13 July 2015

TDF Stage 10 Preview: Climb to La Pierre-Sainte-Martin

I nearly forgot the next preview ... Stage 10 Preview, Tuesday July 13, 2015 

Tarbes to La Pierre-Saint-Martin - 167 km

It is a long 25.8 km final climb tomorrow for the first climbing day in the Pyrenees, steep in the middle and not so much at the top. The beginning might shake a few riders off, the middle a few more, but the man who has a climber teammate to pace him to the top will be the lucky one.

Route Maps

Stage 10 route map

Stage 10 route map TDF 2015
Stage 10 profile map

Stage 10 profile map TDF 2015

There will be four climbs on route tomorrow.

I like veloviewer climb profiles because they give the impression of whether a climb is winding, this one is. The top of the climb, where it opens up a bit, has some corners the fans will love - they will be able to see the action approaching. The middle part, the helicopters will not love - there are trees and turns.

 La Pierre-Saint-Martin profile veloviewer
Climb by Bike info page

The climb of  La Pierre-Sainte-Martin

I have been fortunate to ride from Arette up to the Col du Soudet to La Pierre-Sainte-Martin, the mountain top finish of Stage 10 on Tuesday, July 14th (Bastille Day!). My blog post by Pedal Dancer® Today I rode to the Frontiere of Spain, from 2010!

It is steep in parts.   Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®
Ski station ahead. NOBODY was home in summer. Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®

Pedal Dancer Rankings of the climb to La Pierre-Saint-Martin (0-5, five being fabulous!)

2 : Overall gotta do it score
2 : Where am I (somewhere between France and Spain, I couldn't see too far from the saddle)
3 : Atmosphere (trees, some cows, ski station, in the middle of nowhere, bring survival gear)
4 : Traffic (none, which made it nice but a little too secluded)
3 : Climb quality (I did it 15%!)
4 : Glad I did it (because I know what that part of the Pyrenees looks like on a bike)
1 : Would do it again (once is enough, although the view during 1 km was nice and I saw a cow)
2 : Cafe after the ride (was fine, located at the bottom in Arette, nice group of Germans invited me for a drink. Absolutely nothing at the top!)

I am glad I dared to venture east of the main core climbs (Tourmalet, Aubisque) of the Pyrenees to tackle this climb. It is not difficult, although I took advantage of that 15% sign as an excuse to stop and take a photo on the way up, it is however a commitment. It just keeps going up and up and I didn't see one other cyclist on the climb. The German cyclists I found afterwards at the cafe at the bottom, made me wonder if they had just ridden to the cafe and stayed there all day. 

Some not often visited names for the Tour de France.  Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®

Approximate time of Stage 10 finish (a little earlier than usual): 16:43 CET (6:43 AM EDT, 8:43 AM MDT)

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Read more 2015 Tour de France Coverage by Pedal Dancer®