1st to 8th August 2021
5 to 30 °C
Level : Intermediate to Advanced
Mont Ventoux Challenge
Ride the Mountains the Pros Fear!
One of the Toughest Climbs in Cycling
Ride the infamous Bédoin route
Test your Limits!
Test your Limits on the Mountain that has Inspired Philosopher Quotes
"The Ventoux is a God of Evil, to which sacrifices must be made. It never forgives weakness and extracts an unfair tribute of suffering."
Roland Barthes, philosopher.
Book with Confidence !
Refund / Postponement
Ventoux fights you, mocks you…
Ventoux is not just a Hors Category climb. This col has its own microclimate. It may have been warm and sunny when you started, but the last 6 kms could be rain, wind, and fog! Or vice versa. That last 6 kms is also rocky and barren. You could be forgiven for feeling you were riding on the moon! If you’re having a good day, that last six kms is a spur to conquer ‘The Beast of Provence’. If you’re having a bad day, you will feel the mountain is mocking you, playing tricks! And, it probably is!
Ride the Col the professionals fear
Mont Ventoux is the col that all cyclists respect. Sometimes kind, sometimes cruel, every rider who climbs this beast approaches it with trepidation.
Test your limits on Ventoux
It is said that Ventoux exposes your weaknesses as a rider. Winds, stifling heat, rain, mist, and let us not forget gradients in excess of 10%. Ventoux is a physical and mental challenge and is considered one of the hardest climbs in cycling.
Ride Ventoux from two sides
Our tour takes you along the two most famous routes to reach the top. The Malaucène, and the infamous Bédoin route. Both offer you different perspectives on Ventoux and both will require all of your riding skills to conquer them. As well as the two Ventoux routes this tour gives you the opportunity to ride other roads used in the Tour de France and the Paris Nice races.
A Thrilling Descent
The descent of Ventoux has to be experienced. Although we limit you to 50 k/ph for your own safety as you are riding on open roads, you will get no greater test of your descending skills than Ventoux. This is your reward after making such a climb!
Supported Tour de France style
For the Ventoux rides you will be supported Tour de France style with a support car carrying spare parts, drinking water, a change of clothes and food. For all routes, Martin will also be riding with you passing on coaching advice and knowledge. Martin is a professional cycle coach with years of experience. He ensures you will reach the summit of Ventoux and is on hand to carry out repairs if needed. We want to keep you on the road as much as possible.
No need to transport your bike
Don’t take your bike on a plane, hire one on site. The bikes are kept in first class condition and are perfect for conquering ‘The Beast of Provence’. We take care of the hire logistics.
Logistics - We've got you covered
From airport transfers to ensuring your accommodation is booked, to keeping you on the road, we have everything covered. All you have to do is ride the mountain the pros respect.
We ride together, we eat together, and camaraderie forms
Our guests tell us they make new long lasting friendships on our tours. If you are wondering if you can enjoy riding Ventoux if you're travelling alone, the answer is yes.
Itinerary, Cycling Location, and Profile
Ventoux Maps, Profiles, Itinerary
Ventoux Climb Profiles
Bédoin to Ventoux Summit
The most difficult climb of Ventoux and one of the toughest climbs in cycling. You begin at an altitude of 300 m and ride a total distance of 22,5 km. Gradients exceed 10% for much of the climb. Cyclists often pay their respect to the memorial of British rider Tom Simpson who tragically died close to the summit in 1967 during the Tour de France.
While the ride takes 2-3 hours for trained amateur individuals, the pros can ride it in 1-1.15 hours. The fastest time recorded is that of Iban Mayo in the individual climbing Time Trial of the 2004 Dauphiné Libéré. Mayo did the climb in an amazing 55' 51" ! The time was first measured from Bédoin in the 1958 Tour de France in which Charly Gaul achieved the win with the time of 1h 2' 9". What wil your time be?
Malaucène to Ventoux Summit
Malaucène begins at 330 m altitude and you ride 21.2 km to reach the top of the 'Beast of Provence'. Although it is considered easier than the Bédoin climb it will still test you physically and mentally as it contains 10%+ gradients.
Sault to Ventoux Summit
The Sault climb begins at an altitude of 760 m and is a total distance of 22,5 km. It is a very similar route to Malaucène. As such, we do not feature it on our tour.
Your Ventoux Cycling Itinerary
- Number of cycling days : 6
- Pace : 4 - 6 hours per day
Sunday : arrival in Marseille & transfer to Hotel
Arrival at the hotel, dinner, and start getting excited for the week!
Monday : Build bikes and Villages of «La route des vins», 80 km
Breakfast, build bikes, and start the first ride through endless undulating vineyards and villages of Provence.
Tuesday : Les gorges de la Nesque, 70 - 75 km
Les gorges de la Nesque is one of the many gems in Provence. You will always remember it.
