When it comes to cycling few nations are more steeped in history than France. For over a century the world turns to France every July to watch the worlds biggest sporting event, the Tour de France. When it comes to cycling icons, the fearsome Col du Tourmalet’s “Le Géant” is one of the most recognised of cycling monuments.
“Le Géant” welcomes all riders who challenge themselves to the summit of Col du Tourmalet. Locally he’s known as Octave le Géant as he was created in memory of the first rider to summit the mighty Tourmalet during the 1910 Tour de France, Octave Lapize. Octave was quite a character, on summiting the Tourmalet he screamed at the TdF organisers “You are Assassins!”.
If you are a cycling connoisseur who loves climbing and is looking for a unique event you will love accompanying “Le Géant” on his annual pilgrimage home to his summer base.
Despite his bulk of 300 kg Octave le Géant gets moved to a valley home for the winter. His ascension to his rightful home atop the col du Tourmalet’s summit is a celebration marking the opening of the Tourmalet for the summer. This normally happens on the first Saturday of June each year!