Port de Lers from Tarascon-sur-Ariege - 1517m

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Saturday 8 November 2014

Port de Lers from Tarascon-sur-Ariege - 1517m

Despite a painfully cold descent from the Col de Port just 2 days beforehand where we had resolved that it was just too late in the season to fit in any more big rides, Saturday saw us back on our bikes once more! This time we were heading to the Port de Lers, a 1517m col that we had discovered would feature in the 2015 edition of the Tour de France, during stage 12 from Lannemezan to Plateau de Beille and the slightly sunnier morning was just too tempting not to try.
The beginning of the climb proper was around 18km away from our campsite in a village called Vicdessos. From there the road would climb from 710m to 1517m over 11.5km with a 7% average. But before that we would first have to gently ascend 200m or so from Tarascon sur Ariege along the D8 as it followed the beautiful wooded valley to Vicdessos.

The sun was shining as we set off for the longer, flatter part of the ascent and as we reached Vicdessos we paused briefly to sit in the sunshine and warm our feet which had felt a little chilled despite the better weather. But soon we were off again to begin the climb amidst the snow dusted hills.

The going was steep at first but then levelled off into a forested section which sadly kept the warming sun off our backs and as the sweat turned cold in our backs that distinctly wintery feeling began to return once more. However, we'd started so we'd finish and we continued to power our way past the kilometres. Towards the top we found a few steeper sections were rewarded as the road swing out above the trees round some open hairpins giving us sweeping views back down the valley and over towards the higher summits. Compared to the views we'd enjoyed just 10 days before, the fresh snow gave the panorama a distinctly more wild look, making the peaks seem even higher.

Ticking off the final few kilometres we reached the top to find a scattering of snow on the ground and a chill in the air. We wouldn't linger too long. So after a few photos and deep lungfuls of the cool fresh air we set off again for another bitingly cold descent to our motorhome, although this time we had sensibly remembered to pack our down jackets.

Cycle Information: 
Motorhome Base – Tarascon-sur-Ariege
Start/ End Point: Vicdessos
Distance: 11.5km
Ascent: 807m
Average Gradient: 7%

Other Related Posts:
4 Amazing Cycling Climbs in the Ariege-Pyrénées, France - and 4 for the Future!

Road Cycling in the Hautes-Pyrénées - The Most Famous & Difficult Climbs of the Tour de France

7 Spectacular Cycling Climbs From Vallée d'Aure, Hautes-Pyrénées - Arreau & Saint-Lary-Soulan

See All Our Cycling Climbs in the Pyrenees

7 Activities To Do Whilst Staying in Tarascon-sur-Ariege - Visiting the Ariege-Pyrénées

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