CAUTERETS-CAMBASQUE-1356m // PONT D'ESPAGNE-1496m
Start Cambasque. Pierrefite-Nestelas
Access Cambasque. Tarbes - Lourdes - Argeles-Gazost - Pierrefite-Nestelas
Start Pont d'Espagne. Pierrefite-Nestelas
Access Pont d'Espagne. Tarbes - Lourdes - Argeles-Gazost - Pierrefite-Nestelas
First 10km of climb to Cauterets are really easy, there oly 1km which is 'tough', not more than 6%. After Cauterets, we can consider that the real climb begins. The road turns quickly to the right, and it becomes complicated. The gradient keeps a hard 9% for a while, in the middle of a dense forest that leads us to the ski station above Cauterets. The last 2km of this short but hard climb are easier, even with a small downhill.
Cima de Cambasque
The truth is that a 23 is needed, or more if you feel tired. After passing Cauterets, a 39x21 is not enough. To get that village, I think you can put a 52x21 if you are really fit.
Side Pont d'Espagne
First 10km of climb to Cauterets are really easy, there oly 1km which is 'tough', not more than 6%. After Cauterets, we can consider that the real climb begins. This one is longer than Cambasque, but the 2km after Cauterets are not quite hard, 6-7%. Then, it starts a section of 4-5km full of 180º bends, gradients close to 10% and fantastic landscapes. It's really a tough climb, but there are also lots of elements that force you to give your best.
Like this all the time...or worst
I recommend a 39x25 because the climb is really steep...and I also recommend you to have a walk through the top, where there's a protected area you must enjoy.