The Raid Pyrénéen is a bicycle route that traverses the length of the Pyrenees between Hendaye on the Atlantic and Cerbère on the Mediterranean. It’s probably no exaggeration to describe this as one of the World’s great bike rides. It takes in some of the most iconic cols in France – nearly all of them Tour de France regulars and often the sites of great, race-deciding battles in years gone by.
The ‘official’ Raid Pyrénéen time trial, organised by the Cyclo-Club Béarnais, is an 18 col, 710km route to be completed in under 100 hours. We’ve decided to relax the pace a little and take an extra day for our crossing.
We were planning to ride this in September, but circumstances (new babies) mean that we’ve brought the tour forward a few months to June. With the whole summer to train we may have had a fighting chance of completing the route in the prescribed 100 hours, but this way it’s more of a holiday and we get an extra day of riding.