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Mont Ventoux - Malaucene     open your myclimbbybike to add this climb

21.2 km  1912 m  (1535 m)  7.2 %


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The giant of Provence is the highlight of many a journey through this beautiful region in the South of France. Its isolated location gives the mountain something gigantic and dominant and when the weather is clear you can see from the top the Alps in the east, the Cevennes in the west and the Mediterranean Sea in the south.

The Mont Ventoux is usually pronounced in the same breath as Bédoin. Bédoin is indeed by far the most popular side to climb the Ventoux, not in the least because of the fact that the Tour usually visits this side and most cycling history is written here. Also the location of Bédoin, in the bowl of the Mont Ventoux might be more interesting from a tourist point of view. But ignoring the Malaucène side when you're in the neighborhood would be a shame. Via the Madeleine, a short and easily digestible climb, you reach Malaucène from Bédoin in half an hour.

Although Malaucène also has a few restaurants, it is less crowded than in Bédoin. But also in Malaucène you can rent a bike for your climb in the local bike shop. However, most cyclists who cycle up here are on average a lot better trained than those on the other side, cycle up faster and have brought their own bike.

It is said that the Bédoin side is heavier than the Malaucène side. The climbbybike index proves that this is indeed the case (155.86 versus 171.24). Yet the difference is minimal. While the Bédoin side has a heavy long section in the forest, the Malaucène side has an even heavier, although half as long, section in the middle of the climb. Fortunately, this side offers more interesting views because the view is less obstructed by forest and trees.

The Malaucène side also knows her chalet, the Chalet Liotard. This is at about the same altitude as the Chalet Renard (1427 meters). From here you can cycle on to Mont Serein. Keep to the right in front of the Chalet, then you get a short heavy piece for the choice. Once you pass it, you climb to the top at about 8% on average. The landscape here reminds you less of the moon. Only in the last kilometers you get above the tree line, which is a lot higher here than on the southern side. First you see the "Le Radome Mont Ventoux" air navigation station. Only at the end the characteristic tower of the weather station becomes visible. Just a little while longer, and you notice that you are not alone on the mountain.

The Mont Ventoux is situated in Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur. This climb belongs to the Massif des Cèdres. The Mont Ventoux via Malaucene is ranked number 2 of the Massif des Cèdres. Starting from Malaucene, the Mont Ventoux ascent is 21.2 km long. Over this distance, you climb 1535 heightmeters. The average percentage thus is 7.2 %. The maximum slope is 12%. If you want to climb the Mont Ventoux, you can find more information on how to train to climb the Mont Ventoux here.

Since 2005, the Mont Ventoux will be/was climbed in the following big tour stages:

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Climbbybike difficulty score (155.8)
Ranking Massif des Cèdres
Ranking France

Mont Ventoux via Malaucene popularity rank : 3

The Mont Ventoux has been climbed by 225 climbbybikers. It is ranked No. 3 as the most climbed climb in the world.
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Mont Ventoux via Malaucene: 37 reviews


We made it up from the Malaucenne side. Took it nice and easy and stopped at the Chalet Liotard for a Crepe! The section just before this are ~4ks of unrelenting climb at about 10%. At the top the cloud cleared just before we got there so got the good views. But it was cold and windy so no time to hange around. The first bit of descent down to Chalet Renard was a bit windy and cold, but from there in down was lovely all the way to Bedoin. Great day out.

neil millen


This ascent was by far the hardest of the three I climbed last weekend. With little traffic, few other cyclists, roadside spectators or other distractions this was a long hard climb that seemed unrelenting! Road signs advising 11%,12%,11%.....really gave the spirit a bashing and the enthusiasm of the first climb from Bedoin faded during the last few freezing, foggy kilometers. Made it in 2hr 35 mins - half hour slower than the Bedoin and Sault climbs.

Pete Mahon

I climbed from Bedoin and found the initial 2-3 kms comfortable. You then turn a left hand bend and climb for the next 10-11 kms working your way through a wooded area. You finally come out of the woods with approx 6kms to go and it is the first time that you see the observatory. It was very quiet on the mountain only seeing about 10 riders on the ascent although it was 0830 in the morning. Provided the wind does not blow you slowly grind your way up to the top. I was using Campag Chorus 52/36 with 12-27 at the back, I did not need all of the gears. took 1hr 25. Going to do the Bicinglette next year. Enjoy, it is worth the journey.

Harold Kollen

At the end of september still summer we camped at vaison. There were the three of us, young god's from Holland

Middle aged and in the force of our lives

We had a few day's of acclimatising and the fourth day we went up.

Incredible 20 degrees celcius, enough water and gel's

and then the descent to Bedoin. What a speed. We were flying!

