You too can take on hills as tough as Mont Ventoux…
F One of cycling’s most celebrated climbs – renowned for its stark moonscape summit, where strong winds add resistance to an alreadytaxing, nearly 9% average grade – Mont Ventoux is located in the Provence region of France.
The south approach from Bédoin is the famed ascent raced in the Tour de France, most recently in 2016. As you pedal the rolling terrain that leads to the start of the climb, you may feel the mountain is watching you. The early slopes deceive, but just after you pass the ruins of Les Bruns, a secondcentury Roman villa (about 5km in), Ventoux’s signature ramps appear. With no switchbacks to ease the grade in this section, about 10 kays at a biting 9 to 10% separate you from the flatter sections at Chateau Reynard.
From there, 6km remain. And above the treeline, the mistral winds rip. The 5% gradient should be easy after such steep pitches, but after an hour or more of climbing, it feels like purgatory.
When you finally reach the summit, the panoramic views of the French countryside are a revelation. –