Stage 14 Tour de France 2024

Stage 13 | Stage 14 | Stage 15

Col du Tourmalet
Le Géant du Tourmalet, by Soumei Baba, Flickr, Licence CC BY 2.0

Stage 14 of the Tour de France 2024 is a 151.9km mountain stage from Pau to Saint-Lary-Soulan Pla d'Adet.

The parcours is relatively flat as far as Lourdes, but in the second half of the route there are some well-known climbs. They include the Col du Tourmalet, Hourquette d'Ancizan and Pla d'Adet.

There's 4,000m of climbing and a summit finish on Stage 14.

Stage 14 Tour de France 2024: Video Highlights and Blog

These are video highlights of Stage 14.



This is the Stage 14 blog/race report.

Race Details | Poll | Map & Profile | Timings | Videos | Food & Drink | Route Notes | Favourites

Stage 14 Tour de France 2024: Race Details

Race details - Stage 14, Tour de France 2024
Date Saturday 13th July 2024
Stage classification Mountain
Distance 151.9km
Intermediate sprint Esquieze-Sere
Climbs Col du Tourmalet (Hors Catégorie)
Hourquette d'Ancizan (Category 2)
Pla d'Adet (Hors Catégorie)
Total climbing 4,000m

Stage 14 Tour de France 2024: Poll

Vote for one of the main contenders to win Stage 14.


Stage 14 Tour de France 2024: Map & Stage Profile

This is a map of the route of Stage 14, Tour de France 2024.

Map of Stage 14 Tour de France 2024
Map of Stage 14 Tour de France 2024, ©ASO/Tour de France

This is a zoom-able map of the route of Stage 14 of the 2024 Tour de France.


Note: this routemap was produced a long time in advance of the race, and could be subject to changes.

This is the profile of Stage 14 Tour de France 2024.

Profile of Stage 14 Tour de France 2024
Profile of Stage 14 Tour de France 2024, © ASO/Tour de France

Stage 14 Tour de France 2024: Timings

Timings - Stage 14, Tour de France 2024

Caravan Fast Schedule Slow Schedule
Start Time (départ fictif) 1105
1305
1305
Start Time (départ réel) 1120
1320
1320
Intermediate Sprint Esquieze-Sere 1324
1450
1458
Col du Tourmalet Climb 1358
1542
1602
Finish Line (151.9km) 1548
1717
1750

Stage 14 Tour de France 2024: Videos

This is a video of the route of Stage 14 Tour de France 2024.

The Col du Tourmalet was on the route of Stage 6 of the 2023 Tour de France.



Food and Drink to Accompany Stage 14 Tour de France 2024

Madiran wine
Madiran wine (affiliate link)

After going through Madiran yesterday, let's stick with Madiran wine (affiliate link) to accompany today's stage. These are bold reds made from Tannat and other grapes.

Tourmalet cheese is made from sheep's milk near the Col du Tourmalet. It's chewy, with a nutty taste. It goes well with Madiran wine, or a white Viognier.


Stage 14 Tour de France 2024: Route Notes

The stage starts in Pau (départ fictif).

Pau

Chateau de Pau
Chateau de Pau, by Turol Jones, Flickr, Licence CC BY 2.0

Pau is a city of 78,506 people (the inhabitants are called Palois) on the river Gave de Pau. It's the historic capital of the province of Béarn.

There are views of the Pyrenees from the boulevard des Pyrenées. Alphonse de Lamartine said, 'Pau has the most beautiful view of the earth just as Naples has the most beautiful view of the sea.'

Boulevard des Pyrenées, Pau
Boulevard des Pyrenées, Pau, by ludovic, Flickr, Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

The origin of the name Pau is uncertain. It could come from pal, referring to the palisade or fence around the first castle in Pau. Another possibility is that pal means rockface, and refers to Pau's position at the foot of mountains.

A castle was built by the Viscounts of Béarn, probably in the C11th, to protect a ford of the Gave de Pau. Pau became the capital of Béarn in 1464. It then became the seat of the Kings of Navarre in 1512. Henri of Navarre went on to become King Henri IV of France, in 1589. In 1620, Béarn lost its independence from France, although the Parliament of Navarre continued to govern local matters (with laws in the Occitan dialect).

