Pyrénées 2024: something new for the Haute Route in these wild mountains

The Haute Route Pyrenees 2024 route presents a significant loop around Pau, evoking memories for those familiar with it. However, the infrequent repetition of mountain passes exceeding 2000m and the introduction of a climb never conquered in the yellow jersey make this edition particularly exciting.

The Haute Route Pyrénées has gained a reputation for being more accessible than the Haute Route Alpes, and rightly so. A cornerstone of the adventure since its inception, the mountain range in southwestern France features passes starting at lower altitudes and reaching summits approaching or surpassing 2000m.

In a rare occurrence this year, three peaks surpassed these symbolic heights, where some of cycling’s greatest epics were written. The legendary Tourmalet, a Pyrenean must-ride, conjures memories of Thibaut Pinot’s panache victory in 2019 and Demi Vollering’s dethroning of Annemiek Van Vleuten in 2023. Cap de Long and Col du Portet provide riders with pure cycling experiences on winding roads amid wild scenery, blending effort and pleasure.

The architectural heritage of this magnificent region punctuates the stages, particularly on the main stage between Pau and Port de Balès, where the peloton will encounter the splendid Abbaye de l’Escaladieu, unseen by Haute Route riders for over 7 years.

The significant novelty of 2024, discovered by Jean-François Alcan, the event’s Race Director, is the ascent of the Col de Beyrede. Never featured in the Tour de France, this 16km pass leads to a unique, isolated mountain pasture plateau. After reaching the summit, riders traverse a few kilometers on an unsurfaced track, enhancing the authenticity of the experience and placing them in the shoes of cycling pioneers.

The charming towns of Saint-Lary and Bagnères de Luchon, both familiar to Haute Route participants, host the riders for three stages, creating an intimate mountain atmosphere. These towns allow riders to return to their hotels after the final climb of the day.

Pau will once again serve as the starting and finishing point, providing a breathtaking view of the entire mountain range that riders will conquer throughout the week.

A consistent route over five stages will delight those discovering the Pyrenees and surprise those accustomed to it. We can’t wait for July!

Haute Route offers challenging courses for every rider, ensuring no one is left behind. That’s the organization’s promise: our teams are there for every participant, from the winner to the last one, from the start to the finish line.

The Haute Route Team