France

Cent Cols Challenge Western Pyrenees

9th - 21st 九月 2017

  • Start Location SAN SEBASTIAN
  • End Location SAN SEBASTIAN
  • Av. Daily Distance 200 KM
  • Av. Daily Elevation 4,500 M
  • Days 13
  • Difficulty
100 cols, 10 days – a unique journey that tests and builds the body and spirit in equal measure.

This route features the first Cent Cols Challenge Extreme stage with a total of 6,750m of climbing. Punchy cols in the Basque country on both the Spanish and French side feature and this event is one of the four most demanding Cent Cols - it will be collectively ridden at an average speed of 20 km/h.

Single occupancy — NT$ 162,000 per person
Double occupancy — NT$ 134,000 per person

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Who is it for?

The Cent Cols Challenge is the brainchild of endurance rider Phil Deeker: his determination, commitment to riding and will to explore has created one of the ultimate tests of what is possible on a road bike. Cent Cols Challenges take place across Europe, criss-crossing entire mountain ranges to combine the classic routes and climbs from the Grand Tours with lesser-known backcountry gems.

All trips include

  • Expert planning and guide support from guides and vehicles
  • Pre-trip discounts on Rapha apparel
  • Unique routes
  • Top-level mechanics

Flights, bike hire and travel insurance are not included.

How Hard is it?

Because of the distances, and the huge physical and psychological challenge, the Cent Cols are for the strongest and most experienced riders. On most days riders should expect at least 8-10 hours in the saddle, and to be self-sufficient for long periods of time. The remoteness of the terrain also means that accommodation and food are less luxurious than on Rapha’s other trips. However, Phil Deeker and the Rapha team of guides, mechanics and soigneurs take care of all logistics and everything riders need, letting you focus your mind and legs on the cols. It is usual that some riders don’t complete the parcours. But, thanks to the stunning settings and the camaraderie, and possibly to reserves they didn’t know they had, riders often find they rise to the demands of the trip and take their riding to a new level.

All Cent Cols Challenges include

  • All meals
  • On-road food

Double occupancy as standard

Day Distance Climbing
Arrival day Meet us at the first night accomodation
Day 1 San Sebastian Loop 221 KM 4,400 M
Day 2 Honaribia - St Jean Pied de Port 230 KM 4,680 M
Day 3 St Jean - Oloron 201 KM 5,400 M
Day 4 Oloron - Argeles Gazost 175 KM 4,700 M
Day 5 Argeles Loop 207 KM 5,760 M
Rest day
Day 6 Argeles - St Lary Soulan 202 KM 6,750 M
Day 7 St Lary - Portalet (Spain) 212 KM 5,500 M
Day 8 Portalet - Jaca (Spain) 201 KM 2,880 M
Day 9 Jaca - Borguete (Spain) 202 KM 5,350 M
Day 10 Borguete - San Sebastian 213 KM 6,750M
Departure day Transfer day

See full itinerary

Arrival day

Meet us at the first night accomodation

Day 1

San Sebastian Loop

A vicious start to the journey with almost every climb hitting double-digit gradient regularly. Wooded lanes lead up to sea-view ridges.

Distance

221 KM

Climbing

4,400 M

Major Climbs

Alto de Ezkurra, Collado de Arritxulegi

Day 2

Honaribia - St Jean Pied de Port

More steep, narrow backroads lead us into France where the landscape opens up as we climb into the rugged, impressive hills of the Iraty region of the Pays Basque. Single track roads take us above the tree line and along open ridges with 360 degree views. Climbs are steep, descents technical. Our hotel is equally as unique, tucked away in a remote Iraty valley.

Distance

230 KM

Climbing

4,680 M

Major Climbs

Col des Abeilles, Col d'Ispeguy

Day 3

St Jean - Oloron

Another ultra-steep Basque climb opens the stage, bringing us back onto the Iraty plateau for more exceptional views. Crossing from one valley to another via double-figure gradient, we eventually come to the North-West side climb of the Col de Soudet: this Col, just below the impsing Pierre St Martin, can be climbed on four sides – in seperate stages we will do three. There is no ‘easy’ side to this legendary pearl of the Pyrenees. A fast, gentle run-in to Oloron closes another tough stage.

Distance

201 KM

Climbing

5,400 M

Major Climbs

Col d'Arnosteguy, Col de Soudet

Day 4

Oloron - Argeles Gazost

Four classic climbs make this stage more ‘iconic’: our second visist to the Pierre St Martin mountain opens, followed quickly by the tough but short Marie Blanque. The Aubisque, via its tougher western side is next, with the glorious, lesser known Col de Spandelles closing the stage that brings us for three nights to Argeles-Gazost in the heart of the High Pyrenees.