In the Belle Epoque (usually defined as 1871 to 1914), Pau developed as a tourist destination for the royal, aristocratic, and rich. Scottish doctor Alexander Taylor helped make it a popular destination for a winter cure. Later, aviation and petrochemicals (following the discovery of natural gas in Lacq) were significant industries here, and more recently, the services sector has grown. There's a large student population at the Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour.

The Château de Pau is one of the city's main attractions. It was originally a fortification guarding a ford of the Gave de Pau, reinforced in the C14th by Gaston III of Foix-Béarn. In the C16th, as the seat of the Navarre dynasty, it was transformed into a residence.

Henri of Navarre was born in the château. Wikipedia has a garbled explanation of Henri's connection to the castle, which has the hallmarks of a computer translation from French: 'The future Henri IV takes the trouble to be born December 13, 1553, and the story did the rest. The fame of the king...gives the castle, which did not see him grow up or die, a particular taste, and the right to claim honours those who give birth supermen.' Right. I, who not understand all things to men, a special smell, this translation glorious three and a half ten out of.


The départ réel is at the south eastern edge of Pau, on the D802 Rocade.

The riders cross the Gave de Pau river, pass the Château de Franqueville, and leave town on the D938. The D-road shadows the course of the river.

Chateau de Franqueville
Château de Franqueville, by Hernandlucas, Licence BY-SA 4.0

They pass Coarraze, which had a castle where Henri IV spent his childhood, and Lestelle-Bétharram where there is a religious sanctuary.

Lestelle-Bétharram
Lestelle-Bétharram, by Flo641, Licence BY-SA 3.0

They continue, still following the Gave de Pau. The Caves of Bétharram are a little further on, then the riders reach Saint-Pé-de-Bigorre where there's an abbey that welcomes pilgrims en route to Santiago de Compostela

Then it's on to Lourdes.


Lourdes

Lourdes Basilica of the Immaculate Conception & Notre-Dame-du-Rosaire
Lourdes, Basilica of the Immaculate Conception & Notre-Dame-du-Rosaire, by Christine & Hagen Graf, Flickr, CC BY 2.0

Lourdes is a market town of around 15,000 people, but which receives 6 million visitors every year.

This site was probably inhabited in prehistoric times. Later, there was a Gallo-Roman settlement, and some traces of Roman walls, statues, and votive offerings have been found during works to the fort.

During the One Hundred Years War, the English occupied Lourdes, from 1360 to 1407.

Grotto at Lourdes
Massabielle grotto, by Christine & Hagen Graf, Flickr, Licence CC BY 2.0

The attraction of Lourdes comes from the apparitions of the Virgin Mary to a 14-year-old girl called Bernadette Soubiros in 1858. Mary appeared to her eighteen times in total.

Soubiros saw a beautiful lady at the Massabielle grotto, and the lady said that she was the Immaculate Conception. Soubiros reported this to her priest, Father Peyremale.

The lady also told Soubiros to drink from a source. This spring still produces water, and pilgrims are able to bathe in it; it is said to have occasioned miracle cures.

Lourdes fort
Lourdes fort, by Stephen Colebourne, Flickr, Licence CC BY 2.0

There's a fort in Lourdes, originally built in Roman times; the oldest surviving parts are from the C11th and C12th. The fort houses a Pyrenean museum. The town is overlooked by three peaks: le Béout, Petit Jer, and Grand Jer.

A funicular railway called the Pic du Jer goes up to the Grand Jer.

Lourdes
Lourdes, by lackystrike, Flickr, Licence CC BY-ND 2.0

After going through Lourdes, Stage 14 heads south, still following the Gave de Pau, on the D821. It reaches Argelès-Gazost.

Argeles-Gazost
Argelès-Gazost, by Propriétaire du Château, Licence BY-SA 4.0

'Gazost' refers to thermal waters, and according to the race organisers the waters here have something to do with phlebology, which is not in my vocabulary. If I visit, I think I'll stick to eating pastis, which in this case is not a drink but a cake.

Next on the route is Pierrefitte-Nestalas, then the race goes up the Gorge de Luz to Luz-Saint-Sauveur.

