Cycling Mont Ventoux Bédoin

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Mont Ventoux - Bédoin

picture Mont Ventoux

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

Mont Ventoux ratings

(4.9) Overall

(4.9) Road

(3.7) Traffic

(4.2) Amenities

(5) Surroundings

(rate it)

 
Description

The 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 amidst the beautiful surrounding countryside of Provence . Located on the last Alpine ridge near the Rhone valley, you can see Mont Ventoux from almost anywhere in the Vaucluse - Provence .
For many, the giant of Provence is also the highlight of a trip through this beautiful region in southern France . Its isolated location gives the mountain something gigantic and dominating and if the weather is clear, you can, from the top, see the Alps in the east, the Cevennes in the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south.
Although not too often climbed in the Tour de Mont Ventoux is one of the topcols in France and abroad. The best professional riders do the 21 km from Bédoin in just 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/uur . 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 via Bédoin (official start from the roundabout D974), although according to some The Malaucène side is just as difficult or even more. Training is possible from Sault, by far the least heavy side. The Bedoin side is also the most famous side because it was most often climbed in the Tour de France. It is, Consequently, also the side where most of the drama took place. On 13 July 1967, British cyclist Tom Simpson died on the flanks the Ventoux. One can visit the statue at about 1.5 km from the summit.
The Bedoin side starts simple, almost in silence , among the vineyards where the grapes ripe for the local wine. On your left You can, if the weather is clear, see the top with the typical Dairy Cow pin of the weather station. Take a good look, because once in the forest, past the famous St. Estève bend, you won't see it anyomore for well, about an hour or so. Before that time, you should have consumed a minimum of energy because for the next 10 km, you will need it very much. In the forest, the Ventoux almost never goes below 9 % and never gives you time or place to recover .
Once the Chalet Renard reached, the toughest part is behind you, unless ... you're unlucky and the wind is blowing in your face for the rest of the ascent amidst a moonscape landscape, unprotected by trees. The Mont Ventoux name means "windy mountain", and some cyclists know why : the local and Transmontana Mistral wind can blow here at 150 km/h. But if you're lucky and there's little wind, the zone past the Chalet Renard will give you time to recover with human gradients of 5-7 % and some curves of only 3%.
Take advantage of this, for the last few kilometers, the Mont Ventoux will hit you back in your face. The last 1.5 km is again at 10 % and it will still take a supreme effort before you can show off at the top of the Ventoux and enjoy the "view plane". 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 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.

Shaun
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:
Story by Carl from St Peter port, United Kingdom, submitted on 22/12/2013
This is the hardest climb I have ever done, maybe partly due to being almost 90 kilos. The first 5k is lovely, but once you enter the forest the climb is relentless! I wanted to stop many times but I am very glad I kept going. I had no problems with weather this time except some clouds near the top. A few years ago, I went up in a car on a lovely sunny day in early July. On the way down, a storm came in very quickly with thunder, lightning, strong winds, and heavy rain. Be prepared!
My personal climb rating:
Story by Simon Philp from Redshard Lane, Langford, United Kingdom, submitted on 18/10/2013
Having conquered Alpe D''Huez a couple of days before I drove down to tackle the Giant of Provence. I was staying in Mazan so had a nice little warm up as I rolled out on a chilly but sunny October morning and as I entered Bedoin things were feeling pretty good. AS everyone has said the first 5Kms are pretty easy, although I did pass one poor cyclist who was struggling on this section - I dont think they will have made it. The forest was cool at that time of year but the gradient is unrelenting - no hairpins to give you a rest. There were lots of other cyclists and there was quite a good bit of banter on the way up. Towards the end of this section I was really glad to see Chalet Reynard as everything I had read said things got a bit easier after this. Well they do, but not before a little kick up after the cafe. Then it was wind in the faces for the final 6km. This section is not particularly steep but it does seem to go on and on and my head did begin to feel a bit strange - maybe it was the altitude or just the exertion. The final 1km is steeper again but by now you know you are going to make it - fantastic and a wonderful view to reward you. I loved this climb and will be back to do it again!
My personal climb rating:
Story by Nick from , Australia, submitted on 12/10/2013
Did Ventoux in June 2013 as part of holiday that included Alpe d''Huez and Galibier. Am 66yo and 59 kg and have ridden approx 10,000k pa for last 10 years. Took my own bike (Look 595) and rode steady 2hr 5min on 39x30 for the first part in the forest and 30x25/27 after the chalet. Epic ride that should be on all riders itinerary if possible. The atmosphere is great with many riders there, and the last few k''s with the pro photographers out (great pics) was actualy easier after the steeper part through the forest although the wind was challenging on several of the bends and especially the last one. It''s an unrelenting climb and needs good fitness, and I felt was more difficult than Alpe d''Huez and Galibier which I had done a few days before.
My personal climb rating:
Story by dino pezzotto from edmonton, Canada, submitted on 10/09/2013
Thanks to everyone here on the forum for all the valuable information! The climb was exactly as described on this site. Parked in Bedoin where there is lots of free parking....1 hr 37 min from parking lot to the top. Just a note that monday mornings are market day, you can't drive through the center of town but the detour is well marked.



Was so excited to feel the famoust ventoux wind! First 2 km of the descent was one of the trickiest road descents I have ever done.....gravel and rocks on the road and killer wind.



Great ride. I give 4 stars. I would give 5 stars except the massive amount of bicycle / car / motorcycle traffic, even on a monday in september, really kind of turned me off. Especially turned off by the number of cyclists riding in the middle and left hand side of the road climbing up, which really made it awkward when I was coming down.



My personal climb rating:
Story by ray cox from London, United Kingdom, submitted on 09/02/2013
I found this blog so useful I thought I owed it an entry.

I did the ride from Bedoin to the top and back on a Saturday in late August 2013. A little about me - 54, 1.81, 82kgs, commuter biker with some sportives. I was on my own and frankly a bit worried.

The chaps in the bike rental shop at larouteduventoux were great. Hired a carbon Trek Domane 6.2 D12 with 11-28 cassette.

Started off about 8.15 and people were already coming down. After 6k the forest started and was cooler but the slope became about 10% all the way. Here''s the thing. In the forest I felt ill - like vomiting - after 1 k and again after 2k. The answer for me was to ease off from what had felt a comfortable pace. Then I found I could just grind all the way to Chalet Reynard where I had a coffee and then on up to top. 2h 41 in all inc breaks. A v thin windproof top was very welcome on the way down which took not long over 20 mins.

Drank 1.25 litres water. 1 energy gel was great half way up and some sugar.

Scouted the route the day before in the car and took the route down to Malaucene and back to Bedoin which would make a great day''s ride but I had to bike straight back to Bedoin this time.
My personal climb rating:
Story by ray cox from London, United Kingdom, submitted on 02/09/2013
I found this blog so useful I thought I owed it an entry.

I did the ride from Bedoin to the top and back on a Saturday in late August 2013. A little about me - 54, 1.81, 82kgs, commuter biker with some sportives. I was on my own and frankly a bit worried.

The chaps in the bike rental shop at larouteduventoux were great. Hired a carbon Trek Domane 6.2 D12 with 11-28 cassette.

Started off about 8.15 and people were already coming down. After 6k the forest started and was cooler but the slope became about 10% all the way. Here''s the thing. In the forest I felt ill - like vomiting - after 1 k and again after 2k. The answer for me was to ease off from what had felt a comfortable pace. Then I found I could just grind all the way to Chalet Reynard where I had a coffee and then on up to top. 2h 41 in all inc breaks. A v thin windproof top was very welcome on the way down which took not long over 20 mins.

