Cycling Mont Ventoux Bédoin

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Mont Ventoux - Bédoin

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Basic data & ranking

Average grade: 7.6 %

Length: 21.4 km

Height start: 283 m

Height top: 1912 m

Elevation gain: 1639 m

Maximum: 12 %

Mont Ventoux rankings

Difficulty ranking world: 177 (all)
Ranking France: 12 (all)
Ranking Massif des Cèdres: 1 (all)
Difficulty score: 171.24 what?

Mont Ventoux ratings

(4.9) Overall

(4.8) Road

(3.8) Traffic

(4.4) Amenities

(5) Surroundings

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The Mont Ventoux is without any doubt one of the most famous mountains in Europe. While only 1912 meters high, it rises out of the splendid surrounding landscape of the Provence. Situated on the last Alpine ridge against the Rhone-plateau, the Mont Ventoux can be seen from almost anywhere in the Vaucluse, Provence.

The giant of Provence therefore is therefore the culmination of any journey through this wonderful region in southern France. It's isolated position gives the mountain something gigantic and dominating and if the weather is clear, you can see from its top the Alps to the East, the Cévennes to the West and Meditteranean Sea to the South.

Although only occasionally climbed in the Tour, the Mont Ventoux is one of the topcols in France and beyond. The best professional riders do the 21 km from Bédoin in just below one hour or a"VAM" (velocità ascensionale media or vertical heightmeters per hour) of 1600 meters. The better amateurs in below two hours or with an average of just over 10km/hour. But anyone is free to do the climb. Just one advice: come prepared or you'll see black snow instead of white stones!

The heaviest side up is via Bédoin (official start from the roundabout D974), though, according to some, the Malaucène side is equally heavy. Exercising can be done from Sault, by far the least heavy side. The Bédoin side is also the most famous side because it is the approach that was most often taken in the Tour de France and, consequently, also the side where most drama took place. On July 13 1967, the British cyclist Tom Simpson died on the flanks of the Ventoux. One can visit the statue at about 1,5 km from the top.

The Bédoin side starts easy, almost in silence between the vineyards where the local wine finds its origin. To your left, you can, if the weather is clear, see the top with the typical white red pin of the weather station up there. Take a good look, cause you wont see it for quite a long time once you enter the wood after the famous St. Estève bend. Till this point, you should have spent only a minimum of energy, cause the next 10 km, you'll need all of it. From this point on, the Ventoux hardly ever goes below 9% and gives you no time or place to recover.

Once, you reach the Chalet Renard, you did most of the job, unless... you're unlucky and have the wind blowing in your face for the rest of the ascent, unprotected by trees, amidst a lunar (lunatic?) landscape. The name Mont Ventoux means "windy mountain", and some cyclists know why: the local Mistral and Transmontana winds can blow at 150 km/hour here. But if you're lucky, you can recover after the Chalet Renard on human grades of 5-7% with some bends at only 3%.

Take advantage of this, because the last kilometers, the Mont Ventoux will again hit you in the face with his last stones. The last 1,5 km are again at 10% and will require another huge effort before you can flaunt on top of the Ventoux and enjoy the "airplane view". Congratulations!

The Mont Ventoux is situated in Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur and belongs to the Massif des Cèdres . Starting from Bédoin, the Mont Ventoux ascent is 21.4 km long. Over this distance, you climb 1639 heightmeters. The average percentage thus is 7.6 %.

Look for other sides to climb the Mont Ventoux.

Since 2005, the Mont Ventoux will be/was climbed in the following big tour stages:
Tour de France 2013 :  Givors - Mont-Ventoux on 14/07/2013
Tour de France 2009 :  Montélimar - Mont Ventoux (Etappe du Tour 2009) on 25/07/2009

Profile & route

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Location info

Find all information on climbs and cycling in Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur and find all climbs in Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur on a map.

Other climbs close to the Mont Ventoux: within 10 km - within 20 km - within 50 km

Stories, information and comments from Mont Ventoux climbers
Story by Rob, Ben & Pete from London, United Kingdom, submitted on 11/09/2014
Chris, Truley, Rob, Ben and Pete left their camp site near Beziers and headed east towards the mighty Ventoux. After following a dodgy set of directions from the AA, it was decided that only Rob, Ben and Pete would make the push for the summit. The first 6kms lulled us into a false sense, but after that the real climbing began and once it began it never eased. As we left the shelter of the forest the, true heat of the day hit home and energy levels began to drop. With about 5kms to the top, we came across the base for some Dutch charity walkers who had music belting out and the support crew were giving all the cyclists a cheer which was a needed "shot in the arm" at that stage. With the hairpin to the top navigated and the finish in sight, we were greeted by a few hundred Dutch charity people, not all friendly! However, three tired but proud English lads had achieved the goal that had been planned for a year. We had a quick beer on the terrace of the restaurant and soaked up the view. Now ready for the descent, it was eyeballs out down to Bedoin. This climb is a lot harder than reports will lead you to believe, so if you are planning your first ascent of the “Beast” then be aware, the Ventoux is Viscous!
My personal climb rating:
Story by Gerard Dolan from London, United Kingdom, submitted on 29/08/2014
Must stress to any cycle fan that this is a fantastic experience you will probably appreciate more after because it is tough.. I practices on the short but ( I thought steep) hills of sth London but ventoux is something else.From about 5km to chateau Renaud it is uncompromising - there are no breaks just consistently steep and demanding so be prepared! It does ease off a little but then the wind kicks in and on the day I climbed the last km had to be walked/ crawled as the wind was gale force( Bedoin was 25 celcius beautifully sunny when I left). For all that I would love to do it again.
My personal climb rating:
Story by Michael Newnham from Bembridge IOW, United Kingdom, submitted on 02/07/2014
I am 63 years of age and a type 11 diabetic, my weight is 16.5 stone and i am only 5ft 7inches tall. I trained hard locally on our hills but nothing could prepare me for Ventoux. I am afraid to say i only made it half way up before i came to a grinding halt, i know realise that i should of spent more time loosing weight than training hard, and i offer these comments to any body really overweight who is contemplating an assault on Ventoux. every pound in weight lost I would reckon is worth about 50 hard miles training.
My personal climb rating:
Story by Shaun from Birmingham, United Kingdom, submitted on 01/07/2014
Hi everyone,

