Film: The 1910 Challenge

As the 2010 Tour de France bike race winds its way through the French Pyrenees mountains, cyclists and fans everywhere are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first time a stage of the race went up the Pyrenees. The range is rugged and steep, presenting the riders with a greater challenge than the more gradual ascents of the Alps. In 1910, riders first hazarded the devastating climbs. Now, bike clothing manufacturer Rapha has produced this beautiful film about four riders celebrating the Tour’s Pyrenees anniversary by riding up a mountain called the Col du Tourmalet. That’s the mountain that the current Tour de France race is on at the moment. These four riders pay their respects to the 1910 racers and their equipment by enjoying every hardship presented to them by the mountain and the wet weather.

I do a lot of mountain road riding in California and I can appreciate the difficulty of this incredible Col du Tourmalet climb.  I’d love to do it myself.  Equipping yourself with water, food and repair items to set out over remote slopes is a very focused and exciting thing to do.  I recommend it to anyone.