Thursday, April 2, 2020

Luchon-Bayonne the most classic stage in the Pyrenees

Luchon Bayonne, this is a Tour de France stage, come on.
Luchon-Bayonne is one of the classical stages in Tour de France history.

326 km including Peyresourde, Aspin, Tourmalet and Aubisque. Also the small Osquich closer to the end. This is real cycling, this is cycling from the old times. This stage was first included in the Tour de France in 1910. Can you imagine the bikes and the roads in 1910? They were HEROES.

The first winner was Octave Lapize in 1910. When he arrived to the finish he said the famous sentence to organizers “Vous êtes des assassins! Oui, des assassins!", “You are murderers!”.

These are the Tours in which this stage was included (either Luchon-Bayonne, either Bayonne Luchon). Opposite direction (west to east) is even a more demanding stage, as the climbs are closer to the end of the stage. Here is the list of the Tours and the stage winners:

1910 Luchon-Bayonne 326 km Octave Lapize
1911 Luchon-Bayonne 326 km Maurice Brocco
1912 Luchon-Bayonne 326 km Louis Mottiat
1913 Bayonne-Luchon 326 km Philippe Thijs
1914 Bayonne-Luchon 326 km Firmin Lambot
 (World War 1)
1919 Bayonne-Luchon 326 km Honoré Barthelemy
1920 Bayonne-Luchon 326 km Firmin Lambot
1921 Bayonne-Luchon 326 km Hector Heusghem
1922 Bayonne-Luchon 326 km Jean Alavoine
1923 Bayonne-Luchon 326 km Jean Alavoine
1924 Bayonne-Luchon 326 km Ottavio Bottecchia
1925 Bayonne-Luchon 326 km Adeline Benoit
1926 Bayonne-Luchon 326 km Lucien Buysse
1927 Bayonne-Luchon 326 km Nicolas Frantz
1929 Bayonne-Luchon 363 km Salvador Cardona

In the old times the Tour de France (or La Grand Boucle-the big loop) was really a route around France following the pentagone shape of France. The route was very similar for many years then some stages were always the same: Brest-Les Sables d'Olonne 412 km, Les Sables d'Olonne-Bayonne 482 km, Bayonne-Luchon 326 km , Luchon-Perpignan 323 km.

There is a Granfondo organized by the Federation Françoise de Cycloturisme, that follows exactly this stage, from Bayonne to Luchon. There are 2 choices: doing in just one stage the 326 km, and the second option is doing it in 2 stages. Next 2020 the dates are June 20th and 21st.

In our Transpyrenees trip we climb all these famous mountains in different stages: Stage 1 Hondarribia-St Jean de Pied de Port, Stage 2 St Jean de Pied de Port-Bielle (including Osquich), Stage 3 Bielle-Luz St Sauveur (including Aubisque), Stage 4 Luz St Sauveur-Luchon (including Tourmalet, Aspin, Peyresourde). Join us!!

Col d'Aubisque

Col de Peyresourde

Col d'Osquich

Le Tourmalet, le roi