VeloViews for July 22, 2022 – Famous European Climbs (The Hautacam)

Photographer unknown

This is the last weekend before the Tour de France comes to its conclusion on Sunday. The riders just recently finished stage 18 on the Hautacam where Jonas Vingegaard took an overall minute lead in the race.

The remaining stages of the Le Tour are an individual time trial on Saturday, then the ride into Paris on Sunday. This stage is mostly considered a casual ride. If you have ever watched the race on television, this is where you see the leader of the race and his team sip champagne to celebrate victory. The tour ends in grand fashion with a criterium, a stage specifically engineered for the sprinters.

The Hautacam is a ski resort in the French Pyrenees mountains. It doesn’t frequently appear in Le Tour and will sometimes get dropped for the Tourmalet, another famous climb in the same region of France. The Hautacam is considered a rigorous climb. It lasts for 10 miles with an average grade of 7% and tops out at 1,635 m (5,364 ft).

The climb was first used in Le Tour de France in 1994 and has only been part of the race five times. The last time it was included in the race was 2014.

On the Hautacam, Lance Armstrong sealed his first Tour de France victory in 2000. Years later, this victory, and all of Armstrong’s conquests in the following seven tours, were erased from the record books because of his doping charges.

Have you ever been to the Hautacam? Have you visited the French Pyrenees? Better yet, have you done any cycling there? Please like, comment, and share if you like this post. Tell next, stay cool, take in the final stage of the Tour de France and see the crowning of the new race champion if you can, and maybe fit in some rides of your own.

Author: Doug McNamee

Freelance Content Writer, Travel Writer, Editor, and poet.

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