Watching La Vuelta in the French Pyrenees

Published by Andrew on 27 July 2016

One stage of the 2016 Vuelta visits France. Here's what you need to know about watching it. 

Vuelta Stage 14

Click here for a larger view 

Now that the hullabaloo of the Tour de France has come to an end for another year, fans of professional cycling turn their gaze towards La Vuelta, Spain’s three-week grand tour. 

Since 1995, La Vuelta has taken place over August and September, with the race this year featuring a really tough-looking stage in the French Pyrenees on Saturday, September 3.

Here's the stage 14 profile

Veulta

It will take riders 195.6km from Urdax-Dantxarinea to Aubisque-Gourette. The stage features the category 1 Soudet, Col Inharpu (category 1), Col de Marie Blanque (category 1) and the Col d’Aubisque (category 'especial' or HC), which will be climbed from the Laruns side up to the ski-station at Gourette.

The roadbook is out now and can be found here. It is a big document so I have extracted the main points below:

Timings for this stage can found on pages 191 and 193, but the main points are:

Start time is 12:04 
Col du Soudet between 15:05 to 15:27
Col de Marie-Blanque between 16:19 to 1654
Laruns sprint between 16:52 and 17:27
Col d’Aubisque between 17:22 and 18:00

The gradients of the cols can be found on page 192.

Here is the Col de Marie-Blanque:

Col de Marie-Blanque

Here is the final climb, the Aubisque:

Aubisque Vuelta 

Lots of teams have now announced their line-ups so this stage should be a great spectacle.

It will be stage 14 of the race and come at a pivotal time for the overall classification.

The route should offer some great viewing opportunities and hopefully some slightly cooler temperatures than we get during the height of summer for the Tour de France.

Based on the maps from the organisers, I've made this GPX file below, which you can download. You can also zoom in to find accommodation and bike hire in the area. Click on the coloured line or go here to download the GPX.

I've never been to the Vuelta before, so I might just use stage 14 as an excuse to head down and have a look. Why not come too?

I'll post more info here as I get it.

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