Wednesday: Mont Ventoux from Bédoin. 70 km
Mont Ventoux from Bédoin is the most famous and difficult ascent
Thursday : flat - undulating recovery ride
You need a relaxing day to charge up your batteries. Don't overdo it today, as tomorrow is another challenge
Friday : Fontaine de Vaucluse, 65 - 70 km|
On the way to Fontaine de Vaucluse you will discover some more delightful places of Provence
Saturday : Mont Ventoux from Malaucène. 90 km
Mont Ventoux from Malaucène is an "easier" ascent ; but far from being easy, don't get it wrong! On the way to Fontaine de Vaucluse you will discover some more delightful places of Provence
Sunday : Airport transfer
Airport transfer to Marseille for your flight home. See you again next year.
All rides are subject to change as being adapted to weather conditons and the group level.
Prices and dates
Prices per person based on double occupancy
EB* = Early Bird for deposit received before 30.12.2020; R** = regular price
Mont Ventoux Challenge : 1st to 8th August. 2021
7 nights B&B, sharing en-suite room
EB* from 1285 €/pps ; R** from 1435 €/pps
Single suppl: 50 €/night
What's included / not included
- A chance to climb Ventoux from two sides: Malaucène, and the infamous Bédoin route
- 6 unforgettable structured bike rides in Provence France. Some of the roads are used in Tour de France and Paris - Nice races.
- Back-up riders providing support and coaching advice
- Back-up car for assistance, carrying spares, refreshments, and change of clothes on the two Mont Ventoux climbs
- Secure bike storage in the hotel
- Airport transfers with private mini-bus (check the times for group transfers)
- 7 nights B&B, sharing en-suite room
- Free action shots of your Ventoux experience
- Free SportActive Mont Venetoux cycling jersey
- Airport transfer for your bike: 35 € return
- Single Supplement
- private expenses
- Private medical & travel insurance
- Bike hire available. Full carbon bikes or bikes with alloy frame-carbon fork. Gearing is adapted to the needs of the Mont Ventoux climbs.
Services & Information
The delightful hotel de charme, Le Domaine des Tilleuls***
Set in a refurbished 18th century magnanery (silk farm), welcomes you in Malaucène, a typically Provençal village. It is the best imaginable location for your holiday, at the foot of Mont Ventoux.
Its expansive grounds feature a swimming pool and a wide array of trees (lime, plane, ash and cedar trees...) in a 12,000m² of secluded and peaceful grounds.
You will marvel at the beauty of the hotel's ancient stone walls, enjoy its expansive grounds, its pool, playground, pétanque area and garden terrace. The owners, Francine and Louis will take care of all your needs and wishes. They pride themselves with a personalized and friendly service and will serve you delicious breakfasts with a vast choice of fresh products.
Malaucène offers a wide selection of restaurants in walking distance for your evening meals.
Flights & Airport Transfers
The flights to use for this holiday, if flying from Ireland, are the following:
- Outbound : Sun 1/08/2021, Dublin to Marseille, EI514 dep 12:00 arr 15:35
- Homebound : Sun 8/8/2021, Marseille to Dublin, EI 515 dep 16:10 arr 17:50
For UK Departures or from other countries, please try to get your flights close to these times in order to avail of our group airport transfers.
Weather & seasonality
The weather is usually nice and warm. But, the summit of Mont Ventoux offers surprises and the weather can be changeable exactly like in "haute montagne" (high mountain). Temperatures can go from 30 °C in the valley to 5°C on top of the mounain.
It is essential to be prepared with the following items :
- arm warmers
- long sleeve wind/rain jacket
- light long finger gloves
Thunderstorms are likely to happen in this season but that just adds to the challenge!
Request my Holiday Details
Download the Brochure
You can download the following PDF :
Last year I tackled the Mont Ventoux Challenge with SportActive. A challenge it certainly was - 6 days riding totalling 450km with over 8,000m climbed. I will never forget the sight of Mont Ventoux towering above us and the joy and sense of achievement at reaching the summit not once but twice, from different directions.With Martin on the road for coaching and encouragement and Flora in the van for support I never doubted that I would make it. A holiday it also was - with rides through the sun drenched vineyards and breathtaking gorges, stopping at hilltop villages for lunch, then returning to a friendly welcome at the hotel and a dip in the pool followed by good food and company at local restaurants.
Alexandra Taylor - Shropshire UK - Mont Ventoux Challenge
I had a fantastic trip with you two and the rest of the gang! It was so enjoyable I am afraid to admit it out loud! … as before heading out to Marseille I refer to the trip as the ‘boot camp’ cycling holiday’ and I was making fun of it… but having been there and done it, I do understand why the guys are hooked on it!
The beauty and charm of Provence in itself with the highlight of the astonishing Mount Ventoux, mixed with the wonderful sense of freedom and achievement while riding my bike definitely deserves a special mentioned on my diary.
I thank you for providing the frame for this to take place, I loved the fact that though it was an ‘organized’ trip I did not feel encrusted on a set timetable. I had fun, I was challenged, I learnt, I met new people, I saw new places… I was in pain, in shock, in love…
Anyway, I think you get the idea. I LOVE my sportactive experience!
Elena Romero: Mont Ventoux Challenge