Drank 1.25 litres water. 1 energy gel was great half way up and some sugar.

Scouted the route the day before in the car and took the route down to Malaucene and back to Bedoin which would make a great day''s ride but I had to bike straight back to Bedoin this time.
My personal climb rating:
Story by Steve McQuade from , United Kingdom, submitted on 26/07/2013
Awesome place and a Holy Mountain, give me this place any day. As others suggest treat with care. I have done in July/Aug many times, at worst I was blown off the bike and could not stand at the top, a week later the lighting!, but overall a must.
My personal climb rating:
Story by Jason from Radlett, United Kingdom, submitted on 15/07/2013
Rode this beast on 3rd July 2013. Did all three sides. Started with Bedoin first at 4am. Day started clear and soon turned nasty (Would not expect anything less from Ventoux). Clouds came over, wind picked up and rain started coming down. Descents were freezing. Coldest I have ever been (with a rain jacket and arm warmers underneath). I commute in Winter in the UK and I have never been this cold. Was praying to have some sort of uphill where I could warm myself up. Shivering so much the bike was wobbling on the road.



On the last ascent, 5k''s from the top, it was like something biblical. The rain stopped, clouds disappeared, and wind close to stopped. For the first time I could see top of the mountain.



Never under estimate this mountain. Weather changes at a turn of a key. You can never truely predict what you are going to get out there. The following day the Mistral came in. So we were lucky riding the day we did. It was blowing gales down in the valley. Can only imagine what it was like up there.



All in all, it is a magical ride. Roads are immaculate. A real epic experience.
My personal climb rating:
Story by Ian Hughes from Coventry, United Kingdom, submitted on 02/07/2013
After 45 years wanting to I managed to finally ride Mont Ventoux in June 2013 at 67 years of age.I started from Bedoin to follow in Tom Simpson''s wheelmarks he was a hero of mine when I started racing . I set off steadily savig what energy I could for later . It was difficult to breathe in the forest area and I had to stop at about 12k for a 2 minute breather ,I did most of the climb on 36 X 28 gear . I found it difficult until Chalet Reynard but arrived without too much trouble and stopped for a change of jersey and a gel . The last 6 k in the moonscape was much more easier and I seemed to roll up the section to Simpson''s memorial well where I stopped to honour my hero . This was quite emotional for me after such a long wait to see where my contribution to his memorial was . The last part seemed much easier and even the 10 percent last section to the top was brilllant .
My personal climb rating:
Story by Jan Lykke from Gentofte, Denmark, submitted on 29/04/2013
I celebrated my 50th bithday on top of Mont Ventoux 23th of April. The climb started at Bedoin and lasted for 1 hour 43 minutes. My gearing most of the way was 39/24 and I was happy to survive without a compact gearing. Speed was most of the time in the interval of 9-13 km/h. Weather was perfect in Bedoin about 17-18 dgr and not to much wind. I made my way through the forest and it was hot, evil and hard - do not get to confident, find your own pace and stay with this no matter what happens. Finally reaching Chalet Reynard knowing there was only 6 km left I felt confident to reach the top!

Wind then was in the face and it did not become any easier....remember to honour the monument for Tom Simpson 1 km before summit, who struggled this mountain in 1967 and died.

What a liberation to reach the Summit - windy and very cold. My advice is to stay 5-10 minutes, take your pictures, bring on your vest, jacket and move yourselves down again - remember the memorials you saw on the way up....was it due to car accidents, or?

(I had to go same way back due to snow on alternative decend)

Bring 2 bottles on the way, gel + other ammo.

Wish you all good luck :-) Perfect way to celebrate a birthday.......
My personal climb rating:
Story by antant from London, United Kingdom, submitted on 14/04/2013
Went up on 13 April 2013. The road was closed near the top for cars but open to bikes and hikers. From the gate there was snow by the side of the road but tarmac all the way. Chalet Reynard was open (Saturday). Bedoin has bike rentals. Euro 30 for a Giant with 105, helmet etc. Closed for lunch.

It''s a busy, small town. Lots of cafes, supermarket. Dedicated cyclist''s carpark at the end of town, I stayed overnignt in my van there.

Easy country side ride for first 1/4, tough but beautiful forest ride for 1/2, then final 1/4 in exposed & windy final accent. All climbing, no flat bits. 72km/hr descent! I wore, extra, a balaclava, wind top & surgical gloves for the descent.



The north/west Malaucen side road was closed with snow, for bikes as well.

My personal climb rating:
Story by Julie from Paia, United States, submitted on 24/01/2013
Was an epic climb. I climbed Ventoux solo in October 2012. My husband and I were to have done this climb together, but he died while we were climbing Haleakala in April to a failed aortic valve transplant. I had promised him that he would get to the top of Ventoux. I carried his ashes with me and half way up my right leg began to cramp. I did not know if I could make it. I got off the bike at Chaler Raynard for a brief pit stop and voila! when I got back on the bike,the cramp was gone. The last 6 Km were brutal. I passed many riders younger than I was who were bonking. I just geared down and kept a steady cadence. When I was 500 feet from the top I got out of the saddle and sprinted over the top.



I left some of my husband''s ashes up there right below the altitude marker. A French fighter jet flew came over the top of Ventoux and did a fly by.



I will remember this climb for the rest of my life.



If you decide to climb Ventoux, it is deceptively easy at the beginning. The climb and grade become relentless. Train at altitude above 5,000 feet if you can and go for sustained climbs. Make sure you are well hydrated. For me it took, 3 gel packs, 3 bananas, 3 mandarins and 3 litres of water with EFS electrolytes. Potassium,potassium...
My personal climb rating:
Story by Julie from Paia, United States, submitted on 24/01/2013
Was an epic climb. I climbed Ventoux solo in October 2012. My husband and I were to have done this climb together, but he died while we were climbing Haleakala in April to a failed aortic valve transplant. I had promised him that he would get to the top of Ventoux. I carried his ashes with me and half way up my right leg began to cramp. I did not know if I could make it. I got off the bike at Chaler Raynard for a brief pit stop and voila! when I got back on the bike,the cramp was gone. The last 6 Km were brutal. I passed many riders younger than I was who were bonking. I just geared down and kept a steady cadence. When I was 500 feet from the top I got out of the saddle and sprinted over the top.



I left some of my husband''s ashes up there right below the altitude marker. A French fighter jet flew came over the top of Ventoux and did a fly by.



I will remember this climb for the rest of my life.



If you decide to climb Ventoux, it is deceptively easy at the beginning. The climb and grade become relentless. Train at altitude above 5,000 feet if you can and go for sustained climbs. Make sure you are well hydrated. For me it took, 3 gel packs, 3 bananas, 3 mandarins and 3 litres of water with EFS electrolytes. Potassium,potassium...
My personal climb rating:
Story by Ned Kingdon from Oxford, United Kingdom, submitted on 06/09/2012
i rode up mt ventoux in late july. i managed 1hr 56 which i was quite happy with as i had only been riding for 2 months. definitely will be back soon. the first part from bedoin is quite easy but at the forest the gradient increases. and after chalet reynard is where it gets tough.
My personal climb rating:
Story by Richard Kebell from , United Kingdom, submitted on 16/07/2012
I climbed Mount Ventoux from Bedoin on Monday 9th July in 33 degree heat. The street market was taking place at bedoin which meant that the place was very busy. I wanted to buy bananas but could only get peaches as they sold local produce only. The climb was as hard as described and I was in the granny / granny gear from 4 kms until Chalet Reynard. I am 45 and carrying more weight than I would like but reached the top in 2 hours and 12 minutes and back down in less than half an hour.



