Mountain biking and cycle touring in
the Ariège Pyrenees
The Tour de France is often decided in the spectacular mountain stages of the Pyrenees. However for those who enjoy an easier ride, Ariège also has much to offer as most of the interesting places to visit lie along the river valleys, where the slopes are gentle. Mountain-biking, or VTT (vélo tout-terrain), is also very popular here and many tracks have been created and adapted for all levels.
Annual cycling events in Ariège
The Ronde de l'Isard
This five day race is open to riders between 19 and 22 years old at a level of Elite 2 national standard. The race consists of a prologue, one individual time trial, one afternoon stage and 3 full-day stages.
Every summer in June the Ariège Organisation Cycliste organizes a non-competitive race starting in Tarascon that features routes for different levels of ability. For more information, visit the web site (in French and Spanish): www.cyclosport-ariegeoise.com
Tour de France 2013
Finish at Ax 3 Domaines ski station on July 6th, start on July 7th from St Girons
Late September or early October
Mémorial Fabio Casartelli
In 1995 St. Girons was the starting point for one of the stages of the Tour de France. Less than two hours later, at the col du Portet d'Aspet, the Italian rider Fabio Casartelli was fatally injured in a fall.
Since 1997 the cycling association of the has Couserans organised each summer or autuman a cycling event in his memory. The entrance fees go to a fund established by the Casartelli family in aid of professional cyclists injured in falls. You can find more information here: www.cyclosportive-la-casartelli.fr