View from the col d‘Aspin showing the climb from Arreau.
|Elevation||1,489 m (4,885 ft)|
Col d'Aspin (Occitan: Còth d'Aspin; 1,489 metres) is a high mountain pass in the French Pyrenees in the department of the Hautes-Pyrénées. It connects Sainte-Marie-de-Campan, in the upper Adour valley, with Arreau, on the River Neste.
Details of the climbs
From Sainte-Marie-de-Campan (west), the ascent is 12.8 kilometres in length, gaining 642 metres in height, at an average of 5%. In comparison with its neighbour, the Col du Tourmalet, this is considered an "easy" climb, with only the last five kilometres, at about 8%, being difficult.
On both sides of the Col de l'Aspin signposts for cyclists are placed every kilometer. They indicate the height of the summit, the distance to the summit, the current height, and the average slope in the following kilometer. According to these signposts, the 12 km climb from Arreau amounts to 799 m altitude gain, resulting in an average ascending slope of 6.7%. The 12.6 km climb from Sainte-Marie-de-Campan has only 634 m altitude gain, thereby having an average slope of 5%. Such signposting for cyclists has become common in most major mountain passes in the French Pyrenees and Alps.
Tour de France
The pass has been part of the Tour de France 71 times, largely because it is the middle link in a chain of three road climbs, the other links being the Col du Tourmalet (2,115 m) and Col de Peyresourde (1,569 m). The first time the Col d'Aspin was crossed was in 1910, when the leader over the summit was Octave Lapize.
In the 1950 Tour, there was an altercation at the pass, with bottles and stones being thrown at the riders, and the Italian team with Gino Bartali and Fiorenzo Magni, the leaders at the time, withdrew from the Tour at the end of the stage from Pau to Saint-Gaudens.
Appearances in Tour de France since 1947
- "Col de l'Aspin: Sainte Marie de Campan". www.climbbybike.com. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
- "Col de l'Aspin: rreau". www.climbbybike.com. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
- Mémoire du cyclisme
- Le dico du Tour (passages depuis 1947)
- Woodland, Les (2003). The Yellow Jersey companion to the Tour de France. Random House. p. 261. ISBN 0-224-06318-9.
- Augendre, Jacques (2009). "Guide Historique" (PDF) (in French). Amaury Sport Organisation. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
- Rendell, Matt (2003). The Official Tour de France Centennial. London: L'Equipe / Weidenfeld & Nicolson. pp. 156 & 160. ISBN 0-297-84358-3.
- "Stage 16: Pau –Bagnères-de-Luchon". Tour de France. Amaury Sport Organisation. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
- "Le col d'Aspin dans le Tour de France depuis 1947" (in French). ledicodutour. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
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