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Mont Ventoux

Set your alarm for well before dawn to climb Mont Ventoux. The heat rises faster than you in the summer months.
You won't be alone. From every direction, riders appear, lights blinking in the soft dawn light before the rising sun. It's a great time to be alive, don't be late.

Mont Ventoux's surrounding landscape is some of France's most spell-binding and unique. Rolling roads, good weather, cycling history and heritage, and climbing your own mountain make an attractive proposition. Deep in the forests, protected from the blazing mid-morning sun, on the road from Bedouin with gradients touching 12%. You discover every kind of bike rider known to man and several previously undiscovered species variations.

Unlike other cycling climbs, the roads up the Ventoux don’t go anywhere other than down the other side. There is no through traffic, making it a haven for cyclists. The upper slopes are devoid of trees or vegetation, leaving a simultaneously desolate and breathtakingly beautiful moonscape.

Less than a kilometre from the top on the south side, the Tom Simpson memorial removes any remaining doubt that this mountain belongs to us.

Two of the three routes up Mont Ventoux, from the south and east, converge halfway up the mountain at Chalet-Reynard. From there, you enter a lunar landscape.
The road winds in and out of the folds in the mountainside as it slowly climbs upwards, creating sheltered sections where the heat intensifies as if in an oven.