Next year we''ll do it again and then 3 times at one day

malaucene, bedoin and sault. See you

Suki Chana

I would describe myself as a novice cyclist. Earlier this year a friend said he wanted to cycle this beast, so we arranged it. Five of us tackled the climb on Saturday 11 Sept. 2010. Simply put, it is unrelenting, a never ending ascending road but when you get to the top, there is no better feeling of elation! On the way, everybody I encountered was friendly and very encouraging. A word of warning from one whom found out to his cost, the descent is very quick and the corners need care to negotiate. I took a corner tooooo fast and landed the otherside of the road bloodied and badly grazed but very fortunate that there were no cars or motorbikes there at the time. I want to do it again and will look to organise a trip within the next couple of years. Highly recommended

David H

An incredible and, at times, gruelling climb. I set off at 9.35 from Malaucene on a warm, still day after several days of strong winds. The climb begins immediately and, within the first km I quickly dropped down through the gears and found a slow, steady rhythm. Each km is announced by the white, yellow tipped headstone to count down the remaining distance to the summit and the average gradient of the km ahead. I found this oddly motivating rather than disspiriting especially when I hit the 10km to go mark and I knew I was over halfway there. There was a stretch in the middle of the climb when the gradient was unrelenting but as I came out of the forest and into the moonscape of the last 3km I knew I would make it. An incredible experience and feeling of real achievement - I completed the climb in 2 hours 40 and the descent in a joyous fraction of that time. Bedoin and Sault next year!

Claire Hitchman

For a long time I had wanted to try road biking. While staying in Malaucene with my husband it seems like the time was right. I bought a second hand bike from the super nice people at the bike store in town. I knew Ventoux would have to be a goal, it just beckons everyday. I had to get used to my bike with a few outings round and about in the area, so many great rides. After finally having the courage to have clips put on I decided it was time to ride Le Ventoux. Started out from Malaucene at about 7.30 it was pretty windy so was keeping my fingers crossed, it wouldnt be too bad on top. Its a pretty unrelenting climb but eases off part way through so you can settle into a steady pace. Theres a stretch up to Mont Serin Ski area that was a tough one for me, but I knew it wasnt much further after that. Although the last few kms make you keep up the hard work. Arriving on top was awesome lots of people welcoming you congratulating you it felt like it was quite an achievement. It didnt take long however to get dang cold, clear and sunny but windy! A really great ride and happy to have done it. My knees feel like theyre broken today though!


Did Malaucene ascent on my MTB whilst on holiday (only bike I had with me). Pumped tyres up to max (65psi) and started early. Temperature was 22C at 7am when I started with no wind, made early part an ordeal. Once up the first major climb a breeze picked up and it wasnt so bad. Middle section was a mental struggle just watching the km posts go by - slowly. Top was fantastic and the views kept me going. 3hr or thereabouts which I am pretty happy with as a non-roadie on knobblies! And the descent was a massive buzz. Overtook a car and very nearly a roadie (was out braking him with my disks). An amazing experience.

Tim Bauer

I ascended Mont Ventoux from Malaucene in June, 2008. It was very pleasant at the botton, perhaps 22 degrees, but dropped to 2 degrees at the top with the last 5 - 6 km in heavy fog and mist. I agree that there is no way to ""ease"" into this climb - it begins right from the start. There are some shallow gradients here and there as others have mentioned, and the prevailing winds can be beneficial as they were the day of my climb. I made the top in 1:45 but it seemed much slower to me - lots of out of the saddle, low cadence tempo. I rented a Merckx CHM road bike for this trip, which included 7 days of easy 45 - 60 km riding before Ventoux, but I didnt give much thought to the chainring set-up when I arranged for the rental some months prior. I would highly recommend a compact or a triple if you can arrange it. I suffered mightiliy! All in all, this was a very challenging ride. I would do it again - probably from Bedoin just for comparison.


This is very challenging. Right out of town you hit steep climbs. It then settles down a little. Then it picks up again. Kilometers 10-15 are a nasty surprise just when you think you have settled in. I thought ""geez, 6K to go, and only about 400m vertical before the final steep part. So, it looks like 6% from there but (as you can see from the chart)a couple of the ks are very shallow. The end was nasty when I did it. That last 4-5K is very steep from this side, and once you get out of the trees the wind is gusting hard (30-50 km/h. The day I did it it was beautiful and clear at 9AM when I started. By the time I got within 2k of the top it was cold, windy, and starting to rain; I actually thought I would need to abandon with 1.5K to go. However, I made it to the top and a bunch of people sat out the rain in the restaurant. I made it in 1:47, but it was a lot of work with low cadence. I would try Bedoin before this if you had the choice, as it seems more even.

mark L

I did this rid in late May 2008. It was blowing a gale in Malaucene so I nearly didnt set out. However, I got the benefit of a wind assisted ascent, particularly on the initial hard ramps, which were made significantly easier. On the whole this is a beautiful climb through sunny woodland. After a number of miles you swing to the left and, looking to your right, get your first view on the ""summit"". It looks a heck of a long way - but it is actually further than that! Its quite daunting at the time. This climb is actually unrelenting - hard but never desperate. reaching the summit is very dramatic. The mist shrouded summit itself is a bit of an anticlimax. And it was very cold. The descent is an absolute blast, made a little scary toards the bottom by the same swirling headwind which had helped my ascent. A great day out, a piece of history.

Patrick van Duin

I have no story yet. I am planning on riding the Ventoux next summer with a group. Would you have info on a campground with mobilehomes. Or a bungalow park in the area? Next year Ill have some stories to tell.

simon wullens

Ive mounted mont ventoux last week thursday (August 2nd) starting from Malaucène. First kilometres are tough, no time to sit back nd relax. After 14 km, it gets again very steep. Once the top is in sght, you forget about the pain in your legs and you ride to have a magnificent view over the vaucluse. Of course I took a picture of the weather station so others would believe my story! It is great thrill to ride up that mountain. Malaucène is the lowest point compared to Sault and Bedoin.

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