Image courtesy of Gilles Guillamot / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)
The climb of the Col de Marie Blanque can really be looked at as one of two distinct halves. The first section of the climb contains some quite pleasant gradients which will allow your legs to warm up nicely. The first few kilometres only average between 2 and 5% so it is easy to get into a good rhythm early on.
It is once you reach the half way point of the climb that the real test begins. Gradients quickly steepen and get progressively harder until you reach the summit. The last 4kms of this climb are extremely steep – averaging between 10 and 11% with several sections above 13% for you to contend with. After the gentle start to begin with you can now finally get to appreciate the challenge of this famous Tour de France climb. Try and measure your efforts and keep forward momentum. You will get there and have bragging rights over summiting another great of the Pyrenees forevermore.
Distance: 68.2km / mi
Start elevation: 528m / 1,732ft
Max elevation: 1035m / 3396ft
Metres climbed: 1,418m / 4,652ft
Metres descended: 1,418m / 4,652ft
Categorised climbs: 1
Image courtesy of: Gilles Guillamot / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)
A summit sign photo is always a must.
While the climbing distance from this approach is short in length don’t underestimate the challenge of the steep gradients to the top. We recommend setting off with plenty of food and water. You can top up before you set off from the village of Escot.
Length: 10km / 6.2mi
Average gradient: 7.2%
Start point: Escot
Elevation at top: 1035m / 3396ft
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