The Portet pass

At the top of the Pyrenees

The Col du Portet is a mountain pass located above the village Saint-Lary-Soulan. In winter, it is in the heart of the resort’s ski area.

On the road of the Tour de France

At 2,215 meters above sea level, it now surpasses the Col du Tourmalet and thus becomes the highest pass in the French Pyrenees crossed by the Tour de France in 2018 and a brand new challenge for cyclists, amateur or professional.

Tadej Pogacar won the July 14, 2021 stage as for the 2021 Tour de France, Saint-Lary saw Nairo Quintana’s victory in the 17th stage.

Identity card
  • Starting altitude: 822 m
  • End altitude: 2,219 m
  • Cumulative positive elevation gain: 1,675 m
  • Distance:16 km
  • Average slope:8.7%
  • Level: difficult

This is a fairly consistent pass in difficulty without any extreme passages. But beware of the average gradient close to 9% along the 16km ascent.

A 34×32 gear is ideal, or even a 36×34 for the less trained. Don’t go too hard. Ride smoothly and regularly.

Think about bringing water and enough to hydrate regularly. Remember to fill up your water bottle at the village of Soulan: it is the last water point until the Col.

You will be able to enjoy an exceptional view from the 10ᵉ kilometer mark. You are in the middle of the mountains and luckily you will encounter few cars. You drive between meadows and pastures in the middle of herds of sheep and cows.

Prepare your ascent well

The ascent starts at 810 m altitude at the exit of the Saint-Lary Soulan village in Vignec to finish at the top of the pass after the lace zone and the passage under a short tunnel at 2215 m altitude. A longer, steeper and higher climb than the Alpe d’Huez climb!

You will climb this pass for 16 km at 8.7% average gradient with passages that can reach 11%! “Le Portet is a giant, a Tourmalet bis,” enthused the director of the Tour in presenting the stage. A real challenge for any cyclist!”

Get yourself a road bike for this climb on a challenging course with 1,500m of vertical drop. During the ascent, you will enjoy the view of the village of Saint-Lary.

Arrived at the top of the pass that ends in a cul de sac, you can take time to breathe and admire the landscape, an exceptional panorama of the Pyrenees National Park.