Distance

175 KM

Climbing

4,700 M

Major Climbs

Col d'Aubisque, Col de Spandelles

Day 5

Argeles Loop

This loop stage begins with some ‘foothills’ climbs that are an anything-but-gentle prelude to our first ascent of the mighty Tourmalet, from the La Mongie side. The up-and-back climb to the Col des Tentes is rarely ridden but so worth the effort for it’s exceptional views towards the top. A second up-and-back climb, to the Col de Couraduque is less spectacular but equally unmissable and will offer the faster riders a chance to cheer on the ‘slower’ ones as paths cross!

Distance

207 KM

Climbing

5,760 M

Major Climbs

Col du Tourmalet, Col des Tentes

Rest day

Day 6

Argeles - St Lary Soulan

No less than six of the seven climbs on this stage feature regularly on the Tour. Possible the Queen stage of our journey, this could be called the CCC version of the infamous 'Circle of Death'. The Col de Beyrede may not a Tour name, but it still places the steepest gradients of the whole stage!

Distance

202 KM

Climbing

6,750 M

Major Climbs

Col du Tourmalet, Col d'Aspin, Hourquette d'Ancizan

Day 7

St Lary - Portalet (Spain)

After another Tour classic climb (Azet-Louron), we tackle a trecherous regular feature of the original CCC Pyrenees routes – foothills they may be, but the seven ‘lower’ cols create an especially ‘busy’ section of the stage before heading to the Soulor via it’s harder side. Once the easier side of the Aubisque crested, the 25km climb to the Col de Portalet awaits.

Distance

212 KM

Climbing

5,500 M

Major Climbs

Col d'Aubisque, Puerto o Paso del Portalet

Day 8

Portalet - Jaca (Spain)

A fully Spanish stage with some of the wildest sections of the whole event. Stunning roads and mountain vistas complement less harsh gradients to make this a remarkable contrast to the other stages. An especially comfortable, modern hotel awaits us in Jaca.

Distance

201 KM

Climbing

2,880 M

Major Climbs

Puerto de Cotefablo

Day 9

Jaca - Borguete (Spain)

Via the Col de Somport, this stage takes us back into France to tackle the third, and perhaps hardest side of the Soudet. The Col de Bagargy hits us even harder, with its 'average %' signs of 11,12, 13 and 13.5: one of the hardest in the Pyrenees, for sure. After a final treat of beauty on the plateaux of Iraty, we finally head back into Spain via a steady, gentler climb to the Puerto de Ibenata.

Distance

202 KM

Climbing

5,350 M

Major Climbs

Puerto o Paso de Somport

Day 10

Borguete - San Sebastian

To close this tough route across the Pyrenees, our return to the Basque hills is marked first by the extraordinary climb to the Santuria de Aralar, where the bravest can go right up to the weather station. Five more climbs stand between us and the sea and they will not let you forget them easily!

Distance

213 KM

Climbing

6,750M

Major Climbs

Santuario de Aralar

Departure day

Transfer day

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Customer Testimonials

I think what makes these rides so very special is the fact that Phil and Rapha Travel even dare to attempt them: on paper, they look ridiculous and in practice, they are just that - but also, somehow, possible. Most riders have reserves they never knew existed and Phil's planning and ability to improvise, results in the majority of riders completing stages and events beyond their wildest dreams.

— CCC rider, May 2016

My 6th CCC and the best. Outstanding route, comfortable hotels, great food and superb support staff.

— CCC Cantabrico 2015

FAQ

Am I strong enough for the trip?

All our trips are physically demanding, but some are harder than others. Cent Cols Challenges are the toughest challenge. Our guides will support every rider to go beyond their usual level of riding, but you should be able to spend up to 10 hours in the saddle for multiple days.

How does payment work?

We ask all customers to pay a deposit (usually £500/$800/€650) when they book, which confirms their reservation. The balance is due 60 days before departure – we’ll get in touch to remind you when it’s time. If you book less than 60 days before departure, we’ll usually ask you to pay the full trip price upfront.

See all FAQ

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Contact Us

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Email: travel@rapha.cc

Telephone: +44 (0) 207 482 9175

Hours: 9.30am-6.00pm (BST)

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Telephone: 877.907.2742

Hours: 8.30am-5.30pm (PDT)

Asia Pacific

Email: travel@rapha.cc

Telephone: +44 (0) 207 482 9175

Hours: 9.30am-6.00pm (BST)