Monday, November 25, 2019

Portet d'Aspet, a crash made this climb famous

Pyrenees Portet d'Aspet
Nice statue remembering Fabio Casartelli
Portet d'Aspet is one of those not-so-known climbs in the french Pyrenees. The fact that made it famous was the fatal crash of the olimpic champion Fabio Casartelli in Tour de France 1995. Those years when wearing the helmet was not mandatory.
Fabio Casartelli had won the cycling race in 1992 Barcelona Olimpic games (at that time professional athletes could not compete in the Olimpic games). He was a cyclist with a great future ahead and in 1995 he was in Motorola team, same team as Lance Armstrong much before he had cancer and started to dominate the Tour de France.

Portet d'Aspet is a steep climb, no doubt. Usually included together with its neighbour and also very steep Col de Mente. It was in the descent towards Col de Mente with passages at 17% that Fabio crashed. Since the very first moment TV images showed how bad the crash was for Fabio. Even if other cyclists crashed with him and went off the road, he was not moving, laying on the road. Fatal crash.

Little later it was built a nice sculpture of a wheel with flying wings. This place has become a pilgrimage destination for many cyclist, to remember Fabio and the fatal crash in 1995.

Pyrenees Portet d'Aspet
Portet d'Aspet, just 1060 mts but it is a steep climb!

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