Not much water available on the way up and didn''t stop to re-fill bottles until Chalet Reynard.
My personal climb rating:
Story by ian bond from Preston, United Kingdom, submitted on 15/07/2012
I climbed the ''classic'' route up Mont Ventoux on the 31st July 2011. I had been riding in the alps for the week before and had terrible weather, including snow on the Galibier. This day was very hot and the''moonscape'' last few km''s seemed another world - although I didn''t find it as hard a climb as say the Madeleine or d''izoard but very rewarding. The views from the top are amazing. I remember getting a bit emotional when I visited Tom Simpson''s memorial on the way down. Even though its only a 4* for the climb its a 5* for the emotion and because its so iconic.
My personal climb rating:
Story by mike from , United Kingdom, submitted on 04/07/2012
i climbed mont ventoux on 5/6/2012 from the bedoin side as in tour de france it was my birthday present i was 47 and by the time i reached the summit i felt every one of those 47 .only stopped twice once at chalet reynard to refill water bottles and once withcramp in leg 4k from summit. i would also like to thank the french man who refilled my water bottles ,they where in the forest section of the climb. the time i took was 3h 12mins .but the descent was something else touching 80kph .it took about 20 odd mins
My personal climb rating:
Story by malcolm burn from , France, submitted on 04/06/2012
I''m writing this retrospectively having ridden up mount ventoux in 2005 age 42.

Great cycling experience as you can tell; never to be forgotten.

At the time I was a fit club rider though having said that, this was my first mountain climb!

Going against the advice of some in my club ''Tyne Vélo'' I used 39/23 and didn''t heed the need for a 25!

All was going ok until I made the windy bare slopes, then it felt like I wasn''t moving at all.

Really hot at the start from Bedoin and on the south side up, then freezing cold around the turns into the wind.It was a hell of a wind, soooooo cold!

Actually loved every bit of it, want to do it again and do better than 1hr40 (no stops).

Will probably have a 25 handy though!
My personal climb rating:
Story by Patty from , Australia, submitted on 29/04/2012
I climbed The Giant from Bedoin like a sucker in late September 2009, fresh paint from le tour still on the road. 23 years old, a complete amateur, no cycling experience (apart from watching youtube videos and the 50km ride from Avignon the day before with 20kg of camping gear) and an old steel decathlon "mountain bike". Took me 5 hours to reach the summit with about 20 stops. Was passed by at least 100 cyclists in the day, as well as an older man who jogged to the top from Chalet Reynard. Best thing I''ve ever done
My personal climb rating:
Story by Jason from London, United Kingdom, submitted on 23/04/2012
Fantastic, unforgettable. I''d read many stories about the legendary Ventoux but it still managed to beat my expectations. I climbed it from Bedoin on April 10, 2012 when the top was still supposedly ''closed'' but there were obviously quite a few intrepid cyclists trying their luck. The snow was almost entirely gone but the killer was the wind - vicious like nothing I''ve ever experienced. I dismounted to climb under the barrier, holding the top tube, and the wind blew the bike''s wheels off the road until it was almost horizontal, nearly parallel with the ground. It was terrifying at the summit, it was only luck that I wasn''t blown off the road. Icy patches on the way down to Malaucene but still clocked 85kph - thank you, Ventoux! Classic.
My personal climb rating:
Story by Darren from London, United Kingdom, submitted on 05/02/2012
Pretty new to cycling up big mountains, having only ridden a couple of Pyrenean cols, but found the Bedoin route hard. Harder than the Tourmalet for instance, but a couple of things to bear in mind. The Bedoin route, as has been said, is pretty steep and relentless. I rode it on a 50/25 bottom gear and could have done with a few more cogs on the back. The weather also plays a big factor. I went on a hot July day, but didn't realise how hot until I checked my garmin later. 38C at the bottom of the climb! An unforgettable day on the bike though.
My personal climb rating:
Story by mistermaumau from Arles, France, submitted on 26/09/2011
3rd time lucky today. I tried twice to do this myth and failed, didn''t even get to the start the first time and got a puncture the second so this became a kind of an obsession.

Profile : 43y, 73kg, 178cm, km this year 700, total km last 10 years maybe 2000 (the good days are over, for now), speciality: running

Bike, a decent 15 year old alu frame with cheap wheels, gearing 39-25, MTB shoes.

Was looking to repeat the 2nd route I started with friends 5 years ago but didn''t remember which it was so ended up alone in Bedoin after a warm up from lovely Venasque (the Abbaye de Senanque seemed too far away for my current legs).

Probably set out too fast not having read the profile or believing those 9% parts could last so long. It was pretty hot with not much wind so it didn''t take long before the handlebars were soaked with sweat.

All my rides this year bar 2 have been 10-45km and dead flat, one was 70km and with a few hills, the other 30k and hilly with 2km at 8-9% (and chain stuck on 52 cog) so knew my back would suffer as it always and after 45 minutes I had to stand every minute or 2 to relieve the pain. Breathing calmed after Chalet Renard prob. due to tiredness that set in, took me around 1h37, may try again with more training

My personal climb rating:
Story by Andy from , Germany, submitted on 26/09/2011
Climbed on 20 Sept 2011. Regardless of how well prepared it''s long, no matter what hard. Climbed with Neil and Tim with Simon driving the Skoda uttering words of support ''Go Faster'' , ''You''re nearly there'' after 3 KMs. Thoughts of giving up at the 10-14 KMs were quickly dismissed on realizing Simon had my fags.. Nevertheless, it''s a bit like child birth on reaching the summit the pain evaporates, so you''re ready to do it again.
My personal climb rating:
Story by Romain Fettes from , Luxembourg, submitted on 11/09/2011
Hi everybody,

I was using this forum to prepare myself mentally for the climb.

My passion is Mountainbiking and my toughest achievement was an western Alp crossing 2008. After that goal was reached I went slower ...,means investing less time in training for motivation, work and private issues.

The Ventoux was a new challenge to get somehow back in the mood and it did its job.( I am still cycling around 3-4000 km per year, am 44, 188cm tall and 90 kg (took some weight :-(( ) I did it in 2:20 hrs.

The climb is exactly as described before. The comments and additions of the forum posters are all correct.

So I can only add some of my personal experience:

It was a hot afternoon(31 degrees) when i started after coming back from holidays from Spain. Tired, nervous, not enough sleep etc... not the best condition.

Go steady, find your rythm and don''t ever try to go to fast..... rythm , the right cadence and your hrm are your only friends. The climb is steep, the sun burns your back, and you will get no relief till you reach Chalet Renart..... After that the climb feels becoming more steep, even that my grade meter didn''t tell so, so assume my legs getting tired. After you pass the Tom Simpson memorial,the (for me) toughest part began.

