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Mont Ventoux

Mont Ventoux

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Mont Ventoux is a mountain in the Provence
Provence
Provence ; Provençal: Provença in classical norm or Prouvènço in Mistralian norm) is a region of south eastern France on the Mediterranean adjacent to Italy. It is part of the administrative région of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur...

 region of southern France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, located some 20 km northeast of Carpentras
Carpentras
Carpentras is a commune in the Vaucluse department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.It stands on the banks of the Auzon...

, Vaucluse
Vaucluse
The Vaucluse is a department in the southeast of France, named after the famous spring, the Fontaine-de-Vaucluse.- History :Vaucluse was created on 12 August 1793 out of parts of the departments of Bouches-du-Rhône, Drôme, and Basses-Alpes...

. On the north side, the mountain borders the Drôme
Drôme
Drôme , a department in southeastern France, takes its name from the Drôme River.-History:The French National Constituent Assembly set up Drôme as one of the original 83 departments of France on March 4, 1790, during the French Revolution...

 département. It is the largest mountain in the region and has been nicknamed the "Giant of Provence", or "The Bald Mountain". It has gained fame through its use in the Tour de France
Tour de France
The Tour de France is an annual bicycle race held in France and nearby countries. First staged in 1903, the race covers more than and lasts three weeks. As the best known and most prestigious of cycling's three "Grand Tours", the Tour de France attracts riders and teams from around the world. The...

 cycling race.

As the name might suggest (venteux means windy in French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

), it can get windy at the summit, especially with the mistral
Mistral (wind)
The mistral is a strong, cold and usually dry regional wind in France, coming from the north or northwest, which accelerates when it passes through the valleys of the Rhone and the Durance Rivers to the coast of the Mediterranean around the Camargue region. It affects the northeast of the plain...

; wind speeds as high as 320 km/h (200 mph) have been recorded. The wind blows at 90+ km/h (56+ mph) 240 days a year. The road over the mountain is often closed due to high winds. Especially the "col de tempêtes" ("storm pass") just before the summit, which is known for its strong winds. The real origins of the name are thought to trace back to the 1st or 2nd century AD, when it was named 'Vintur' after a Gaul
Gaul
Gaul was a region of Western Europe during the Iron Age and Roman era, encompassing present day France, Luxembourg and Belgium, most of Switzerland, the western part of Northern Italy, as well as the parts of the Netherlands and Germany on the left bank of the Rhine. The Gauls were the speakers of...

ish god of the summits, or 'Ven-Top', meaning "snowy peak" in the ancient Gallic language. In the 10th century, the names Mons Ventosus and Mons Ventorius appear.

Mont Ventoux, although geologically part of the Alps
Alps
The Alps is one of the great mountain range systems of Europe, stretching from Austria and Slovenia in the east through Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Germany to France in the west....

, is often considered to be separate from them, due to the lack of mountains of a similar height nearby. It stands alone to the north of the Luberon
Luberon
The Luberon or Luberon Massif , also called Lubéron, has a maximum altitude of 1,256 m and an area of about 600 km²...

 range, separated by the Monts de Vaucluse
Monts de Vaucluse
The Vaucluse Mountains are a mountain range of the French Prealps located in the departement of Vaucluse, between the Luberon Massif and Mont Ventoux.The highest peak is Signal de Saint-Pierre, which reaches the height of ....

, and just to the east of the Dentelles de Montmirail
Dentelles de Montmirail
The Dentelles de Montmirail are a small chain of mountains in Provence in France, in the département of Vaucluse, located just to the south of the village of Vaison-la-Romaine....

, its foothills. The top of the mountain is bare limestone
Limestone
Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed largely of the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate . Many limestones are composed from skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral or foraminifera....

 without vegetation or trees, which makes the mountain's barren peak appear from a distance to be snow-capped all year round (its snow cover actually lasts from December to April). Its isolated position overlooking the valley of the Rhône
Rhône River
The Rhone is one of the major rivers of Europe, rising in Switzerland and running from there through southeastern France. At Arles, near its mouth on the Mediterranean Sea, the river divides into two branches, known as the Great Rhone and the Little Rhone...

 ensures that it dominates the entire region and can be seen from many miles away on a clear day. The view from the top is correspondingly superb.