Luz-Saint-Sauveur
Luz-Saint-Sauveur, by Jean-Christophe Benoist, Licence CC BY 3.0

This is the starting point for the Col du Tourmalet. It is tackled west to east in 2024, whereas on Stage 6 of the 2023 Tour it was east-west.

Château de Sainte-Marie, Esterre
Château de Sainte-Marie, Esterre, overlooking the riders as they leave Luz-Saint Sauveur, by Père Igor, Licence CC BY-SA 3.0

Col du Tourmalet (Hors Catégorie)

Profile of the Col du Tourmalet
Profile of the Col du Tourmalet climb, © ASO/Tour de France

The altitude at the bottom is 705m, and at the top it is 2,115m, giving a height gain of 1,410m over a distance of 19km. The average gradient is 7.4%.

The Col du Tourmalet is the highest mountain pass in the Pyrenees with a tarmacked road. (There are higher roads, and higher mountain passes, but no higher mountain pass with a road). It has been included in the Tour de France over 80 times.

Col du Tourmalet
Col du Tourmalet, by Tourisme Grand Tourmalet, Flickr, Licence CC BY-ND 2.0

Velopeloton says of the climb:

'The climb to the Col du Tourmalet is characterised by long straight stretches of road climbing at 8%+. There are a few steeper sections and also less steep sections down to 5%. Overall the gradient does not change very much and the difficulty of he climb is its length and altitude.

Out of Barèges the road ramps up to 13% and remains steep for 1.5km before the easiest section of the climb leading to the large car park at Tournaboup ski station

After Tournaboup the gradient rises again and remains steep for the whole 8km to the summit.'

Beyond Tournaboup is the ski resort of Super-Barèges, then the final couple of hairpins on the way to the top of the col.

At the top of the Col du Tourmalet, there's a memorial to Jacques Goddet, director of the Tour de France from 1936 to 1987.

Jacques Goddet

Mémorial Jacques Goddet
Jacques Goddet memorial, by Serge Ottaviani, Licence BY-SA 3.0

Goddet went to a private school near Oxford in England.

His father Victor was a co-founder of L'Auto, the newspaper that initiated the Tour de France. Goddet became chief reporter. During World War II, L'Auto was too close to Nazi Germany, and it was shut down in 1944. Goddet launched a new paper, L'Equipe, in 1946, but his name was not permitted to be associated with it.

The first rider to get to the top wins the Souvenir Jacques Goddet prize - €5,000.

Géant du Tourmalet

At the Tourmalet there's also a silver statue of a person on a bike, called le Géant du Tourmalet (main image at the top of the page). It could represent Octave Lapize, who was the first rider to get to the top of the Col du Tourmalet in the Tour de France in 1910.

There'll be no time to stop at the bar and restaurant.

Col du Tourmalet, bar restaurant
Bar restaurant at the Col du Tourmalet, by Mark Goebel, Flickr, Licence CC BY 2.0

Over the top of the Col du Tourmalet, the descent begins through La Mongie, a ski resort linked to Super-Barèges.

Where the road goes through La Mongie, a cable car departs for the Pic du Midi de Bigorre, a summit with an Observatory.

Pic du Midi de Bigorre
Pic du Midi de Bigorre, by Vasse Nicolas, Antoine, Flickr, Licence CC BY 2.0

Skiing Made Easy

Skiing Made Easy
How to Write a Kindle Ebook

Skiing Made Easy is a practical guide to learning to ski based on many happy seasons of ski teaching.

It takes you through the beginner's progression from snowplough to parallel turns, starting at the very beginning and not assuming any prior knowledge.

The book suggests relevant exercises to develop and improve your skills. Common faults are identified, along with the best ways to correct them.

'By the way' sections contain information about many of the little things that people assume you just know, but you may not.

'This is the book I wish I'd had when I started skiing' - reviewer on Amazon.

How to buy:


The descent continues to Sainte-Marie-de-Campan in the valley. Here there's a statue of Eugène Christophe.

Sainte-Marie-de-Campan
Sainte-Marie-de-Campan, by Tourisme Grand Tourmalet, Flickr, Licence CC BY-ND 2.0

Eugène Christophe at Sainte-Marie-de-Campan

Eugene Christophe

The statue of Eugène Christophe at Sainte-Marie-de-Campan references a famous event in 1913.

