Cycling Mont Ventoux Bédoin

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Mont Ventoux - Bédoin

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Basic data & ranking

Average grade: 7.6 %

Length: 21.4 km

Altitude start: 283 m

Altitude top: 1912 m

Ascent: 1639 m

Maximum: 12 %

Mont Ventoux rankings

Difficulty ranking world: 235 (all)
Ranking France: 32 (all)
Ranking Massif des Cèdres: 1(all)
Difficulty score: 171.24 what?

Mont Ventoux ratings

(4.8)  Overall

(4.7)  Road

(4.1)  Traffic

(4.1)  Amenities

(4.8)  Surroundings

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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

Profile & route

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Location info

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Stories, information and comments from Mont Ventoux climbers
Story by Vince Jerrard from Faringdon, United Kingdom, submitted on 17/10/2015
I took on the Club des Cinglés du Mont-Ventoux challenge earlier this month with a friend - both of us had turned 60 this year. We did it on the way back from L''Eroica in Tuscany - both great challenges that I''d recommend highly, but while I enjoyed the steel for L''Eroica it was strictly carbon for Ventoux.

We went for the ''standard'' order of Bédoin, Malaucène and then Sault - I''ve nothing to compare that with but it worked well for us.

Being October, the first two ascents were into the cloud and the wind, which made it very cold at the summit and even colder for the first few miles of the descents. The top cleared for the third ascent but the wind got up even more - coming up a sheltered and gentle slope from Sault at 15mph and turning into a headwind that knocks you down to 4mph in an instant is quite an experience.

We took it very steadily, knowing it would be a tough day, and although all we completed all three ascents non-stop, they took 2hr 15min, 2hr 8min and 2hr 2min respectively. With breaks in Malaucène and Sault to defrost, we were out for nearly 10 hours in all.

My club membership just arrived as a reminder of a great experience. Whether you climb it once or more, give it a go.

5''10", 10st 4lb, lowest gear 34/28
My personal climb rating:
Story by neil millen from exeter, United Kingdom, submitted on 15/09/2015
Excellent climb on a day with ideal conditions at the start - warm with light cloud and gentle breeze. 26C at the bottom but a very different story at the top!

The gentler slopes for the first 5km were an ideal warm up. After that it feels like an unrelentling 10% for most of the rest!!

With a couple of bands at theoadside and locals cheering you on it broke the seemingly unending slog uphill. Being a Saturday there were plenty of cyclists on the road which helped too.

The hardest part of the climb was the last km for me as it seemed to never end with no visibility at all.

At the top the temperature was below 10C but felt even colder with thick fog and howling wind. After a short stop at the top it was an exhilarating descent to Malaucene before attempting to climb it twice more!
My personal climb rating:
Story by Andrew Pendleton from London, United Kingdom, submitted on 20/08/2015
Last year, my friend and I climbed Ventoux from Malaucene. I ride vintage steel bikes, but bottled it and hired a carbon bike. I made it in 2 hours and 5 mins and, apart from the nasty 4k after halfway, felt I could have gone quicker. I was 20 minutes ahead of my friend.

This year, I built up a 1985 Eddy Merckx frame with chain rings and cogs that I thought would be suffieient to get me up. And with the same friend we took on the Bedoin climb.

I decided to peg it up the first, flatter section. But then hit the dreaded forest. While in theory there''s not a lot of difference between the two main Ventoux climbs, in practice the forest section of Bedoin is almost mystical in nature. It just goes on and on. Relentless. No views. No respite. 15kms.

I didn''t have enough cogs either. Shortly after I hit the steeper section I was on the smaller chainring (39) and largest cog (26) and out of the saddle for half of the time.

I stopped briefly to take on water at Reynard and then tackled the supposedly easier final 5k. But I''d spent so much on the lower sections I really struggled - especially as the air was feeling pretty thin.

But, notwithstanding a heavier bike, a tougher climb and not enough cogs, I made it in 1 hour 57
My personal climb rating:
Story by Andy Riches from Wilmslow, United Kingdom, submitted on 20/08/2015
When an invite came to stay with family for a week''s holiday near Carpentras , together with the comment from my brother in law to ''get some cycle training in'' I looked up cycle routes nearby and came across The Ventoux!

I hadn''t cycled at all since poly......I am 50 in October.