History


Jean Buridan
Jean Buridan
Jean Buridan was a French priest who sowed the seeds of the Copernican revolution in Europe. Although he was one of the most famous and influential philosophers of the late Middle Ages, he is today among the least well known...

 climbed the mountain early in the fourteenth century; Petrarch
Petrarch
Francesco Petrarca , known in English as Petrarch, was an Italian scholar, poet and one of the earliest humanists. Petrarch is often called the "Father of Humanism"...

 (accompanied by his brother) repeated the feat on April 26, 1336, and claimed to have been the first to climb the mountain since antiquity, which has been widely repeated since.

The 15th century saw the construction of a chapel on the top, dedicated to the Holy Cross
Christian cross
The Christian cross, seen as a representation of the instrument of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, is the best-known religious symbol of Christianity...

.

In 1882, a meteorological station was constructed on the summit, though it is no longer in use. This observatory was planned in 1879 along with a carriage road for access. In the 1960s a 50m-high telecommunications mast was built.

Flora and fauna



Originally forested, Mont Ventoux was systematically stripped of trees from the 12th century onwards to serve the demands of the shipbuilders of the naval port of Toulon
Toulon
Toulon is a town in southern France and a large military harbor on the Mediterranean coast, with a major French naval base. Located in the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur region, Toulon is the capital of the Var department in the former province of Provence....

. Some areas have been reforested since 1860 with a variety of hardwood
Hardwood
Hardwood is wood from angiosperm trees . It may also be used for those trees themselves: these are usually broad-leaved; in temperate and boreal latitudes they are mostly deciduous, but in tropics and subtropics mostly evergreen.Hardwood contrasts with softwood...

 trees (such as holm oak
Holm Oak
Quercus ilex, the Holm Oak or Holly Oak is a large evergreen oak native to the Mediterranean region. It takes its name from holm, an ancient name for holly...

s and beech
Beech
Beech is a genus of ten species of deciduous trees in the family Fagaceae, native to temperate Europe, Asia and North America.-Habit:...

es) as well as coniferous species, such as Atlas cedar
Atlas Cedar
Cedrus atlantica, the Atlas Cedar, is a cedar native to the Atlas Mountains of Algeria and Morocco . A majority of the modern sources treat it as a distinct species Cedrus atlantica, but some sources consider it a subspecies of Lebanon Cedar Cedrus atlantica, the Atlas Cedar, is a cedar native to...

s and larch
Larch
Larches are conifers in the genus Larix, in the family Pinaceae. Growing from 15 to 50m tall, they are native to much of the cooler temperate northern hemisphere, on lowlands in the north and high on mountains further south...

es. A little higher, juniper
Juniper
Junipers are coniferous plants in the genus Juniperus of the cypress family Cupressaceae. Depending on taxonomic viewpoint, there are between 50-67 species of juniper, widely distributed throughout the northern hemisphere, from the Arctic, south to tropical Africa in the Old World, and to the...

s are common.

The mountain comprises the species boundary or ecotone
Ecotone
An ecotone is a transition area between two biomes but different patches of the landscape, such as forest and grassland. It may be narrow or wide, and it may be local or regional...

 between the flora and fauna of northern and southern France. Some species, including various types of spiders and butterflies, are unique to Mont Ventoux. It is a good place to spot the Short-toed Eagle
Short-toed Eagle
The Short-toed Snake Eagle also known as Short-toed Eagle, is a medium-sized bird of prey in the family Accipitridae which also includes many other diurnal raptors such as kites, buzzards and harriers.-Range and habitat:...

 (Circaetus gallicus).

Its biological distinctiveness was recognised by UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 in 1990 when the Réserve de Biosphère du Mont Ventoux was created, protecting an area of 810 square kilometres (200,150 acres) on and around the mountain.

Road cycling


For road bicycle racing
Road bicycle racing
Road bicycle racing is a bicycle racing sport held on roads, using racing bicycles. The term "road racing" is usually applied to events where competing riders start simultaneously with the winner being the first to the line at the end of the course .Historically, the most...

 enthusiasts, the mountain can be climbed by three routes.
  • South from Bédoin
    Bédoin
    Bédoin is a commune in the Vaucluse department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.-Geography:Located at the base of Mont Ventoux, it is the starting point of one of the three routes to the summit of the mountain .-Sights:Bédoin contains a large Spanish-style church,...

