The stage cities and their gran fondo's: Pau

Sunday 06 September 2020 by Frank Jansen

Cyclocalendar heroes the Tour de France. In a series of articles we focus on the stage cities and the gran fondo's and sportives of thee region. Today: stage 9, which starts from Pau.

Cycling around Pau

Like Gap, a Pau is a usual suspect in the Tour. This medium-sized city of Pau (approx. 80.000 inhabitants) has been a stage city for mre than 70 times. It was here that Wout van Aert crashed heavily in the time trial last year. The choice for Pau is logical; it is by far the largest town near the western Pyrenees. The land north of Pau is flat which means not only mountain stages but also flat rides can be held. Just like Cazères, Pau is not directly recommended as a cycling hotspot, the famous cols are simply too far away. The many beautiful buildings and historic center ensure that this city is visited by many tourists every year. From the city you have a beautiful view of the Pyrenees.

Gran fondo's

From Pau no cycling events are organized, you will have to get in the car for at least 40 minutes. From Oloron Sainte-Marie the GF Les Boucles de Haute Béarn will be organized. This is the first trip we will discuss in this series that will continue (for the time being) - the date is October 11th. This is the only gran fondo that will take place in this region this year, the organization proudly reports on its website. The longest route has 140 km and 3400 m. The climbs: 2x 4th category, 3x 3rd category, 1x 2nd category and 1x 1st category. Among them no big names. The sharpshooter is the Col de Labays (16 km at 6%). That sounds easier than it is, take a look at the profile. The registration fee of 35 euros should not be an obstacle for anyone. Truly a typical French, small-scale gran fondo through a beautiful environment. Could be an excellent combination with a week of "ticking off big names" in the neighborhood. You can fly to Toulouse.

Tomorrow is a rest day in the Tour. After that we will be back with the next starting place: Île D'Oléron.

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