Important Tips for Cycling Mont Ventoux at any Age
The iconic mountain beckons all cyclists. The giant of Provence stands 1909 metres today. As I rode up, I met a gentleman celebrating his 70th birthday and telling me it was on his bucket list!
The lead photo is from Flassan looking at Mont Ventoux, a good place to park for the Bédoin route…Continue reading here.
Mont Ventoux Ascents
There are three routes up this impressive mountain, often featured in the Tour de France. Starting in Sault, Bédoin or Malaucène all three roads lead to the Mont Ventoux summit at 1909m, a peak that is considered by many riders to be one of the hardest climbs they ever do.
The route from Sault is considered the easiest, but at 26km it is also the longest of the three rides. The total elevation is 1147m at an average grade of 4.7%. Riders on this route merge with cyclists climbing from Bédoin at Chalet Reynard.
The Bédoin start is the prefered route for the Tour de France circuit, most likely because of the ability to organise media, emergency and other services at Chalet Reynard. Also, the bald, rocky top of the mountain from this side provides a striking background for the TV coverage. The town is located at 300m above sea level, from there to the top is 21.5 km a total climb of 1609m at an average grade of 7.5%.
The climb from Malaucène is technically slightly shorter and a bit less steep than the route from Bédoin. However, there is no break at Chalet Reynard and no visibility of the summit, so essentially it is a heads-down climb for 21km, 1535m and over an average grade of 7.3%.
There are some cyclists who are crazy enough, and fit enough, to complete all three ascents in a day.
Other Mont Ventoux Biking Tips
Before you ride, check the weather, you do not want to ride this mountain on a windy day. Here is a good weather website.
Even on a hot summer day, the temperature at the summit will be cooler. Take an extra layer or jacket, just in case.
There are snacks, meals, drinks and washrooms available at Chalet Reynard.
Be careful on the descent; no matter which route you choose, there is always car and bus traffic.