    : 1617 m over 21,8 km. This is the most famous and difficult ascent. The road to the summit has an average gradient of 7.43%. Until Saint-Estève, the climb is easy: 3.9% over 5,8 km, but the 16 remaining kilometres have an average gradient of 8.9%. The last kilometres may have strong, violent winds. The ride takes 1h30m-2h30m for trained amateur riders. Professional riders take 1h-1h15 min. The fastest time so far recorded has been that of Iban Mayo
    Iban Mayo
    Iban Mayo Diez is a professional road bicycle racer. His successes have been overshadowed by doping....

     in the individual climbing time trial of the 2004 Dauphiné Libéré
    Dauphiné Libéré
    The Critérium du Dauphiné is an annual cycling road race, run over eight stages in the Dauphiné region in France during the first half of June. The race was inaugurated by a local newspaper, the Dauphiné Libéré, which gave its name to the event...

    : 55' 51". The time was measured from Bédoin for the first time in the 1958 Tour de France
    1958 Tour de France
    The 1958 Tour de France was the 45th Tour de France, taking place June 26 to July 19, 1958. The total race distance was 24 stages over 4,319 km, at an average speed of 36.919 km/h....

    , in which Charly Gaul
    Charly Gaul
    Charly Gaul was a professional cyclist. He was a national cyclo-cross champion, an accomplished time triallist and a better climber. His ability earned him the nickname of The Angel of the Mountains in the 1958 Tour de France, which he won with four stage victories...

     was the fastest at 1h 2' 9".

  • Northwest from Malaucène
    Malaucène
    Malaucène is a commune in the Vaucluse department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.-Geography:Malaucène is a typical provençal village located in Provence at the foot of Mont Ventoux.-Sights:...

    : 1570 m over 21,5 km. About equal in difficulty as the Bédoin ascent, better sheltered against the wind.

  • East from Sault: 1210 m over 26 km. The easiest route. After Chalet Reynard (where the "lunar landscape" of the summit starts), the climb is the same as the Bédoin ascent. Average gradient of 4.4%.


Every year there are amateur races to climb the mountain as quickly and often as possible in 24 hours, the Ventoux Masterseries and "Les Cinglés du Mont Ventoux". On May 16, 2006, Jean-Pascal Roux from Bédoin broke the record of climbs in 24 hours, with eleven climbs, all of them from Bédoin.

Tour de France



Mont Ventoux has become legendary as the scene of one of the most gruelling climbs in the Tour de France
Tour de France
The Tour de France is an annual bicycle race held in France and nearby countries. First staged in 1903, the race covers more than and lasts three weeks. As the best known and most prestigious of cycling's three "Grand Tours", the Tour de France attracts riders and teams from around the world. The...

 bicycle race, which has ascended the mountain fourteen times since 1951. The followed trail mostly passes through Bédoin. Its fame as a scene of great Tour dramas has made it a magnet for cyclists around the world.

The mountain achieved worldwide notoriety when it claimed the life of British cyclist Tom Simpson
Tom Simpson
Tom Simpson was the most successful English road racing cyclist of the post-war years. He infamously died of exhaustion on the slopes of Mont Ventoux during the 13th stage of the Tour de France in 1967...

, who died here on July 13, 1967 from heat exhaustion
Hyperthermia
Hyperthermia is an elevated body temperature due to failed thermoregulation. Hyperthermia occurs when the body produces or absorbs more heat than it can dissipate...

 caused by a combination of factors including dehydration
Dehydration
In physiology and medicine, dehydration is defined as the excessive loss of body fluid. It is literally the removal of water from an object; however, in physiological terms, it entails a deficiency of fluid within an organism...

 (caused by lack of fluid intake and diarrhea
Diarrhea
Diarrhea , also spelled diarrhoea, is the condition of having three or more loose or liquid bowel movements per day. It is a common cause of death in developing countries and the second most common cause of infant deaths worldwide. The loss of fluids through diarrhea can cause dehydration and...