Christophe descended the Col du Tourmalet to Sainte-Marie. He was leading the Tour de France by 18 minutes, but his bike's forks broke about 10km from the village.

He walked down the rest of the way, and found a blacksmith's shop, where - because riders had to do all their own repairs - he mended the forks himself, according to the blacksmith's instructions. Christophe lost a lot of time, and was penalised more, because the blacksmith's boy had pumped the bellows for him.

As a result of the incident, Christophe lost his chance of winning the Tour. He finished seventh.


From Sainte-Marie, the next climb starts - the Hourquette d'Ancizan.

Hourquette d'Ancizan (Category 2)

Summit of the Hourquette d'Ancizan
Hourquette d'Ancizan summit (looking north)

From Sainte-Marie the race takes the D918 Route du Col d'Aspin alongside the Adour river.

Instead of continuing to the Col d'Aspin, Stage 14 forks right on the D113 past the Lac de Payolle.

Lac de Payolle
Lac de Payolle in winter, by Tourisme Grand Tourmalet, Flickr, Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

From the lake, the road climbs to the Cabanes de Camoudiet, then on to the top of the Hourquette d'Ancizan (1564m).

Hourquette is a local Gascon word, deriving from the Latin furca, meaning fork. In effect, we can add this mountain pass to the various French Cols de la Forclaz, since forclaz also means fork.

The altitude at the start of this climb at Lac de Payolle is 1,148m, and at the top it is 1,564m, giving a height difference of 416m. The distance is 8.2km, which makes an average gradient of 5.1%.

In a reconnaissance of Stage 8 of the 2016 race, Vélo 101 said that the Hourquette d'Ancizan is very pretty, and would prove easy for the professionals as the gradient isn't very steep, and there's even a downhill section.

Profile of Hourquette d'Ancizan
Profile of Hourquette d'Ancizan, © ASO/Tour de France

The descent is to Guchen, then the parcours is along the valley of the Neste d'Aure to Saint-Lary-Soulan.

Saint-Lary-Soulan
Saint-Lary-Soulan, by Falk2, Licence CC BY-SA 4.0

Saint-Lary-Soulan - meaning the sunny place of St Hilary - is a spa and ski resort. The ski area is to the west of Saint-Lary, as far as the Lac de l'Oule, at Pla-d'Adet.

Now the final climb begins, up to the ski resort at Pla-d'Adet.

The Final Climb to Pla-d'Adet (Hors Catégorie)

Profile of Pla-d'Adet
Profile of Pla d'Adet, © ASO/Tour de France

The Pla-d'Adet climb is quite steep, with sections at 10 and 11%. Over 10.6km, the average gradient is 7.9%.

Pla-d'Adet

Pla-d'Adet
Pla-d'Adet, by Romain Ganteille, Licence CC BY-SA 4.0

Pla-d'Adet is also known as Saint-Lary 1700. The ski area has 30 lifts and 55 pistes.

The last time the Tour de France finished here was on Stage 17 of the 2014 edition, when Rafal Majka won.


Stage 14 Tour de France 2024: the Favourites

Simon Yates
Simon Yates, by Filip Bossuyt, Licence CC BY 2.0

Of course the main GC contenders could win today. You might think that Stage 14 has got Jonas Vingegaard's name written all over it.

Looking to some slightly left-field picks, could it be a day for Geraint Thomas, Giulio Ciccone or Simon Yates?

Who do you think will win Stage 14 of the 2024 Tour de France?




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Luz-Saint-Sauveur

Luz-Saint-Sauveur
Luz-Saint-Sauveur, by akunamatata, Flickr, Licence CC BY-ND 2.0

Luz means 'light' in Spanish.

Luz-Saint-Sauveur is at the junction of two valleys, so that the rays of the sun can reach it from three different directions at different times of the day.

Its position also means that it suffers from floods when the mountain streams meeting here overflow. The last time there were major floods was June 2013. There are also earthquakes from time to time.

Luz-Saint-Sauveur has thermal baths, which have been in use since the C16th. (The person waiting for them to be free is getting pretty fed up now).

Above Luz-Saint-Sauveur, on the slopes to the west, is the ski resort of Luz-Ardiden.


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