CLIMBING THE VENTOUX
Climbing the Mont Ventoux starting from Bédoin:
21,4 km – 1639 altimeteres :
The climb starts in the center of Bédoin at kilometer “0”, a line on the D974 road. The first two kilometers it goes up quite quietly, good to warm up and to let the legs get used to climbing. After 2 kilometers you turn left and you pass the villages of Les Baux, Sainte-Colombe and Les Bruns. Now it gets steeper and from the "Saint-Esteve" bend, there is no escaping it anymore: the next 10 kilometers through the forest are the percentage increases of 9 to 11%. More than a kilometer past St. Estève you pass a number of S-bends that are known as Les Sept Virages (The Seven Bends). Due to the sharp curves, the view is limited to 200 m. After about 15 kilometers you will pass Chalet Reynard. The route from Sault is also added here. The landscape is now changing drastically into a bare desolate "lunar landscape" where the top is always visible. From here you can get some rest in terms of percentage increase (around 7%) but the Mistral gets free play in this lunar landscape. So before you start the climb, check how high the wind speeds are at the top ... there can be a big difference with the wind speed below. As the summit approaches, the climb becomes more difficult, but the reward remains in sight. At 1.5 kilometers from the top you pass the memorial stone for Tom Simpson. The last 500 meters are steep but giving up is not an option now ... the last steep turn and then you are really there! Congrats!
Climbing the Mont Ventoux starting from Malaucène:
21,2 km – 1535 altimeters :
Malaucène, located on the north-western side of the mountain, is the main base for those who want to go up the Giant of Provence after Bédoin. Around the village there are vineyards, cherry, apricot and olive groves everywhere and asparagus is also grown. Is the ascent from Malaucène lighter (7.4% on average) than that from Bédoin (7.5% on average) or not? Opinions are divided on this. In fact, the climbs are difficult to compare. This side is perhaps a little less steep than the climb from Bédoin, but more irregular and with a very heavy stretch in the middle of the climb. After about 15 km you will reach the ski resort Mont Serein with Chalet Liotard, which is at about the same height as Chalet Reynard, but then on the northern side of the climb. After that it's about 6 km to the top. Here too you can now cycle through the fantastic moon landscape with the top always in sight. Is this climb lighter than that from Bédoin or not? That depends on what type of climber you are. The best comparison is simply to do both climbs.
Climbing the Mont Ventoux starting from Sault:
25,6 km – 1152 altimeters :
The first kilometer of the ascent from Sault is already the easiest with a fall percentage of 5.5%. The climb is about 26 kilometers long, the first 20 kilometers up to Chalet Reynard are fairly easy. There are a few quiet parts in it where you can recover well. At Chalet Reynard this climb comes together with the climb from Bédoin. Then it is still 6 km to the top, but these kilometers are quite difficult compared to the kilometers at the start of the climb. It is a beautiful climb where you initially cycle between the open fields and then between the trees. From Chalet Reynard you will end up in the famous moon landscape.