), amphetamine
Amphetamine
Amphetamine or amfetamine is a psychostimulant drug of the phenethylamine class which produces increased wakefulness and focus in association with decreased fatigue and appetite.Brand names of medications that contain, or metabolize into, amphetamine include Adderall, Dexedrine, Dextrostat,...

s, and alcohol
Alcoholic beverage
An alcoholic beverage is a drink containing ethanol, commonly known as alcohol. Alcoholic beverages are divided into three general classes: beers, wines, and spirits. They are legally consumed in most countries, and over 100 countries have laws regulating their production, sale, and consumption...

, although there is still speculation as to the exact cause of his death. He began to wildly weave across the road before he fell down. He was delirious and asked spectators to put him back on the bike, which he rode to within a half mile of the summit before collapsing dead, still clipped into his pedals. Amphetamines were found in his jersey and bloodstream. There is a memorial to Simpson near the summit which has become a shrine to fans of cycling, who often leave small tokens of remembrance there. In 1970, Eddy Merckx
Eddy Merckx
Edouard Louis Joseph, Baron Merckx , better known as Eddy Merckx, is a Belgian former professional cyclist. The French magazine Vélo called him "the most accomplished rider that cycling has ever known." The American publication, VeloNews, called him the greatest and most successful cyclist of all...

 rode himself to the brink of collapse while winning the stage. He received oxygen, recovered, and won the Tour. In 1994, Eros Poli
Eros Poli
Eros Poli is an Italian former professional racing cyclist of the 1990s, notably employed as Mario Cipollini's lead-out man in bunch sprints....

, not known for his climbing ability, stole away at the beginning of the day's stage, built up a substantial time gap from the peloton, and was first over the Ventoux and eventual stage winner despite losing a minute of his lead per kilometre of the ascent. 2009 saw the most recent ascent of the Ventoux with Rabobank Squad's
Rabobank (cycling)
Rabobank is a professional bicycle racing team, sponsored by the Rabobank. The team consists of three sections: ProTeam , Continental , and Cyclo-cross...

 Spanish climber Juan Manuel Gárate
Juan Manuel Gárate
Juan Manuel Gárate Cepa is a Spanish professional road racing cyclist. He currently rides for the Rabobank team. He is perceived to be a climbing specialist, and to date his greatest achievements have been in the Giro d'Italia, where he placed fourth overall in 2002, fifth overall in 2005 and won...

 making to the top first.

Tour de France stage finishes


The race has finished at the summit of Mont Ventoux eight times. The finish line is at 1909 m, although in 1965, 1967, 1972 and 1974 the finish was lower, at 1895 m.

In September 2008, it was announced by Claude Haut, the president of the Vaucluse province, that in 2009 the Tour de France would visit Mont Ventoux after a seven-year absence. Unusually, the riders climbed the "Giant of Provence" on the second-to-last day of the race, on July 25, 2009, prior to transferring to Paris for the traditional parade on the Champs-Élysées
Champs-Élysées
The Avenue des Champs-Élysées is a prestigious avenue in Paris, France. With its cinemas, cafés, luxury specialty shops and clipped horse-chestnut trees, the Avenue des Champs-Élysées is one of the most famous streets and one of the most expensive strip of real estate in the world. The name is...

.
Year Stage Start of stage Distance (km) Category Stage winner Nationality Yellow jersey
1958
1958 Tour de France
The 1958 Tour de France was the 45th Tour de France, taking place June 26 to July 19, 1958. The total race distance was 24 stages over 4,319 km, at an average speed of 36.919 km/h....

18 Bédoin
Bédoin
Bédoin is a commune in the Vaucluse department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.-Geography:Located at the base of Mont Ventoux, it is the starting point of one of the three routes to the summit of the mountain .-Sights:Bédoin contains a large Spanish-style church,...

21.5 (ITT
Individual time trial
An individual time trial is a road bicycle race in which cyclists race alone against the clock . There are also track-based time trials where riders compete in velodromes, and team time trials...

)
1 Charly Gaul
Charly Gaul
Charly Gaul was a professional cyclist. He was a national cyclo-cross champion, an accomplished time triallist and a better climber. His ability earned him the nickname of The Angel of the Mountains in the 1958 Tour de France, which he won with four stage victories...

Raphaël Geminiani
Raphael Geminiani
Raphaël Géminiani is a French former road bicycle racer. He had six podium finishes in the Grand Tours. He is one of four children of Italian immigrants who moved to Clermont-Ferrand. He worked in a cycle shop and started racing as a boy...

