Following stage 12 of the Tour de France 2017, the Col de Menté is a beautiful hairpin filled, fairly challenging climb, rising out of a lush valley. Turn right out of Le Closier, and head towards Tuzaguet. The first 20 kilometres of the ride provide welcome flat roads in preparation for what is to come. The Col d’ Ares is the first climb of the day, with 336m altitude gain and 8.3km long, it poses a good warm up for the Menté.
Enjoy the short descent before you start the main climb of the day. This is a 6.9 kilometres long climb of 8.1% average gradient, with steepest slopes of 16%. Unlike the more well known climbs, there is a lack of kilometre markers on the Col de Menté and the 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs of the Tour de France writes that, ‘if you knew how steep each subsequent kilometre was going to be you’d probably turn around and find an easier route over the ridge’.
Once you’ve reached the top, stop for a coffee at the Gite Auberge, then enjoy one of the finest descents in the Pyrénées with sweeping hairpins, long straight sections and of course, stunning views. Where the tour then went on to tackle the gruelling Port de Balès and Peyragudes, you will head back towards Saint-Marie to join back on with the route you took out. Continue back through Saint-Bertrand and Montegut, then shortly after you will finish back at Velo Le Closier for some well-earned rest.
117km (72.6 miles)