The Mont Ventoux Challenge 2018: One of the Toughest Climbs in Cycling!
The Mont Ventoux challenge 2018 has begun. Over the week, our riders will take on the ‘Beast of Provence’ from two sides: Malaucène, and the infamous Bédoin route. Both routes provide challenges and wonder. Mont Ventoux has to be attempted at least once in your cycling career.
Mont Ventoux Challenges
- Climbing – Mont Ventoux is considered one of the toughest climbs in cycling. It is 22.5kms of ride with gradients exceeding 10%+. Bédoin route is considered the hardest climb but it should be noted that Malaucène is no picnic. The summit of Mont Ventoux is 1909m above sea level. If you have never ridden at altitude before you may need some time to acclimatise.
- Psychological – Mont Ventoux has more than its fair share of psychological challenges. As well as the demands of the climb the approach to the summit can be psychologically challenging. There is no vegetation at the summit of Ventoux just barren rock. It feels a little like cycling on the moon. If you’ve had a difficult day this can chip away at your resolve.
- Pacing - Pacing is key to completing Mont Ventoux. If you get it wrong at the beginning you will probably experience burnout along the way. Taking a measured approach when you begin, controlling the emotions of taking on such a legendary col will serve you well on the climb.
- Climate – Due to where Mont Ventoux is situated the last 6 kms has its own microclimate. When you break the tree line at Chalet Reynard the weather can be totally different to what it was when you started. This has caught many a rider out over the years.
Due to the hot temperatures Europe is experiencing this month of August the heat will make each ride a little more difficult. In the interview with experienced rider Pamela of Innisfree Wheelers, she talks about the heat as being a major factor.
As well as the Mont Ventoux climbs, our riders will experience brilliant rides in Provence, France. Here, the roads lead through magnificent vineyards and show the magic of Les Gorges de la Nesque. Many of the roads are used in Paris Nice and the Tour de France.
Here are some of our riders talking about their cycling, and about their preparation and thoughts on the Mont Ventoux Challenge.