PAILHERES - 2001 m
Start 1. Usson les Bains
Access 1. Puigcerda - Mont Louis - Puyvalador - Querigut
Start 2. Ax-les-Thermes
Access 2. Barcelona - La Seu d'Urgell - Andorra - direction Foix
Side Usson les Bains
This recently famous clima is quite similar to Tourmalet. Maybe 2-3km more to say itís almost equal. Since Ussat, the gradient turns to 9%. Keep in mind this is 16km. Just after the third kilometer, crossing Rouze, itís easier for a while at 6%. The road, a typical French one.
Kiko, Gerard & Oscar in the easy part
After that easy part, we get into Mijanes, it changes again to 9%. At the beginning, the road still wide, and straight zones.
Oscar starting the narrow zone
But after 2km, suddenly, the road becomes very narrow, and a funny part begins, plenty of slopes, surrounded by small closed forest. But the gradient, still at 9%.
Nice views from the top
With 5km to the top, itís softer again, at 7%, and we have a couple of flats. Besides, the road opens, and the wind now hits us. The slopes, more separated now, are still present. Last 2km, not so steep, at 6%, are nice because the width of the road.
Oscar in his last effort
I recommend 39x25, because a 23 should require a lot of strength in regular 9% sections. The slopes in the central part are very helpful to take a breath. I would honestly expect the Tour to visit Pailheres many times in a close future