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30 facts about the Col du Tourmalet

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Le Geant du Tourmalet is one of two statues on the Col du Tourmalet summit.

Le Geant du Tourmalet is one of two statues on the Col du Tourmalet summit.
(Image credit: Bruce Hildenbrand)
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Crowds line the Col du Tourmalet summit in the 1936 Tour de France.

Crowds line the Col du Tourmalet summit in the 1936 Tour de France.
(Image credit: AFP Photo)
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The beautiful view from atop the Col du Tourmalet summit.

The beautiful view from atop the Col du Tourmalet summit.
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas) leads Pierrick Fedrigo (BBOX Bouygues Telecom) to the Tourmalet summit in the 2009 Tour de France.

Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas) leads Pierrick Fedrigo (BBOX Bouygues Telecom) to the Tourmalet summit in the 2009 Tour de France.
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Lance Armstrong wins the mountain finish at La Mongie in the 2002 Tour de France.

Lance Armstrong wins the mountain finish at La Mongie in the 2002 Tour de France.
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Octave Lapize was the first Tour de France cyclist to top the Col du Tourmalet.

Octave Lapize was the first Tour de France cyclist to top the Col du Tourmalet.
(Image credit: AFP Photo)
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It's man vs. the mountain on the Col du Tourmalet in the 1930 Tour de France.

It's man vs. the mountain on the Col du Tourmalet in the 1930 Tour de France.
(Image credit: AFP Photo)
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A rider tackles the Col du Tourmalet during the 1933 Tour de France.

A rider tackles the Col du Tourmalet during the 1933 Tour de France.
(Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Richard Virenque ascends the Col du Tourmalet alone in the 1995 Tour de France.

Richard Virenque ascends the Col du Tourmalet alone in the 1995 Tour de France.
(Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Eddy Merckx leads teammate Georges Vandenberghe across the Col du Tourmalet summit in the 1969 Tour.

Eddy Merckx leads teammate Georges Vandenberghe across the Col du Tourmalet summit in the 1969 Tour.
(Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Jan Ullrich (Team Bianchi) trailed by Lance Armstrong (US Postal-Berry Floor), Haimar Zubeldia and Iban Mayo (Euskaltel-Euskadi) on the climb of the Tourmalet at the 2003 Tour de France.

Jan Ullrich (Team Bianchi) trailed by Lance Armstrong (US Postal-Berry Floor), Haimar Zubeldia and Iban Mayo (Euskaltel-Euskadi) on the climb of the Tourmalet at the 2003 Tour de France.
(Image credit: Olympia Photo)

Scaled twice in this year's Tour de France, the legendary Col du Tourmalet climb has been part of the race since 1910 when it was first introduced in stage 10 by race director Henri Desgrange as the capstone to what would be referred to as the "Circle of Death": the Pyrenean foursome of the Col de Peyresourde, Col d'Aspin, Col du Tourmalet and the Col d'Aubisque.

Fifty-nine brave souls set out that July 21st morning to tackle the monstrous stage and the Col du Tourmalet's mystique was born. Following are 30 facts about the iconic Col du Tourmalet's role in Tours past. Here's hoping another 100 years are in store for the mythical mountain.

1 The Col du Tourmalet made its first appearance in 1910 and celebrates its 100th anniversary as part of the Tour de France in 2010.

2 Octave Lapize was the first rider to cross the Col du Tourmalet in the 1910 Tour de France, having to walk much of the dirt road ascent. Lapize would win the stage and later the overall GC, the Frenchman's only Tour de France triumph.

3 Lapize is noted for calling Tour officials "assassins" during the stage after tackling the Tourmalet.