What's Cool In Road Cycling

The mythical Mont Ventoux returns to the Tour!

The most feared and famous mountain in cycling returns to the Tour de France tomorrow! Mont Ventoux’s lunar landscape never fails to produce drama whenever the peloton face its relentless slopes. Will Quintana put Froome and Team Sky on the ropes or will mother nature intervene and reduce everyone to a whimper as Ventoux’s notorious wind takes control? Only time will tell…..

Sometimes mother nature deals you a joker card and other times a handful of aces. After three days in the Pyrénées, The Col Collective was back on the road for a late night drive to Bédoin in anticipation of taming the mighty Mont Ventoux. I’d been checking the forecast continually, secretly praying to the weather gods to be kind to us, knowing that we only had one day to try and bring this mythical mountain to life. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday torrential rain, near hurricane winds, thunder and lighting hammered the slopes of Ventoux. We arrived late on Wednesday night, I couldn’t sleep, nervous at what we may face the next day. I guess all my praying paid off as we were gifted with the best day I’ve ever seen on the mountain. Barely a breath of wind, the fresh smell of pine in the forest and high temperatures certainly helped get the legs spinning again but such is the history of Ventoux this is a climb that should never be taken lightly and needs full respect no matter what. A hard section through the forest from Saint-Estève to Chalet Reynard, barely dropping below 9% gradient, followed by a final six kilometres exposed to the elements and all whilst the summit overlooks one and all from high above. One word. Unbelievable. Four words. You must ride it! 🙂

Start: Bédoin
Length: 21.8km
Summit: 1,912m
Elevation gain: 1,629m
Average gradient: 7.4%
Max gradient: 12%

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Mike Cotty
The Col Collective

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