2015 UCI MTB World Cub Round 1 – Lourdes Pyrenees April 2015

UCI MTB World Cup Lourdes
UCI MTB World Cup Lourdes

For the weekend of 10th to 12th April Lourdes will be the first location in the Pyrenees to host what will be round one of the 2015 UCI MTB World Cup series. In 2013 the hills above Lourdes accessed by the Pic du Jer funicular hosted the French national downhill series le Coupe de France.

Spectators who line the course will get to watch the best in the world take on the mountain in male female and junior events. Access to the course is free, but spectators will have to walk up, since the funicular will be reserved for riders and officials. The Team Pits areas are a fantastic place to meet and get autographs from some of your favorite riders. Concerts and shows will be held day and night close to the pits at the bottom of the run.

The track starts at an altitude of 900meters at the top of the Pic du Jer Fanicular. It will be 2km long with an altitude drop of 477 meters. Training will be held on the Friday the 10th April with qualifying on the Saturday, before the finals on the Sunday.

Sam Hill, winner at the Meribel MTB World Cup 2014
Sam Hill, winner at the Meribel MTB World Cup 2014

Thanks to the popularity of Lourdes as a tourist destination, there are a number of options to get to the event. Tarbes/Lourdes Airport is just 15 minutes away and has flights from Stansted and Milan twice a week (Ryanair), Madrid (Iberia), Bruxelles (Jetairfly and Brussels Airlines) and Paris (various airlines).

Pau Pyrenees airport is just 50 minutes away, with flights from London city (City Jet), Paris and Lyon (AirFrance) and Marseille (Twinjet).

The train station of Lourdes is located in the city center, 4km from the World Cup site.

Lourdes is located 180km from Toulouse via A64 motorway/autoroute. Take exit n°12 to Tarbes-Ouest. Then the national route 21 brings you all the way to Lourdes.

Bike friendly accommodation in and around Lourdes:

Hotel Lourdes – Beautiful bike friendly hotel in central Lourdes with secure bike storage room. 5 minutes by car or 10 minutes by bike.

Chez Passet – Popular bike specialist Accommodation on the outskirts on Lourdes with beautiful rooms, fully equipped bike storage and workshop and a swimming pool in the uci-mountain-bike-world-cup-2014garden.

Pyrenees trip – Gite Belle Vie, Cols Tourmalet, Aspin and Peyresourde

Gite Belle Vie - Start of Col du Tourmalet
Gite Belle Vie – Start of Col du Tourmalet

Sunday 22nd of March the weather remained very unsettled, but at least I woke with a view of the mountain. In the morning I popped down the road to meet Eric and Angela, the owners of their very interesting and beautiful Gite Belle Vie. The property is set in an idyllic position surrounded by forests, a mountain stream and grazing farmland. It is set back a couple of hundred meters back from the main road but very close to the starting point of both the Col du Tourmalet and the Col d’Aspin in the village of Saint Marie de Campan.

Three rental Gites have been lovingly created from old stone outhouse with 1, 2 and 3 bedroom. Each can be rented individually, or together with a group of up to 12 people. Eric and Angela can also provide breakfast and or an evening meal, brought right to your Gite. All have modern kitchens and living rooms, complete with wifi throughout, television with TNT satellite plus wood burning stoves if the evenings get a little chilly. Each unit has its own private terrace and other seating is dotted around the grounds, including a one around a specially created fire pit next to the banks of the stream.

What makes this business even more interesting is that their son runs his own cycling guiding and tours, which can be based at the Gites as well as other locations around France. He is able to design and create bespoke cycling holidays or vacations to match each individual clients requirements. Many of these tours involve the participation of ex professional cyclists.

Col d'Aspin
Col d’Aspin

Since the Col du Tourmalet is unfortunately closed at this time of the year, I headed east over the Col d’Aspin and down into Arreau in the reverse direction of what will be part of the stage 11 of the 2015 Tour de France. From here it’s up the Louron Valley and over the Col de Peyresourde and down into the spa town of Bagnères de Luchon, the start of the famous climb to Superbagnères. From Luchon it is possible to pass into Spain via the Col du Portillon.

Bagneres de Luchon
Bagneres de Luchon

Luchon marked the end of my Pyrenees trip as from here it was a short drive back to

Toulouse and my return flight. I shall be back in the summer to see it in its full cycling glory.

For more information on any properties in the area, do take a look at our Col du Tourmalet pages or contact us on enquiries@bikelodging.com

Tour de France 2015 in the Pyrenees

Col du TourmaletTour de France 2015 – Pyrenees

As usual the Tour de France will be hitting some of the major cols (mountain passes) of the Pyrenees, this time during the second week. With stage departs from Pau, Tarbes and Lannemezan, and passing over the Col du Tourmalet and the Col d’Aspin, this area will provide the ideal base to experience multiple stages of next summers Tour.

14th July  stage 10 Tarbes / La Pierre-Saint-Martin 167KM

15th July Stage 11 Pau / Cauterets – Vallée de Saint-Savin 188KM

16th July Stage 12 Lannemezan / Plateau de Beille 195KM

houseAllez Pyrenees sits just south of Tarbes, to the east of Lannemezan and well within riding distance of Pau. This location provides the perfect position to ride out and experience the excitement of a large town stage depart, where you have the chance to see many of the riders up close. Or head up and see the riders in the high mountains, with stage finishes at La Pierre St Martin,  Cauterets and the beautiful Plateau de Beille.  The property offers Half-board catering for up to 14 people in 5 en-suite bedroom.

Other bike friendly properties in the Pyrenees