Luz Ardiden – (Take 2)

Luz Ardiden - YES!

Date: 2nd Aug 2023
Ride No. 7
Grade: 8/10
Location: Luz-Saint-Sauveur

Segment ID:32178758
My Time: 1:13:28


Going by the book

A few years ago, I bought the book 100 TdF climbs by Simon Warren, more out of interest than ambition.

However, it got the better of me. I enjoy climbing; I like France – SOLD.

In the book were regions and mountains I had never heard of, let alone been to, and I will be eternally grateful to Simon for the experience.

I thought, “Wouldn’t it be great to ride them?”

All I had to do was look in the mirror and see who was stopping me.

Let’s do it.

After a few setbacks (Cat bite – covid), I made it to the Massif Central and rode my first climb the Col de l’OEllion on 19th August 2022.

After the Massif Central, I travelled down to the Pyrenees and completed the rides there.


Houston, we have a problem

Well, at least I thought I had.

Luz Ardiden was the problem.

The route in my version of the book was wrong.

I checked a few rides listed in Veloviewer that were listed as successfully completing the segment.

Yes, riders had taken this strange course, so I accepted. (not the best decision in hindsight).

I completed my original ride of Luz Ardiden on the 8th of September 2022, and it was duly ticked off as completed by Strava and the 100 TdF app, too.

However, it didn’t sit right with me.

When I returned home, I enquired, and they confirmed a mistake.

They scratched my completed ride, and I was now one ride short of the Pyrenees. (I should have kept quiet :-)).

Maybe I could have probably appealed, but I decided,

“Nope, let’s do it right” and besides explaining to people that I had done 100 but only 99 registered would have been a pain.

And so, a mega 550Km+ detour for the 13Km Luz Ardiden from Bedoin for the last climb.


Luz Ardiden – Take 2

On most of my rides, I have been ready and keen to climb. However, today I was not.

It was the feeling of reading a captivating book where you race through the pages in eager excitement but then feel regret when the last pages are being read as you realise the story is ending.

Luz Ardiden is an 8/10 climb with a good helping of 10% over its 13.5Km distance.

A well-known climb but not as popular as its nearby neighbour, the Tourmalet, which starts from the same town Luz Saint Sauveur.

After a self-kick up the butt to ‘get into it’ and a determination to finish the 100 with a splendid effort, I snapped into action.

It was another hot day, and my late start was not the best idea, but the shade helped me from the forest on the lower sections.

Most of the climb I remembered, but I had forgotten how many hairpins and bends there were on this fabulous climb.

As I hauled myself around the 8% twists, Luz Ardiden rewarded me with either the wind on my face or back. (Usually the former).

The road was otherwise quiet, with only one motorcycle and two cars passing.

Any regretful mood with the last climb was lifted by several workmen who were busy laying out some new cabling along the road.

The cable was so long that it looked like it was going from the base to the summit.

(I suppose I could have tied it around my bike as I was going that way as a means of helping them out 🙂 ).

On each section I rode, they greeted me with a smile or laugh with either a, “Bonjour”, or an “Allez”.

The final Km of the climb pops up a ‘fun’ 13.5% bump but as the finish line was in sight, it was of little consequence.

Two other cyclists had already reached the summit where the ski centre was fenced off for refurbishment.

It was quiet disappointing, as the last time there was an open café.



It was now time for the photos and then to answer the question, what next?

Keep calm and eat more pies – of course.

Two Spanish riders conveniently appeared to be photographers for the momentous occasion.

One laughed at the T-Shirt and the other asked, “Is my bike electric?”

I resisted the tempation to reply and just laughed.

It was now time to return and enjoy the fantastic bends and road surface.

Luz Ardiden is a great climb, and another that I hope one day I shall return to.

Well, that was that.

100 ridden and 0 left to ride.

I had completed the 100 in less than 12 months.

The situation brought about both delight and disappointment to me simultaneously. hosts the official table for the Tour de France 100 climbswhere I now sit as the first to complete the challenge.

It’s a great honour, a 68 year old riding a Brompton, who’d have put money on that.


Thank you Simon

Hi Simon,

I have just completed the TdF 100 and if Veloviewer is to be believed, the only rider to accomplish the 100. Although I am not wholly convinced that this might be the case.

What I will put money on is being the first on a Brompton at the tender age of 68.

I would like to thank you for authoring the book and app. It had been a fantastic experience, discovering parts of France I would never have travelled to let alone ridden any of the climbs.

Rather than just spin up them, I have always attempted to climb with the best of efforts and at one time even claimed two KoM for my age (65-69), on a Brompton :-).


Hi Philip,
what an amazing achievement. I never really expected anyone to ride all 100 on a standard bike, let alone a Brompton, your dedication and athleticism are an example to us all, especially at 68!