Tour de France 2018 stage 19 mountain passes: Col du Tourmalet

Tour de France 2018 stage 19 mountain passes: Col du Tourmalet

Col du Tourmalet (elevation 2,115 meters / 6,939 feet) is the highest paved mountain pass in the French Pyrenees, located in the department of Hautes-Pyrénées. But, the Col de Portet is due to be paved in time for the Tour de France 2018, and when this happens, the Tourmalet will lost its current status. It is one of the most famous climbs on the Tour de France. It has been included more than any other pass, starting in 1910, when the Pyrenees were introduced. The first rider over was the Frenchman Octave Lapize, who went on to claim the yellow jersey in Paris. Lapize is noted for looking at some Tour officials on the climb of the Col du Tourmalet in the 1910 Tour de France and yelling, “Vous êtes des assassins! Oui, des assassins!’ (French for ‘You are murderers! Yes, murderers!’)” The stage in question was 326 kilometers in length, featured 7 brutal climbs, and was raced on unsealed roads with single-gear bicycles.

At the col is a memorial to Jacques Goddet (Paris, 21 June 1905 – Paris, 15 December 2000), director of the Tour de France from 1936 to 1987, and a large statue of Octave Lapize gasping for air as he struggles to make the climb. The Souvenir Jacques Goddet prize is awarded for the first rider to cross the Col du Tourmalet summit.

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