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Story by bruce jones from andollu, Spain, submitted on 09/01/2011
Irode Ventoux in MAY on a hot sunday and i have got to say it is the hardest climb i have every done, when i got out of Bedoin the 1st km were nice then u go round this 1 corner and wham 20 od kms later yr up, all thoughts go around in yr mind but 4 me i had 1 ....stay calm don,t push to fast cos as i found out this climb never lets u go, but at the top u feel lika a champ and u r, this is a special place where the greats have rode, and the view purely amazing
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Story by Niall Boyle from London, United Kingdom, submitted on 30/08/2011
Loved the climb and of course the fantastic view. My first proper mountain climb. Very windy last couple of corners at top. I paced myself well I thought, getting off the saddle to stretch in a higher gear every now and then. Top tip - spray yourself with insect repellent (migh work) as flies can be a little annoying in the forest area - first half of climb. I did it in 2 h 25 mins - found the last k hard and the climb in general certainly hard enough to get that warm inner feeling of achievement having finished it. I kept looking at Ventoux later in my holiday when I was passing it in my car and later in the Eurostar train back to London. It is my new friend. Bought a t-shirt in the shop where I hired the bike in Bedoin.

Niall

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Story by Priestie from Melbourne, Australia, submitted on 30/08/2011
Loved Ventoux, everyone in our group said it was hard (mind you it was one of the last big climbs we did) I found it easy, but unfortunately the bike shop selling Mt Ventoux finisher T-Shirt & kit was closed.

Can anyone direct me to a website? I''m after the grey Mt Ventoux T Shirt.

Thanks

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Story by malcolm Lindsay from , France, submitted on 29/08/2011
Not as hard and difficult as it''s made out to be? Yes, but nevertheless nowhere near easy even with favourably weather conditions.

I think the climb has become mythological to cycling and probably partly due to the death of Tommy Simpson; myths and reality are not always coherent.

Everyone is entitled to choose their own bench marks but to suggest that anyone should climb with professional gear ratios is not realistic unless you are capable of turning the pedals at professional cadence. Watch the pros go up the Ventoux and see what they’re turning. 70,80?

To climb the Ventoux in 1 hr 49 mins (Grant Taylor with presumably with 39/25 gearing) is nothing to be ashamed of but why choose to make it harder than necessary? His cadence will have been close to 50 with the assumption that he arrived at St Esteve in a reasonable time (15 mins?). 39/23 gearing would be a cadence of +/-47

So, select your gearing to obtain a more efficient cadence 60 to 70 and the ride will be easier and probably quicker than climbing with too higher gearing for your physical ability.

Another myth buster?

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Story by Robert Armstrong from Calgary, Canada, submitted on 23/08/2011
I just returned from a great cycling trip to the French Alps and Provence. After a week of riding the Col du Telegraph, Col du Galibier (twice from either side), Col d''Izoard, Col du Agnel and Alpe d''Huez, it only seemed right that I also ride up the beast of Provence, Mt Ventoux. I''m 55 and a cycling nut and Mt Ventoux is everything people told me. The weather wasn''t perfect the day I rode it, as it was overcast with a little drizzle near the top. I rode compact gears with a 27 just in case I needed the extra gear to get me out of trouble and rode 1h 34m without ever going into the red zone. Now that I know the mountain, I will ride harder and faster above the tree line as it wasn''t as steep as I was expecting, except for the final push to the summit. Should be good for another 10 minutes. If you''re an avid cyclist and you''re in Provence, this epic mountian climb has to go on the your do list.
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Story by Nevelsteen Pascal from Eikevliet, Belgium, submitted on 03/08/2011
In may of this year, my colleagues and I (6 men in total)organized a weekend in the south of France. Climbing Mont Ventoux was the sportive part. As the ages and conditions of the members of our group vary considerably and as we had 2 days to spend on site, we desided to do the Sault side first.
Weather was awfull (13°C cloudy with a touch of rain) not what you would expect in the south of France.
To be honnest I had been training (circa 3000 km in 4 months) and it payed off, the Sault side is a "nice ride".
The weather on the second day was even worse and I couldn''t motivate any of my colleagues to join me in a second climb, this time from the Bedoin side. I found the Bédoin side very hard, espec from 5km to 15km, once you reach chalet renard start celebrating. Lucky for me the clouds opened up for 10 minutes when I reached the top, a kick to remember.Then the rush down in almost snowy weather, tricky.
If you go alone take as much drink and energystuff you can carry and don''t forget a raincoat! Have fun
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Story by Keith Foley-Chell from Goulburn NSW, Australia, submitted on 22/07/2011
After checking the Malaucene bike shop, we left at 6.30 11th July 2011, a day before my 61st birthday. I was nervous at breakfast, but relaxed on the scenic ride to Bedoin over the Col du Madeleine.
The climb really started at 7k. The next 9k through the forest was all over 9%, sometimes over 10. It was spin low gear, occasionally click up a gear and get off the seat. My sister waved me on, I concentrated on relaxing and maintaining form. This part was definitely the toughest.
Eventually I reached Chalet Reynard, a few riders sitting on the terrace waving good naturedly to encourage me. My goal was to reach the top without stops and it was great to have the short distance of lower gradient here. It was also exciting to see the famous white lunar landscape of the top of Ventoux.
Our decision to ride that day was great: no wind, mild sunny weather, magic!
As I climbed away from Chalet Reynard I knew I was going to make it, only 6k now!
I got to the top in 2h7m from the start at Bedoin and was totally wrapt! My sister arrived about 10m later, also with no stops.

