I shot this image high in the Pyrenees to the south of St. Lary Soulan. The road was just better than chip and seal and steep—more than 13 percent—for several kilometers. The turns were engineered in lovely, even radii, but were as frequent as stoplights in Manhattan; one set of switchbacks soared above us as we climbed, evoking the ramparts of a hilltop citadel.
The road leads to Lac de Cap de Long and isn’t something most riders will take the time to explore as it isn’t used in the Tour. It was, however, one of the prettiest climbs I’ve done in the Pyrenees. The long horizontal slash just above the rider’s head is the road as it continues down at a less vertiginous nine percent. There’s a little café at the top of the road, right on the bank of the lake. Lunch there was one of the unexpected delights of the Pyrenees.