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July 16, 2010
I’m sure most of you have seen thousands of photos and video of Mont Ventoux and feel as though you’ve ridden it yourself. In any case, I thought I’d share a few more with you after my ride up there today with a ripper of a headache (I have to thank Mrs CT for stepping up to the plate and filling in for me after my Bastille Day celebrations last night).
In case you haven’t heard, it’s HOT here in South Eastern France right now. The mercury went up to 40C yesterday and 35C today. The top of Mont Ventoux was a sensational 24C with light winds. The winds can sometimes get extremely bad up there so I was very lucky to get such a good day for the ascent.
Mont Ventoux has had some fascinating bike racing history laid out on its roads. I remember the last time I was here I saw “Pantani” painted everywhere from his last victory on the mountain. Coincidentally, the last time I cycled this road was the day he tragically passed away.
As much at this climb is built up to be extremely difficult by the legends that live on it, it’s got nothin’ on Mt Hotham (a nasty climb in the Australian Alpine region). According to my GPS Mont Ventoux never gets over 10%. In fact, it’s much the same as riding Mt Hotham. Moderate at the start, nice false flat to recover on in the middle, and then kicks up again at the end. However, Mt Hotham gets much steeper, harder to get a rhythm, and is longer.
Here are a few photos of the ride. It’s absolutely spectacular. Hopefully these give you a sense of what it’s like. Enjoy!
The village of Sault is where I started the climb up Mont Ventoux. This is the beginning of the ride coming out of Sault
Lavender fields everywhere at the beginning of the ascent. You can smell it for miles!
This is where it starts getting up to 10% and more difficult after 45mins of climbing
The landscape starts getting more barron and the road gets steeper
Look who I bumped into! The whole Hampton Cycles Aussie crew were out on Ventoux. What are the chances?
Still 3km from the top
Check out these guys' TdF adventures at http://fostersflyingtours.blogspot.com/
Shut up legs!
The Tom Simpson Memorial
Lots of little momentos that people have left
click here for ride data (no powermeter used and lots of stopping for photos…)
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