Tips for first timers (like us):
Pick your day
Relax
Buy a finisher''s shirt to take home and annoy everyone on the next group ride
Bon Chance!
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Story by Giles Pocklington from macclesfield, United Kingdom, submitted on 20/07/2011
I found CBB really useful for preparing for Ventoux, so here''s my experience of climbing the Giant of Provence.
Me: 86kilos, 1.83m, 1 month before I hit 40 years old. 1500k miles on the bike this year. Returned to cycling after 10 years, did a sprint triathlon last year. Bike: Boardman Comp with 50/36 x 11x28.
I found www.analyticcycling.com/GearSelectionTouring_Page.html really useful for figuring out what I''d need to get up the mountain, and calculated I could do it in 2hr 20mins. It was remarkably accurate- I didn''t look at time on the way up and at the finish found out I''d done the climb in 2hr 19mins (non-stop).
I''d disagree with some comments that you are going to struggle if you''ve never climbed 1600m in one ride: you just have to be able to produce a certain wattage in a certain gear over a given length of time. The mistake I made was not to eat or take on an energy drink in the first hour- I blew up after a few k past Chalet Reynard and struggled to turn a gear for the last 4/5k, but keep going- you will make it.
Top tip: set off at 7am when it''s still cool, and you''ll be up, down and in the bar in Bedoin for a beer or three by 11am. The descent is awesome...
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Story by mario kessels from deurne, The Netherlands, submitted on 13/07/2011
we did the climb from malaucene, 13th of july. It''s pretty steep and the difference i''d say with for instance the alpe dhuez is that there''s no turns that take the pressure of your legs for 10sec or so. There some stretches that are good for catching breath though. it gets windy and pretty cold up in the higher region. in the end around 1:50, riding pretty calm, with 39/30. I was happy with the 30.... the descent is superb on this side, 90 km/h is possible without doing crazy stuff.
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Story by Grant Taylor from , United Kingdom, submitted on 24/06/2011
Some stories on here have said Ventoux is not that hard. Well in my opinion, any one with decent bike fitness and low enough gearing could climb Ventoux, but what you have to remember is the benchmark. The quickest Pro cyclists can climb this in a little over an hour. So with that in mind have another go on 39x25 gearing like a Pro and see if you can get close to their times. If you attack Ventoux using that as the yard stick the Ventoux is a relentlessly tough climb. Even Lance Armstrong himself says it is the toughest climb in France. Personally I managed 1.49 with no stops, of which I am Ok with, as I am certainly not built for climbing. If you are planning Ventoux with gearing in the region of 39x23/25 you had better be very fit and prepared. Do not underestimate this climb, especially in the summer heat.
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Story by malcolm LINDSAY from , France, submitted on 14/05/2011
went up from Bedoin on 11 May 2011 in just over 2 hrs. After all the hype I had heard and read about this climb it was a bit of a let down to arrive at the summit without feeling competely worn out and gasping for life Hats off to the TdF guys who do this climb at the end of a day''s riding and alot quicker than I could ever do it
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Story by loic lesauvage from saint lo, France, submitted on 15/01/2011
Le mont Ventoux est un mythe.Comme tous les myhes, sa réputation de col dur est exagérée. Faut surtout pas l''écorcher... ne pas dire que c''est pas si dur que ça... Aprè le chalet Reynard, la pente est relativement douce comme l''indique le graphique. Le signal de Bisanne, ça c''est de la bosse. Mais comme le tour de france n''y passe pas, persone n''y va... Lobotomisation des cerveaux.
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Story by peter shaw from Adeliade, Australia, submitted on 30/11/2010
This is an inquiry. I will be in Provence in late Oct 2011 & I intend riding Mont Vonteux. Is the mountain stiil open for bike climbing at this time of year? I do a lot of hill climbing in Australia but it seems from what I read in this forum that the wind is the biggest concern for most riders. What can I expect the weather to be generally like in late October? Regards Peter Shaw
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Story by Geoff from Shrewsbury, United Kingdom, submitted on 10/08/2010
6 October 2010. 2:36 from Bedoin with one short stop at Chalet Reynard. Very lucky with the weather sun all the way no wind, not too hot. This route is not hugely steep but it is utterly relentless, long stretches with not one cm of level road. The forest section is the worst, it just never seems to end. The last km is nasty too, you know you are nearly at the top but you dont seem to be getting any nearer. The half km marker just before the summit is a nicely sadistic touch. Preparation is key to getting up this-unless you can climb at least 1600m of net height in one ride you will really suffer. Cant wait for the Tour to go up Ventoux again, I shall be in front of the pub TV able to say "" I cycled up that "" The descent is brilliant also-got up to 75kph. Overall a fantastic experience.
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Story by Geoff from Shrewsbury, United Kingdom, submitted on 10/08/2010
6 October 2010. 2:36 from Bedoin with one short stop at Chalet Reynard. Very lucky with the weather sun all the way no wind, not too hot. This route is not hugely steep but it is utterly relentless, long stretches with not one cm of level road. The forest section is the worst, it just never seems to end. The last km is nasty too, you know you are nearly at the top but you dont seem to be getting any nearer. The half km marker just before the summit is a nicely sadistic touch. Preparation is key to getting up this-unless you can climb at least 1600m of net height in one ride you will really suffer. Cant wait for the Tour to go up Ventoux again, I shall be in front of the pub TV able to say "" I cycled up that "" The descent is brilliant also-got up to 75kph. Overall a fantastic experience.
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Story by Marcus Hamblin from Bath, United Kingdom, submitted on 22/09/2010
Four of us cycled up Mt Ventoux three times in the same day last year in order to complete the Club de Cingles. One of the guys managed a fourth assualt the next morning for soem inexplicable reason. We found it a very hard day in the saddle but the third and final climb was quite something as we arrived at the summit to see the early evening sun setting over the smaller hills below with not a sould left on the mountain.
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Story by Douglas Sadleir from Cork, Ireland, submitted on 13/09/2010
I did the Ventoux for the second time in June. I brought three mates with me all novices to the Giant of Provence. We had been doing some climbs in the Alps including Col du Champs. As we drove towards Bedion I started to get nervous. Recollections of the excruciating pain on the way up to Chalet Reynard came streaming back to me. My nervousness was affecting all the guys. Nobody was speaking for the last half an hour in the car. When we got to Bedoin after a few km on the bike we stopped in the bike shop and loaded up on gels. Just for mental fortitude and the comfort of knowing that they were in our pocket. Anyway, we probably over-reacted but the pain up to Chalet Reynard was still pretty bad. When you get to there you are home and dry! Check out the jersey and gradient on www.cycleface.com the red parts on the gradient show the real pain. Anyhow one of the guys did it again a week later! Nutcase!
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Story by Jeremy from Lancie, France, submitted on 23/08/2010
I rode the Ventoux on Friday last week - started out at about 23 degrees just after a rainstorm, and ended up in 13 degrees of fog and drizzle above Chalet Reynard - so quite good for road riding in my opinion. My time was 1.55 from Bedoin, which Im happy with as a first go. What I didnt appreciate was how difficult the forested section would be - it is unrelenting. The other surprise is that from Chalet Reynard it isnt that tough if theres little wind, its just psychologically challenging because it looks so barren. I blew up with 2km to go - a really tough knock that I didnt see coming and I had to stuff in the biscuits with my shaking hands while trying to stay on the bike. The last 200m is great. A crash course in Flemish slang and swear words would be beneficial for riders hoping to enjoy the tarmac grafiti. Overall: not as steep as Alpe dHuez, and not really tougher than other very long climbs like the Izoard, but the strange landscape and weight of history messes with your head, so be mentally prepared before you set off.
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Story by David Taylor from , United Kingdom, submitted on 18/08/2010
