The Mythical Road to Col d'Aspin
Col d'Aspin is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 1.489m (4,885ft) above the sea level, located in the French Pyrenees in the department of the Hautes-Pyrénées.
The road to the summit is paved. It’s called D918 and links Sainte-Marie-de-Campan, in the upper Adour valley, with Arreau, on the River Neste. Since it's close to several other high Pyrenean passes such as the Peyresourde and Tourmalet, Tour de France route designers have found it convenient to include the Col d'Aspin in most editions of the Tour de France. Kilometre signs show average gradient, height and distance. Cattle and horses frequent summit. The Aspin pass offers magnificent views and amazing panoramic scenery especially of the Payolle lake and its pine tree forest, the Pic du Midi observatory. Gradual and without any long sections over 9%, Aspin is a good climb for moderately fit cyclists or to ride in combination with other climbs. Much quieter in June or September than in summer.
At the summit is a very big parking lot. The pass has been climbed by the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España bicycle races. There are 2 routes to reach the summit. Starting from Arreau, the ascent is 12 km long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 779 meters. The average percentage is 6.5 %. And starting from Sainte Marie de Campan, the ascent is 12.8 km long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 642 meters. The average percentage is 5 %.