The young British rider put in a solo ascent of the famous French mountain

For many, riding the famous cols and climbs of the Tour de France is something to be done in adult life.

But for a growing number of youngsters, ascending climbs like the Col du Tourmalet is now something to be done before they’ve left primary school.

Earlier this year we reported on Alfie Earl, who at eight-years-old was possibly the youngest rider to make it to the top of the Tourmalet.

>>> Icons of cycling: the Col du Tourmalet

He’s now been joined in that achievement by compatriot Rafe Cushway, who recently conquered the famous climb during a solo ride.

The youngster covered the 16km from St Marie de Campan to the summit in an unofficial time of just under two hours.

The Col du Tourmalet has been used 85 times in the Tour de France, most recently as the first climb on stage eight of this year’s Grande Boucle.

The summit tops out at 2115 metres, which contributes to its Hors Catégorie classification.

Ascending through the fog, almost at the summit

Ascending through the fog, almost at the summit

Rafe’s parents were present on the mountain at the time, but kept their distance to allow him to ride his own way up through the fog. His dad wasn’t too far away, driving the climb behind one of Rafe’s older brothers.

Now resident in France, all three Cushway brothers – Rafe, 8, Max, 12, and Charlie, 14 – have come through the local ‘ecole de velo’ and compete in road, track and cyclocross events.