I rode Ventoux with a couple of mates on mountain bikes - running slicks - at the end of July. Its hard for sure but in all honesty I found it to be easier than the posts on this site led me to believe? The stretch to the chalet is a slog for sure but for us the most difficult thing to cope with was the mistral winds in the last few kilometres. We were struggling badly into what felt like a wall of air, it was easily a 30-40mph wind and relentless. Quite an experience! A word of warning though - be cafreful on the descent! Its easy to get carried away. I locked a rear wheel trail-braking round a right hand corner and in a split second I was nearly high-sided off the bike and found myself on completely the wrong side of the road. Luckily for me the road was clear but it was a huge shock and could have been very very nasty. IT took us a little under 2:30 to complete the climb, starting at the main carpark in the centre of Bedoin, two and a half hours of pain but well worth it!
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Story by Sean Newman from Kent, United Kingdom, submitted on 17/08/2010
I climbed Ventoux 8th August 2010 with my 15 year old son, I am 44 & 85kilos. i had read many of the reviews on this site before going and used much of the advice; leave at 8.30am, take lots of water and food;go at your own pace etc.Do not chase people. All sound advice!I think the trick is to break the climb down into 3 chunks, bedoin to the forest, forest to Chalet Reynard, then the last 6kms to the top and rest as often as you need to. Simply the toughest and most rerwarding challenge I have set myself.
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Story by Neil Oakes from Hull, United Kingdom, submitted on 08/03/2010
20th July 2010. I’m not a climber at 48 years and 105kgs. The ride before the forest is a nice warm up - then bang! - the gradient kicks in unrelenting all the way up to the top. I had to stop twice before the chalet. I had a brief stop at the chalet for water and continued on up. Luckily there was no wind, though it was very hot. The slope eases slightly and I knew that I would get to the top - no matter how long it took me! I had 3 further stops though I did manage a final effort to cross the finish line in style. Including stops - 2hr 54m.. The descent was brilliant. From the summit to the bottom edge of the forest I averaged 55kph overtaking 4 cars! Overall, I averaged 51kph and got back to the car in under 26mins. There are some advantages to being heavy! Im glad I did this, but it really was the hardest thing Ive ever done on a bike. The unremitting gradient and the heat combine to make this a tough physical challenge, but youve also got to be mentally right as well. It hurts - and youve got to be strong enough to cope with that, knowing that once youre at the top youve achieved a personal triumph, no matter how long it took you.
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Story by Xander from , Belgium, submitted on 07/11/2010
3 Days ago (8 June 2010) I climbed the Mont Ventoux along with some friends of my dad. I awakened around 6 AM and had spaghetti for breakfast. We arrived in Bédoin at 7:45 AM. I was riding a Trek mountain bike. One quickly pulled away from us and pulled a 30 gap. I kept my pace and after 5 km we arrived at the forrest. This is where it truly started. I was riding in a group of 3. It was getting steeper and steeper. So far all went well except my back hurted. Occasionally i had to get up to stretch my back. My dad was following me with the car to refill drink bottles and hand over food. It then dimished to a gradient of 8,5, just to rise again over 2 km to 10 %. One had to let go of us here and from then on I was alone with my coach. My legs were starting to hurt and it was 31 °C. I cant express how good it felt to ride on flat ground again, however it was only a good 100 meters at chalet Reynard. We pulled through without stopping. My legs didnt hurt as badly anymore and the pain in my back was gone too. We kept climbing at 8-9/hr until we reached th monument of Simpson. This last km was hell. The gradient was 10,2 % and it was baking hot. We reached the final switchback and there it was. I did it! I reached the top!
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Story by Thomas Opstrup from Copenhagen, Denmark, submitted on 07/06/2010
Did it several times in the days before the Tour stage on Ventoux in 2009. From Bedoin to the top in 1 hour 23 min.
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Story by Tim from Sandy, Australia, submitted on 19/08/2009
Rode up here 3 times in 3 days in 2009 before LEtape. First time up was 40 minutes faster than third time (which was done after a quick LEtape and 170km in 35 deg heat). That 40 minutes cost me about 900 spots. Anyway. I LOVE this climb because you absolutely cannot get rythm. Its just a grind. Im <65kg so I love it. For me, the climb through the forest is horrible, but a good chance to burn people off. I actually enjoyed the steeper parts (like the hairpin out of the forest) more as you can smash the pedals and burn people off. To be honest, though, there are tougher climbs around - Mt Hotham and Mount Baw Baw in Australia come to mind - Baw Baw has 6km of 20% or so (I am not joking, its horrible). Anyway, you can check our LEtape shenanigans out at shredquest dot com Cool. tim
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Story by Raj Soni from Bristol, United Kingdom, submitted on 08/05/2009
Best ever climb need to do it again. Did it in the summer of 2006 as my first ever mountain after starting cycling in January when i was 11 on a 38x25 and got up it in about 2 hours. Everyone has to do this climb sometime in their life to call themselves a ""Cyclist"".
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Story by ChrisPL from TEXAS, United States, submitted on 08/05/2009
Just turned 50 and rode up MT Evans in Colorado - 14,264ft at Summit this year - highest paved road in N. America. Perhaps MT Ventoux next???... Definitely not a ""climber"" living in Texas but Im game... and stubborn. Any thoughts?
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Story by jm from Dublin, Ireland, submitted on 08/03/2009
Without a shadow of a doubt, the hardest mental sporting challenge of my life. Carnage is the only word for the Ventoux. The ride up on the first 5kms leads you into a false sense of security. Then the forest arrives. The black forest would be more apt. Picture a scene from a warzone - the road that would lead to the front - people trudging along, some laying strewn about the roadside like wounded soldiers, sirens from many ambulances is the only real sound to be heard in the deadening heat, morale low, weariness in abundance and the sun relentless which multiplies the effect of the Ventoux. When you finally reach the chalet, you look to the left and see cyclists inch their way like small ants on a very slow moving escalator. Shorter sharperhills this time with only 6k left. The only shelter from the sun is the shadows from camper vans. You reach the Tom Simpson memorial with 1k left then 500m mark comes upon you yet you know thats a marathon distance with the struggle each metre is. Then the final hairpin, only 10 metres left. Some are pushing their bikes across the finish line -but if you can raise yourself, cycle across that line. Then drink in the world that sits silently below. And thats The Ventoux. Indomitable.
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Story by Anthony Lue from Toronto, Canada, submitted on 14/11/2008
Climbed Mont Ventoux as part of a 16 day cycling vacation in July 2008. After doing the Alpe (twice), Croix, Glandon, Telegraphe & Galibier - I can say - this sucker is the toughest of them all! Started at Bedoin on July 30, 2008-temp was 32C! The first 16 kms was brutally hot & steepest Ive felt in all the previous climbs-never mind the heat, there were bugs, flies, mosquitoes, cars, trucks, motorcycles & scooters all over the place-I couldnt breathe with all the diesel fumes! Even the pros fear this climb, the climb up Ventoux is relentless. 22 kms straight up without a flat portion or spot to recover. There were cyclists keeled over on the side due to the heat. I saw one fellow with a rental bike walking at around km 6-I dont think he made it. There was a stretch with an avg slope of 10 percent for 3 miles (5 kms)-yes-that was painful! At Chalet Reynard, the temp drops, but you think this would make the climb easier, NO! At this altitude, the wind comes into play, the French call it the Mistral. The wind was even more troublesome than the slope! After 2hrs 16 mins. - Mission accomplished!
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Story by Alastair Ranyard from Edinburgh, United Kingdom, submitted on 11/11/2008