I climbed the Ventoux on June 24th 2014 and whilst it is fresh in my mind I thought I''d answer some questions that I''d considered before I went.

For context: I am 50, 5''6" and 73kg. I had never cycled outside of the UK before.

1) what gearing do you need? This was my main concern - I''d suggest watching the practise ascent by Froome, Kelly and Jonas available on you tube. There''s a lovely scene where Sean Kelly, using a 25, asks Jonas can he swap for his 27. So, if Sean Kelly needed a 27 I wanted some more! I used a 12-30 with a 34 up front and this was perfect. It''s strange that when the climb changes from 10+ to less you suddenly feel that it''s easy! On the 9+ sections I was on the 30; it was hard but always doable. I felt sorry for one chap who was working so hard that he slipped off his pedals.

2) how do you prepare? By doing lots of hills again and again. The gradient of hills where I live in South Birmingham were great for practise, some were much steeper than the Ventoux but of course they don''t last for very long. I did lots of off road (in the dark!) training in the Lickey Hill Country Park.

Climbing the Ventoux was a dream come true for me and I would recommend it to everyone.

My personal climb rating:
Story by manumartin from Haute Savoie, France, submitted on 29/06/2014
28TH June 2014

Left with Flo at 6am. Very quiet. A beautiful climb.

Wind non existent on the way up apart from last 2 km. A veritable battle with the buffeting wind ensued. Descended straight away and wind was already starting to affect the top 4km.

Descent marred by idiots coming up through the forest, riding all over the road and hardly giving way to us who were descending. I saw two cyclists throwing away empty bottles and others dropping gel wrappers etc.

Just to note that there is loads of rubbish at the sides of the road, particularly in the forest section. It''s disgusting! The small plastic bottles and gel wrappers, gel tubes clearly show that some cyclists really do not care one bit about the environment etc. Is it really that difficult to keep a few empty wrappers in back pockets? Shame really.
My personal climb rating:
Story by MikeyMoo from Exmouth, United Kingdom, submitted on 18/06/2014
I’m 47 years old, 6ft 1 and 88kgs not a natural climber. My bike is a Trek Madone 5.2, with compact gears and a 28 rear sprocket. The first ascent from Bedoin on 9 Jun, 2hrs 5mins. First few km is great. At St. Estève the challenge begins the climb relentless. Kept within the lowest 3 rings of rear sprocket, going up a gear when standing. Climb goes on through woods, small relieve around the switchbacks, Chalet Reynard for fresh bottles, last 6km the toughest IMO. Later in week we did the ascent from Maucelene, tougher, no lead in, steeper, descending to Sault, up again and down to Maucelene. The ascent from Sault was fun, until Chalet Reynard when it gets tough again. Recommend this to anyone but training is essential before, there were people dismounting and walking from early stages on all ascents - its a long walk!
My personal climb rating:
Story by whiskywheels from , United Kingdom, submitted on 06/06/2014
Did my 15th ascent for my 60th birthday, having done my first for my 50th. Bedoin to the summit in 2hr.33min this time.

It''s still an amazing adventure and a real challenge. Unfortunately, this year it was the French national holiday, ascension day, and I''ve never seen the mountain so crowded with walkers, runners, cyclists, motor vehicle rallies and general tourists. I''ve never seen so many stupid people gathered together at one time, especially some of the cylists; riding on the wrong side of the road to cut the corner, getting in my way on the descent by riding in the middle of the road, and so on. I''ll be back for my 65th though, and will expect the usual quiet roads then.
My personal climb rating:
Story by Kevin from Birmingham, United Kingdom, submitted on 16/05/2014
I started in Bedoin on Friday 16 May 2014 and it took me 3 hours 5 minutes including 6 rest stops. I''m 51, 1.78 and 72kg, I hadn''t cycled for 25 years and my training was 3 rides over the Malverns - 150m altitude.

The first 6km is fine then it gets tougher through the forest. The weather was fine, with no wind and very pleasant temperatures on the top.

An excellent morning out and a great descent.
My personal climb rating:
Story by James from , Taiwan, submitted on 26/04/2014
I climbed Ventoux during a business trip in October ''13. I rented a Giant in Bedoin, and ascended fom there. Had to rest a few times in the forest, but got to the top in 2.5hrs or so. Glad I did it. The view was clear when I arrived at the summit, but cloud soon rolled in. I returned to Bedoin via Malaucene - totally different on that side of the mountain. Fantastic climb and hope to repeat soon.
My personal climb rating:
Story by Ed from , Belgium, submitted on 10/02/2014
The Ventoux is a beast, spinning in the sun, waiting for me to rub his back. Every year, seeing him lying there feels like home coming. The beast has waited for me and it will be rewarded. Sprinkle me there and let the wind take me.
My personal climb rating:


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