PRAT D’ALBIS STAGE 15
This new ascent comes at the end of a stage that starts in Limoux, home to the Blanquette fizzy wine that locals insist inspired Champagne, passes below the eyrie-like Cathar castle of Montségur, and climbs the spectacular Port de Lers before its extremely testing finale, which begins on the Mur de Péguère, three kilometres at an average of 12 per cent where the peloton will be shredded.
Prat d’albis is almost as steep as it climbs away from the medieval castle that dominates Foix. The bunch’s mountain goats will be poised to attack on these early sections, making it a good point to see the action. Higher up, above thick woodland, the road emerges onto open mountainside with an immense panorama to the north. Don’t forget your binoculars! Where to stay and ride
Easily accessible from Toulouse and Carcassonne airports, and set in the heart of one of France’s least densely populated departments, Foix is the ideal place to explore a wealth of quiet roads, ranging from rolling to the north to famous ascents to the south and west, including the Col du Port, Plateau de Beille and the Port de Pailhères.
“The road emerges onto an immense panorama to the north”