The roll call of Heroes: Simpson, Armstrong, Pantani and Ranyard? Yes Ranyard. To etch their name in the annals of cycling history Ranyard, Clark, Mcleod and Dyer slather on the chamois cream and saddle up. Like their heroes in their replica shirts and bikes the team of four breeze in from Carpentras to refuel on coffee and water. Like their heroes they also dose on replica drugs. Downing vials of glucose, surreptitiously inhaling green gunk from small foil packages they are pumped and ready to go. The foursome etch forward, feigning nonchalance as they creak past fellow sufferers with a head start. With the spirit of his forefathers in his legs at Chalet Renard, Ranyard looks back, deploys a taunting face and drops the hammer. Further down the hill Dyer and Mcleod creak upwards. Mcleod dizzy, confused, checks his back pockets, flicks his ear, feels his pulse. Tortured song circulating round his head.‘Je ne suis pas traveille..Je ne veux pas.. The pair inch forward again, the bonk is on. Back at Chelet Renard, Mcleod disorientated, stumbles into the bar draws his last breath and utters the famous last words ‘Chocolate Chaud’. If only Tom Simpson had chosen these two words, the story of the fabled beast may have been different.
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Story by MARTIN Dimitri from Quiévrechain, France, submitted on 09/11/2008
It was on August 5th, 2008. At 9, the weather was very sunny and already hot. It was time to start. Unfortunately, at the beginning of the climbing, I had difficulty in finding the good rhythm and adapting with the 34-26. Indeed, because of the first hard slopes, I was early out of breath……..and of course too early for me. At that moment, I could only suffer and persevere. Nonetheless, by chance, during the climbing, I got better and better. After Chalet Reynard, near the top, I was really very good and I was incapable of explaining why. When I got to the top, in a lunar landscape, I was very happy since I had made it. That is why, today, I can not help thinking that I will do all I can to live again this fantastic experience in the summer 2009.
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Story by Myk from doncaster, United Kingdom, submitted on 09/03/2008
Climbed all three sides on 17/08/08,Bedoin first followed by Malaucene and finally Sault. Took me just under an hour and a half of climbing from each side but my missus forgot to pack my food and drink so had to make do with 2 bidons, 2 bananas and a jam tart. i love climbing the proper side from Bedoin, brutal, and the descents are some of the best. First time i have climbed the Sault side and was glad i saved it till last, a relative breeze! took me a smidge over 7 hours all told but didnt realise i had to contact the 3 sides club beforehand to gain membership, so back next year to do it all over again, joy. Overall not quite as hellish as the Marmotte.
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Story by Liz Docherty from beckenham kent, United Kingdom, submitted on 25/08/2008
21st August 2008 I was going to be the support vehicle, but when I saw Mount Vantoud I decided it was my challenge. We had cycled 500 miles during our holiday, which culminated in the beast of Provance. I am a 48 year old mum of 3. My husband and son did the SAULT rout on the 18th and were so excited about what they had achieved, it felt like xmas the night before. I hung my cycle jersey over the end on the bed and went to bed giggling. I set off before my husband and son and photographed them coming in to Chalet Raynard; we had all cycled from Bedoin. When they told me that I could manage the last 6 km I was up for the challenge. I cant believe I made it. Elizabeth Docherty Becekenham kent
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Story by espen skancke from mölndal, Sweden, submitted on 20/08/2008
After riding the first 6-7 kilometres of the climb from Bédoin a couple of times just as a part of some longer rides from the Carpentras area, I rode the whole climb this july. After having ridden Alpe d´Huez and Col de la Croix de Fer two years ago i must say this was a whole other division. After that left turn at about four k:s it´s just rocketing. It goes on and on through the woods and it seems like it will never end. Having 34-27 makes it doable but not more. The weather was perfect fore us this day and the famous (infamous) windy conditions the Ventoux is known for wasn´t there. The dessert part at the top was really enjoyable even though the mountain was taking it´s toll from my legs. Mont Ventoux rules. Espen
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Story by Christian Myhre from Tønsberg, Norway, submitted on 20/08/2008
I climbed Mt. Ventoux from Bedoin in May, 2008. Staying in a hotel some 60km from Bedoin, the owner of the place gave us two times - 58mins and 78mins. The first time was Mr. Armstrongs best and the second was our hosts personal best. Nevertheless, using the distance to Bedoin as a warm-up, the Mistral picked up as we cycled along. Setting our watches at the bottom, we took it easy the first 4-5km, until the climb really hits you in the forest. Nearly averaging 10% for 5-6km it is tough. I had to let my friend go as I was struggeling with his pace. I always had a visual and he was in front by a good minute. By the time we reached the chalet and 6km to the top, I had managed to reduce the gap to 30s. The climb is tough from the chalet as you head directly into the Mistral at an average of 7-8%. Tough! I managed to bridge to my friend and we reached the top in 1hr. 38mins, some 40mins slower than Mr. Armstrong... Average pulse was 87% so it was a good workout. From the top we had a good 65km back to the hotel. Needless to say, it was a long but beautiful day.
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Story by Dan Bill from Stratford upon avon, United Kingdom, submitted on 17/08/2008
i did the climb twice on consecutive days. the first time with my dad, which he did in a respectfull 2hrs 20mins, this was great as i got an idea of what i was up against. The next day i rode it on my own with the aim of doing it as fast as possible, so i hit the climb in time trial mode and never let up till i reached the top. I did the climb in 1hr 20 mins with an average power of 270 watts (taken from a powertap). luckly it was a bit cooler at the top where i was snapped by a photographer who ran along side me with his card. I decended down the opposite route and it was the most fun i have ever had. however, on the one day we made the mistake of not being prepared for the weather and it changed on us at the top, super windy and pouring with rain, we decended with just a pair of arm warmers on. By the half way point i was blacking out i was so cold and couldent feel my arms or legs so i had to stop, after a bit of stretching we reluctenly carried on. fortunatly towards the bottom it got warmer but trust me it was the coldent i have every being, think jumping in to icy cold water and not being able to catch your breath then times it by 10.
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Story by nick aspros from Toronto, Canada, submitted on 16/08/2008
No question, Mont Ventoux is one tough climb, especially if you push yourself as much as possible. I was fortunate in that the conditions were excellent. No wind, not that hot and not many riders. I made it to the top in 1 hour 58 mintues and was sure pleased to arrive. France is such a beautiful country to ride in and one of my biggest problems was that its tough to get in a couple of rest days before the climb. I was in France for 2 weeks and my climb up Ventoux was my 12th day of riding in a row. So its impossible to have fresh legs without a rest day to try and get your best time. I also did Alpe DHuez and Col de la Croix Fer and I find Ventoux to be more difficult. I would say that the most dangerous part of Ventoux is the ride down. You really need to be aware to cyclists that are making their way up. Many of them are quite tired and they often weave into the downhill side of the lane. Hitting someone at 70kph would be catastrophic. I recommend this climb to all cycling enthusiasts and it is a great accomplishment. I believe that the record is 55 minutes this is so impressive. These professional athletes deserve all the respect in the world.
My personal climb rating:
Story by Dave McIver from Auckland, New Zealand, submitted on 13/08/2008
I climbed the Ventoux from Bedoin on the 17th of July 2008. I have over the years read a considerable amount about this legendary mountain, and didnt expect it to be easy. Suffice to say I wasnt ""disappointed"". This is catergorically the hardest thing I have EVER done on a bike. The heat and gradient were simply unrelenting and although it eases slightly at Chalet Reynard, by that time you are fairly well spent. For anyone attempting this climb, dont underestimate it. I also did both the Col dIzoard and Alpe dHuez in July 2008 and neither compared remotely to Le Geant du Provence. Its a real beast!!!
My personal climb rating:
Story by bill from sydney, Australia, submitted on 08/04/2008
Climbed the bleeder on 20th July, Sunday, via Bedoin, and loved it. Warm early through the fir forests, opening to breathtaking views left of the pale pated mound at that corner. Weather was building west and some cooling rain was welcome on the final leg from Chalet, where too a flock of sheep crossed my path, just in time. One hour 45mins. There is still life at 60.
My personal climb rating:
Story by Arne Møller Christensen from Copenhagen, Denmark, submitted on 19/07/2008
