Mont Ventoux is without a doubt one of the most famous mountains in Europe. Although only 1912 meters high,
the Ventoux rises up as a giant up surrounded by the beautiful countryside of the Provence.
Located on the last Alpine ridge near the Rhone-platform, you can see the Mont Ventoux from almost anywhere in the Vaucluse-Provence.
The giant of Provence is also the highlight of many trips through this beautiful region in southern France. Its remoteness gives the mountain something gigantic and dominating and if the weather is clear, you can see the Alps in the east, the Cevennes to the west and the Mediterranean see in the south from its top.
Although climbed only occasionally in the Tour, the Mont Ventoux is one of the top cols of France and beyond. The best professional riders do the 21 km from Bédoin in just about an hour or a 'VAM' (velocità ascensionale media or vertical meters per hour) of 1600 meters. The better amateurs do it in less than two hours or an average of just over 10km/h. But everyone is free to do the climb. Just one advice: come prepared or you will see black snow instead of white stones!
The most difficult side-up is the one via Bédoin (officially starting from the roundabout D974), although, according to some, the Malaucène side is equally difficult. Exercising can be done via Sault, by far the least heavy side. The Bédoin side is also the most famous side because it is the side that tends to be climbed in the Tour de France and therefore the side where most drama took place. On July 13 1967, the British cyclist Tom Simpson died on the slopes of the Ventoux. One can visit the statue about 1.5 km from the summit.
The Bédoin side starts of easy, almost in silence, surrounded by vineyards where the grapes are riping for the local wine. On your left, if the weather is clear, you can see the top with its pin of the weather station. Take a good look, because once you’re in the forest beyond the famous St. Estève bend, you will miss this view for a long time.
Up to this point, you should have consumed only a minimum of energy, cause for the next 10 km, you will need plenty. In the forest, the Ventoux hardly drops below 9% and never gives you time and space to recover.
Once the Chalet Renard is in sight the hardest part is behind you, unless ... you're unlucky and the wind is blowing in your face for the rest of the ascent, amidst the lunar landscape, unprotected by trees. The name Mont Ventoux means "windy mountain", and some cyclists know why: the local Trans Montana and Mistral winds can blow at 150 km/h. But if you're lucky, you can recover after the Chalet Renard with human slopes of 5 - 7% and some bends at only 3%.
Take advantage of this, because the last kilometers of the Mont Ventoux will again hit you in the face. The last 1.5 km to go up at 10% and will require a supreme effort before you can show off at the top of the Ventoux and enjoy the "airplane view". Congratulations!
The Mont Ventoux is situated in Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur. This climb 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 %.
The maximum slope is 12 %.
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 2016 : Montpellier - Mont Ventoux on 14/07/2016
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
Mont Ventoux from Bédoin in 3D, on Googleearth!
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