I bought the cheapest gear I could and did 5 weeks training in the hills of Cheshire and Derbyshire - Brickworks, Windgather Rocks, Cat and Fiddle, etc. Any training was good, but I can''t say that it came close to preparing me for what lay ahead. A comment I read on one forum recommended flat out training for an hour or two without hills and I think that is good advice, replicating the experience of just having to keep on going, head down, legs pumping....We (B in law and nephew - both good cyclists) set of at 8.00 from Caromb - about 10k from Bedoin. The weather was clear, cool and still. Once we hit the first hairpin, at the point the real fun starts, I let them go on ahead. I hit the easiest ''granny gear'' and set in to a rhythm that carried me to Chalet R. The slog of the hill is brutal, not helped by the annoying flies. The hill eases off for a short while after CR, but the last k is a killer! The decent is unreal and great fun.
My personal climb rating:
Story by Hurtecant Roland from Bellem ( Aalter), Belgium, submitted on 05/07/2015
I am Roland momentarily the recordholder of number of climbs in Belgium as well in the Netherlands.I climbed mont Ventoux for the 187th time on sunday 7 th of June 2015.Iam emotionally attached to this mountain because there is a statue since 1979 on the Col des Temêpêtes with my name on it but the statue is dedicated to all cyclists of the world the. Each climb is different and I enjoy every moment ,greeting picknickers ,greeting cyclists passing me or encouraging cyclists standing by foot because they underestimated the climb or are using the wrong gear to tame this beast.I know each curve, each stretch and adapt my speed with the right gear. Coming through the wood is welcome with the Chalet Reynard in sight.Some riders make a stop .I mostly don''t interrrupt my rhythm I am a fan of small gears -seen my age and weight.My heart beat rate is about 115-120 maximum. and my average for the climb is 2h50-3hours...and I Always laugh at the top!
My personal climb rating:
Story by Sean Evans from London, United Kingdom, submitted on 08/06/2015
I''m 2m tall and 90kgs, age 25, time 1hr41 from Bedoin.

We were very lucky to get a sunny, wind free day in early June 2015. The pacing is difficult to get right, I think you just have to take it very easy at the bottom and make sure you are comfortable until you get a good way into the forest.

> Once you hit the forrest it''s a world of pain, this is possibly the worst part as theres no hope of the pain ending, the km''s seem to tick by very slowly. You gasp in amazment that you have only travelled 1km since the last marker and are racking your brains, hoping it is some kind of mistake!

> Once you are out of the woods and you can see the top, you are in theory "not out of the woods yet". However the beautiful iconic views of the summit spur you on and this is where you should find your rhythm. At this point it starts to dawn on you that you might actually finish the climb.

> The last KM are difficult to enjoy but its something of a bitter sweet sensation like no other. you are going through a lot of suffering but the elation and feeling of accomplishment is almost enough to balance it out.

> A once in a lifetime climb. Whatever your age or cycling background. Thoroughly recommended.
My personal climb rating:
Story by David Statman from London, United Kingdom, submitted on 23/05/2015
The spray painted road messages for the Tour greats inspire on the relentless climb.

I shouldn''t have started out 40 km and several valleys away, nor relied on the Garmin sat nav that sent me up river beds and through cemeteries in search of the foot of the great mountain.

The forest scenery is lovely, take your time as it''s not a race, but don''t turn back once you get to the spaghetti house. Just refuel then get back on the bike and slog out the last hour to the summit up the rocky exposed last bit.

The views are worth it, shame about the pig ugly tower and postcard sellers to greet you, making it feel like any wheresville.

Tip- make sure you''ve got a big back cog set, and take a jacket if just for the descent. Doing 40mph descent for half an hour is bloody freezing. You can do it whatever the age you feel.
My personal climb rating:
Story by Matt Jenkins from oxford, United Kingdom, submitted on 04/05/2015
I went on a cycling trip with my great friend Chris Griffin in late September 2014. Our preparation consisted of a discussion in the pub followed by A one word agreement to go cycling in Provence. We used a guide book but deliberately avoided looking at the next days ride to avoid getting worried about the anticipated exertions! Neither of us had heard of Mt Ventoux before. We looked at the gradient as shown in the book over our croissants and coffee, then

got on our bikes. For the record, we took our own bikes, both hybrids, and carried our day packs with all our stuff.

The first part of the ride, through the forest was un eventful and slow going. We were encouraged by several French picnicking families who treated us as Tour de France heroes shouting "Allez allez, allez!" Very funny.We declined the wine offered by them and continued. They laughed a bit too much. They knew what we were

in for!!!

We made it to the top. Advice? Go slowly, it''s not a race. Take a few rests, no one is looking, no one cares.

Buy a "I cycled mt Ventoux" tee shirt. Wear it proudly, even though none of my friends have heard of it!! A truly bonding life experience.

BTW, we are both in mid fifties and reasonably, but not very, fit.

My personal climb rating:
Story by jan jacobs from Ossendrecht, The Netherlands, submitted on 30/04/2015
at the age of 57 being 178 cm tall and 81 kg I took on the climb with a compact crankset 50/34 and rear 12/27.

pretty soon I was at 27 but after the forest at the chalet I was able to go back to 25 and had a nice ride not exhausted and feeling quite good finishing in 121 minutes I was satisfied.

Personally I think the Grossglockner is more challenging and also nicer
My personal climb rating:
Story by Hedley Thorne from Oxford, United Kingdom, submitted on 03/12/2014
I am overweight and struggle on hills, but I have done Tourmalet, Aubisque, several Pyrenean climbs, Welsh climbs and the odd Alp. Ventoux was the hardest. The heat was 34 degrees, the going was hard but this was an amazing thing to conquer. Many people use the word "relentless" relating to the gradient- this is definitely the case and I had to put a foot down frequently. Watch the wind on the descent and always stop at Chalet Reynard to refresh on the way up. Would I do it again? Yes. But with more training next time. Oh - and take a damn camera.
My personal climb rating:

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