The 2003 Etape climbs two major mountains this year, with a number of smaller cols.
Starting at Pau, 177 meters above sea level, the first major climb, 42 miles from the start is:
Col de Soudet: 1540 m. The climb up to Col de Soudet has an average gradient of 7.5% for 14Km!
After descending to about 400 m , the next mountain has a total of three cols.
The first, Cote de Larrau, has a challenging gradient of 10.5% for 2.4 km.
The second is a difficult 8.8 km with an average gradient of 9.2 %!
By this time you will have covered 70 miles!
Finally the descent is interrupted by a small col, Col de Burdincurutcheta at 1135m
If you get that far, you've probably made it - its down hill or undulating all for the next 50 miles. There's something to look forward too!