Raid Pyrenean

Hendaye, France

Organiser's Description

Cycling holidays made easy - Sportive Breaks takes you to the best climbs, routes and rides in Europe without the hassle. Join our team of expert guides, mechanics and local hosts and discover some of the best riding on the planet!

Our packages include return airport transfers, half board accommodation, and rides each day. Six night packages from June to September - THE classic mountain challenge in cycling

The most famous point to point ride in cycling. The Raid Pyrenean has been running since 1950, with 8 stamps required to prove you have completed the course. Our small group rides are the perfect way to complete the Raid, with expert support, and social rides and meals with riders like yourself.

All of our rides are led by our expert guides and followed by our mechanic in the support van. If you are having a bad day you can jump in the van at any time. We set up feed stations every 25km so you are never far away from a friendly face and a cold drink. Your luggage is delivered to the hotel each evening, where we have dinner together and the guides will brief you on the next day.

Races

  • 6 night breaks from
    £999 BOOK

Arrival Day - Monday

Hendaye

Arrive in Toulouse by 5pm. Our transfer arrives into Hendaye for around 8.30pm, where we will have dinner and run through the plan for tomorrow. Our mechanic is on hand to help to build bikes or fit rental bikes.

Stage One - Tuesday

Hendaye to Oloron

We all roll out of Hendaye together (typically breakfast at 7.30am, roll out at 8.30am, but can change for weather). Our usual group size is 8-12 with a ride leader and support vehicle. On flatter days we ride together at a gentle pace (25km/h on the flat) and start by regrouping on the summits. Feed stops are set up every 25km and we have a lunch on the road at around 100km.
Today is a nice introduction to the Pyrenees through the Basque country. The roads are quiet and the route is rolling, with only one major climb just before lunch. We roll into Oloron for three big stages ahead. Ride Distance 149km; Elevation Gain 2057m.

Stage Two - Wednesday

Oloron to La Mongie

A massive day in the Pyrenees. After a hearty breakfast we head off for a 35km false flat where we all stay together. After a quick feed we are onto the mighty Col d'Aubisque - our first of the Pyrenees big beasts. From here we descend down into Argeles Gazost for another long false flat to the foot of the Tourmalet. We have lunch before the Tourmalet and then it's you vs the mountain. After pics and a coke at the summit, we have a short descent to our base for the night. Ride Distance 120km; Elevation Gain 3803m.

Stage Three - Thursday

La Mongie to St Girons

Another classic Pyrenees day. We start by descending the majority of the Tourmalet and then hit the Aspin after 20km. The views from here are spectacular and the descent is quick and fun. The climbs come thick and fast today, and we are quickly onto the Peyresourde, before descending into Luchon, one of the most popular stage towns in the Tour de France. We then end with two great climbs - the Col de Mente is one of our favourites in the Alps, and the Col de Portet d'Aspet is a fitting final climb for an epic day. Ride Distance 146km; Elevation Gain 3162m.

Stage Four - Friday

St Girons to Prades

An early start for a long day. We roll out by 8am and try to handle the first 100km as easily as possible. The Col de Port is the only challenge of the morning, but the climbs are back loaded, with the Col de Puymorens (27km at 4%) and Col de la Perche to come. Our hotel has a pool and we recover with a beer by the pool with the very satisfying knowledge that we are almost done. Ride Distance 198km; Elevation Gain 4599m.

Stage Five - Saturday

Prades to Cerbere

The last day is a quick 90km to the coast and the finish town of Cerbere. We have a slightly later start after yesterday's epic ride, and roll into Cerbere for a late lunch and some celebrations as we get the last stamp in the Raid Pyrenean carnet. Ride Distance 87km; Elevation Gain 800m.

Departure Day - Sunday

Toulouse

We have a lazy morning on the Med in Cerbere. Our mechanics are on hand to pack bikes if you did not do it last night. We head off to Toulouse at 12pm, the drive is around 3 hrs.

The ride is over 5 days, starting just South of Biarritz close to the Spanish border, and heading over the most famous climbs in the Pyrenees. Five stages from Hendaye to Cerbere through the heart of the Pyrenees.

The scenery changes dramatically between the Basque Pyrenees in the West, to the Ariege, and then the Med in the East, but the constant is the quiet roads with more livestock than vehicles for company, and glorious views.

Race highlights:

Climb the Tourmalet - The most famous climb in the Tour de France, the legendary Tourmalet is the final climb on stage two. Settle in for a long one with the steepest sections near the top.

Complete a bucket list challenge - Finish this legendary challenge and get your Carnet signed in all eight places. Upon completion you will get a certificate and medal to commemorate an amazing achievement.

Discover new climbs - The route is packed with bucket list climbs but there are some incredible lesser known passes. We love the Col de Mente, with its tight hairpins and great views, but each day contains wonderful climbs you may not have heard of.

Mente 1 400X400

Col de Mente

Col d'Aubisque

One of the true legends of the Tour de France, the Aubisque is the first climb of the Circle of Death, riding into the remote high mountains of the Pyrenees. Gradients are steady at 7-8% and the climb gets more beautiful the higher you go. Ride Distance 16.6km; Elevation Gain 7.2%

Col du Tourmalet (Luz Saint Sauveur)

One of the most famous climbs in the World, and the mountain used the most in the Tour de France. The climb itself starts with a fairly mundane long section in the valley, past smaller and smaller villages until you approach the ski lifts and the beauty increases massively. From here, you ride past sheep, through lovely meadows with huge mountain vistas, and into the high mountains. The mile markers that are such a loyal friend abandon you in the last 4km, so when you finally hit the summit the feeling is part euphoria and part relief. Ride Distance 19km; Elevation Gain 7.4%.

Col d'Aspin (Sainte Marie de Campan)

The Aspin is so often the Tourmalet's little brother, but it is a great climb on its own. From the easier side, this climb is an 8km drag, followed by a sharp 4km ascent in the pine forest until you come out near the top, with stunning views of the mountains all around. A really fun climb and quick descent. Ride Distance 12.8km; Elevation Gain 5%.

Col de Peyresourde (Avajan)

From this side, this is normally the last climb in a tough stage. The climb starts with gentle gradients, before hitting some steeper stuff as the road winds up. The top section is full of long straights and sweeping views as you get to the summit, and a great descent into Luchon. Ride Distance 10km; Elevation Gain 6.6%/

Included in your booking

  • Return transfers from Toulouse
  • 6 nights accommodation
  • All breakfast, dinners and lunches on the road
  • Fully supported rides
  • Raid Pyrenean carnet.


Not included in your booking

  • Drinks with dinner
  • Flights
  • Insurance

Airport Transfers

Airport collections are from Toulouse (TLS). The drive to Hendaye takes around 3hrs. Bike boxes are included in the transfer.

Arrival

We will meet you in arrivals and give you a number to call if you are delayed. Arrive before 5pm for a 5.30pm transfer to Hendaye

Departure

We leave Cerbere with plenty of time to get back to Toulouse for your flights. Depart after 5pm (transfer arrives in Toulouse for 3pm).

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