I live in in the flat Country of Denmark. Highest point around Copenhagen where I live, Is less than 100 meters above sea level. The longest climb I have done ever on a bike before July 14 2008 was less than a kilometer long… I am at fat man. 110 kg and I am average height (179 cm) A few years ago I weigh in at 184 kg and was very sick When I, with great help from friends, started my turnaround I sat a goal for myself: To ride the Ventoux up from Bedoin.! Now I have done it. Not fast – it took me 3 hours. But what a fantastic feeling and what a fantastic place!! DO IT for yourself!
My personal climb rating:
Story by Duncan from Nice, France, submitted on 06/09/2008
I took the fabled beast on from Bedoin and got to the summit in 1:45; off the back of a 200km per week habit! I found the climb fairly easy to Les Bruns, but then as I hit the first switchback, up she went! Although consistently hard from there to the Chalet, the gradient changes quite a lot within each kilometre. My GPS unit gave readings of 18% in a couple of spots, so be sure you have adequate preparation- if only mental. Be aware that the Chalet Reynaud is at an intersection with the road from Sault (which comes in on your right), so make sure youre not too dizzy by then! From there it is 6 kms to the top, and like the other guys have said the last couple are fairly intense- the final test to see if you are worthy! Just to top things off, I did the last 3 kms in thick fog- couldnt see more than 10 metres in front of me. Tip: if you cant see the summit due to cloud, have your warm gear at the ready. I had ice forming on my arm warmers & gloves on the way down! An unforgettable cycling experience.
My personal climb rating:
Story by Tom Hadley from Euless, Texas, United States, submitted on 06/08/2008
Rode from Malaucene over the Col de Madeleine to Bedoin, then headed up Ventoux for a 1 hour and 58 minute ascent. I wanted to ride the same ride that the big boys ride and I think I got my moneys worth. Rode down back to Malaucene. The trip down was kind of hair raising, got cramps in my hands from being on the brakes a lot, and meeting cars going around the hairpins is always an attention getter. I later rode up from Malaucene and next year, Ill try it from Sault. You gotta love the pain.
My personal climb rating:
Story by Pierre from Zonhoven, Belgium, submitted on 05/06/2008
I have just come back from the Ventoux. My first real mountain climb ever. I did it from Bédoin and Sault as Malaucene side was in the snow... Great experience, I rode a little less than 2 hours from Bédoin to the top (I ride only about 2000 km a year) but I assume that I could have done 5 to 10 minutes less as I was still fresh at the top... If you are there, do also the Nesque valley, not so hard but beautiful canyon !!!
My personal climb rating:
Story by Oyvind Fagerstrand from Copenhagen, Denmark, submitted on 13/04/2008
Could someone pls. tell me how much time one should calculate for the ride Bédoin-Mont Ventoux. I am just a happy amateur planning to make the ride at around april 22. Thanks pls. reply to my email. [Comment CBB: please ask this type of questions on our forum. BTW, for a bad to moderately trained amateur, count on 2H - 2H15 t do the job. That's 10 km/h on average.]
My personal climb rating:
Story by Graham Taylor from Bracknell, UK, submitted on 09/08/2007
First climbed the beast from Malaucene on July 15th 2006. It was baking hot and did not start until 11:00am as had to drive from Montpellier. It was desparately hard due to the heat, 35 celcius. Fortunately left the car 2/3 up and stopped to refill water bottles. A storm broke so I fell asleep for 30 mins until it passed. Temparature went down to 18 so the last third was pure pleasure! Climed it from Bedoin on August 10th in severe winds but fortunately they were from the other side so most of the time was sheltered. Easy first few km and then hard up through woods. Chalet Reynard was bathed in warm sun and sheltered from the wind and ideal for a coffee break! Did the last 6k without stopping and even managed to chat to a dutch guy. Fantastic experience but nearly got blown off bike on the most exposed bend when coming down.
Story by Hugo from Lille, France, submitted on 28/08/2007
I did Ventoux from Malaucene this pas weekend (25 Aug). I did a 30 mile approach from the north so was well warmed up by the start. I saw maybe 10 other cyclists. The top was crowded, and on my descent into Bedoin, I saw at least 100 people on the way up. It seemed like the Bedoin ascent is more gradual, but I was going down. There was also a great Provencal buffet in Bedoin for 12 euros, although I was not very hungry. Bottom line? If you want to avoid crowds, start at Malaucene.
Story by Doug Staplehurst from Hailsham, England, submitted on 28/06/2007
Only started Road riding in june06 and only have a Giant SCR3.0. A good starter road bike but not top grade.Other point is I am 60. Rode from Malaucen to the summit and Did not find it hard. Mind you- it was not easy either. The continual climbing without stop was the only worry but an I Pod with plenty of music with a cadence of 80 and a triple ring probably made it easier than the Younger riders with their higher gearing. An experience that has made me start planning for next years holiday to enable me to attempt all 3 routes- though they might be on different days.
Story by Mauro from Tirano, Italy, submitted on 06/01/2007
I am Cinglè n 1773.I did 3 climbs in a very very windy day. All my climbs were hard for effect of the Mistral.The first from Bedoin went well. The second from Malaucene the hardest.The third became a hard wall for effect of tiredness, lenght and above all the Mistral.Great experience I will never forget in my life.
Story by Lloyd Evans from Brighton, UK, submitted on 05/08/2007
Climbed from Bedoin with three mates in May 2007 and we were all pleasantly surprised how enjoyable it was. Tough, but then it wouldnt be worth doing if it wasnt. The first 14kms is all in woodland, which protected us from the wind and provided shade when necessary. For 2/3 kms after Chalet Reynard I felt like I was flying along, but reality returned for the last 4 kms when the wind kicked in; from here on I was more concerned about the wind than the gradient. But I managed a little sprint at the end, so obviously had something left in my legs. Got very cold very quickly at the top so make sure youre prepared to turn straight around and come down, or have a friend with some warm clothing at the top.
Story by JSauer from Kitchener, Ontario, submitted on 19/04/2007
Ventoux is a magical climb, and of course rich in cycling history. Ive had the opportunity to be on the mountain 9 times over two months while spending some time in Provence. I summitted 3 times, the other 6 rides ceased at Chalet Reynard. The stretch after Saint Esteve, where the road moves into the forest, is of course the section to watch out for. The grade from there to Chalet is about 9% average, and relatively consistent, although I got to know intimately all the subtle differences in grade. Pacing was everything for me on this climb, and once I got to know the route a bit I found my time improved significantly. After the Chalet, the grade backs off a bit, but of course once out of the trees you typically must content with strong winds. Beware the last 2km or so, the road ratchets up almost without warning, and I always struggled with those last kms. All in all a magical climb and a must-ride for all cycling enthusiasts.
Story by Alex from Utrecht, Netherlands, submitted on 28/10/2006
My story on the Mont Ventoux? I wrote a book about it (together with another Ventoux idiot)! And there are 145 stories about climbing the Mont Ventoux on my site www.dekaleberg.nl. All in Dutch. Alex, Cinglé du Mont Ventoux nr. 1177
Story by martyn from Belper, England, submitted on 20/09/2006
My friend Richard fell off his bike on mont ventoux love martyn leightion bye Richard I said and Richard said bye and said meet you on the top of mont ventoux
Story by martyn from Belper, England, submitted on 20/09/2006
My friend Richard fell off his bike on mont ventoux love martyn leightion
Story by Mario from , Belgium, submitted on 08/02/2006
I climbed the Mont Ventoux last for 3 times in 24 hours. The first time, I started in Bedoin. Difficult but the hardest part was yet to come. I drove down to Malaucene. The climb from this side was much tougher. It has a part of over 4 km with an average of more than 10%! My 3rd attempt by Sault was very hard too, due to the kilometers I already climbed ( although they say this is the sissy-side ). I can hardly recommend this to every cyclist who loves to climb!!! What an experience.
Story by Erwin from Leuven, Belgium, submitted on 01/08/2006
First this: Im not an experienced cyclist. I started cycling two years ago and only did about 3000 km since then. Last year, with only 1,000 km in my legs, I climbed the Mont Ventoux from Bédoin. Hard climb, much harder than the Alpe dHuez which I climbed last year. Around km 10, it gets real hard. Time for me to stop and take a drink. I was unable to drink on my bike, and I admit, it was a welcome stop. Anyway, once you reach the Chalet Renard, according to me, you "easily" reach the top of the Mont Ventoux.

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