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It is a recent inclusion in the Tour de France, having been used four times (2003, 2005, 2007 and 2010) and will be used again in 2013. It is one of the most difficult climbs in the Pyrenees, and given the most difficult classification of HC (beyond category).
From Mijanes, the Col de Pailhères is 10.6 km long with an elevation gain of 871 m and an average gradient of 8.2% (10.2% max). This is the traditional direction taken by the Tour de France, which continues on to a summit finish at Ax-3 Domaines.
From Ax-les-Thermes, the Col de Pailhères is 18.6 km long with an elevation gain of 1281 m. at average gradient of 6.9% (10.4% max).
The road may be closed for a good portion of the year during the winter.
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