Cycling Mont Ventoux

Cycling up the Mont Ventoux is a popular sport in the region, together with the numerous 'cols' in the immediate vicinity.
There are four different routes up the Giant of Provence.

You can look them up on the Interactive map underneath.

On the Eastern slope by Sault - the least difficult climb – a 1220 metre rise over 26 kilometres. 20 km. of shaded road, of false rising summits (3,5%) and climbs (5-6%), on a well-tended road. At 1410m one comes out of the forest to discover a lunar-like landscape and joins the Bédoin road. The last 6 kilometres are at +/-9%.

The southern ascent by Bédoin - part of the Tour de France and the most difficult: a 1610 metre climb over 21,5 km (+/-7,5%). Between Bédoin and Chalet Reynard, there is a 6 km climb, then 9 kilometres between 8,5 and 10,7 %.

The Northern ascent by Malaucène - a 1535 m climb over 21km (+/-7,3%). An easier ride than the others on a recently re-surfaced road. Magnificent views on a slope which is protected from the southerly winds.

The Tour de France
A mythical stage of the Tour de France nicknamed the 'Chaudron de l’Enfer' – Hell's Cauldron - the Ventoux hosted the Tour for the first time in 1951 for the Montpellier-Avignon stage. Charly Gaul in 1958, Raymond Poulidor in 1965, Eddy Merckx in 1970, Bernard Thévenet in1972, Jean-François Bernard in 1987, Marco Pantani in 2000 and Richard Virenque in 2002 were all outstanding here. .

More infos about the Tour de France… During the 1967 race, Britain’s Tom Simpson died from a doping accident on the 13th July riding up the Mont Ventoux in scorching temperatures (35°C).
Already in 1955 France’s Jean Malléjac suffered a serious heatstroke. Eddy Merckx himself was badly affected by the heat the year he won the stage.

The winners:
1951 : Lucien Lazarides (Fra)
1952 : Jean Robic (Fra)
1955 : Louison Bobet (Fra)
1958 : Charly Gaul (Lux) c.l.m - arrival
1965 : Raymond Poulidor (Fra) - arrival
1967 : Julio Jimenez (Esp)
  1970 : Eddy Merckx (Bel) - arrival
1972 : Bernard Thévenet (Fra) - arrival
1974 : Gonzalo Aja (Esp)
1987 : Jean-François Bernard (Fra) c.l.m - arrival
1994 : Eros Poli (Ita)
2000 : Marco Pantani (Ita) - arrival
2002 : Richard Virenque (Fra) - arrival