Port de Balès, often referred to as the Col de Balès (1,755m), is a mountain pass in France. It sits between the towns of Ferrère to the north and Bourg-d’Oueil to the southeast in the French Pyrenees.
There are two ways to climb Port de Balès.
- From Bagnères-de-Luchon (southeast)
- From Mauléon-Barousse (northeast)
Starting point : Bagnères-de-Luchon
Bagnères-de-Luchon is located to the southeast of Port de Balès. It’s an Hors Catégorie (HC) climb from Bagnères-de-Luchon to Port de Balès. The climb is 15.4km long and averages 5.6%
The first two kilometers are the steepest before a gradual and false flat for the next 6 kilometers and a consistent gradient for the last 7km.
|Port de Balès from Bagnères-de-Luchon|
|Strava segment||Port de Balès from Bagnères-de-Luchon|
Starting point : Mauléon-Barousse
Mauléon-Barousse is situated northeast of Port de Balès. The climb from Mauléon-Barousse to Port de Balès is long, at 19.2km and averages 6.1%.
The first 8km are easier with a false flat before the gradients get steeper for the last 11km.
|Port de Balès from Mauléon-Barousse|
|Strava segment||Port de Balès from Mauléon-Barousse|
Port de Balès in the Tour de France
Port de Balès is a relatively new Hors catégorie (HC) climb in the Tour de France compared to others nearby, such as the Col d’Aspin and Col du Tourmalet.
Port de Balès was first used in Stage 15 in 2007. It has since been used in 2010, 2012, 2014, 2017, and 2020. In Stage 8 of 2020, Port de Balès was the second of three climbs on a stage that finished in Loudenvielle, won by Nans Peters of AG2R La Mondiale.
Port de Balès also featured in stage 15 of the 2013 Vuelta Espana.