency will post a notice (in French only) giving the details of when roads will be closed but these can often be hard to find online. The hotel will be your best bet.

The race isn't scheduled to finish until 5 pm at the Col. You're only 12 km from the top. In years past, I've stayed about that far and the best thing to do is pack a picnic and start walking at about 10 am. You'll meet loads of people on the way up. Lots of chalets/hotels will be doing BBQs or parties. Make some friends, but you have loads of time to get to the top.

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