1965
1965 Tour de France
The 1965 Tour de France was memorable for a number of reasons. In his first year as a professional, Felice Gimondi, a substitute replacement on the Salvarani team, captures the overall title ahead of Raymond Poulidor, last year's second place finisher...

14 Montpellier
Montpellier
-Neighbourhoods:Since 2001, Montpellier has been divided into seven official neighbourhoods, themselves divided into sub-neighbourhoods. Each of them possesses a neighbourhood council....

173 1 Raymond Poulidor
Raymond Poulidor
Raymond Poulidor , is a former professional bicycle racer. He was known as the eternal second, because he finished the Tour de France in second place three times, and in third place five times, including his final Tour at the age of 40...

Felice Gimondi
Felice Gimondi
Felice Gimondi is an Italian former professional racing cyclist.With his 1968 victory at the Vuelta a España, only three years after becoming a professional cyclist, Gimondi, nicknamed "The Phoenix", was the second cyclist to win all three Grand Tours of road cycling: Tour de France , Giro...

1970
1970 Tour de France
The 1970 Tour de France was the 57th Tour de France, taking place June 27 to July 19, 1970. It consisted of 23 stages over 4366 km, ridden at an average speed of 35.589 km/h....

14 Gap
Gap, Hautes-Alpes
Gap is a commune in southeastern France, the capital of the Hautes-Alpes department.-Geography:An Alpine crossroads at the intersection of D994 and Route nationale 85 the Route Napoléon, Gap lies above sea level along the right bank of the Luye River...

170 1 Eddy Merckx
Eddy Merckx
Edouard Louis Joseph, Baron Merckx , better known as Eddy Merckx, is a Belgian former professional cyclist. The French magazine Vélo called him "the most accomplished rider that cycling has ever known." The American publication, VeloNews, called him the greatest and most successful cyclist of all...

Eddy Merckx
Eddy Merckx
Edouard Louis Joseph, Baron Merckx , better known as Eddy Merckx, is a Belgian former professional cyclist. The French magazine Vélo called him "the most accomplished rider that cycling has ever known." The American publication, VeloNews, called him the greatest and most successful cyclist of all...

1972
1972 Tour de France
The 1972 Tour de France was the 59th Tour de France, taking place July 1 to July 22, 1972. It consisted of 20 stages over 3846.6 km, ridden at an average speed of 35.371 km/h. The long awaited clash between Eddy Merckx and Luis Ocaña after Ocaña crashed on Col de Menté in the 1971 Tour de...

11 Carnon-Plage 207 1 Bernard Thévenet
Bernard Thévenet
Bernard Thévenet, born 10 January 1948, in Saint-Julien-de-Civry, Saône-et-Loire, is a retired French bicycle racer. He is a two-time winner of the Tour de France and known for ending the reign of five-time Tour champion Eddy Merckx...

Eddy Merckx
Eddy Merckx
Edouard Louis Joseph, Baron Merckx , better known as Eddy Merckx, is a Belgian former professional cyclist. The French magazine Vélo called him "the most accomplished rider that cycling has ever known." The American publication, VeloNews, called him the greatest and most successful cyclist of all...

1987
1987 Tour de France
The 1987 Tour de France was the 74th Tour de France, taking place from July 1 to July 26, 1987. It consisted of 25 stages over 4231 km, ridden at an average speed of 36.645 km/h...

18 Carpentras
Carpentras
Carpentras is a commune in the Vaucluse department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.It stands on the banks of the Auzon...

36.5 (ITT
Individual time trial
An individual time trial is a road bicycle race in which cyclists race alone against the clock . There are also track-based time trials where riders compete in velodromes, and team time trials...

)
HC
Hors Categorie
Hors catégorie is a French term used in cycle races to designate a climb that is "beyond categorization", an incredibly tough climb. Most climbs in cycling are designated from Category 1 to Category 4 , based on both steepness and length...

Jean-François Bernard
Jean-François Bernard
Jean-François Bernard is a former French professional road bicycle racer. He turned professional in 1984 for La Vie Claire, led by Bernard Hinault...

Jean-François Bernard
Jean-François Bernard
Jean-François Bernard is a former French professional road bicycle racer. He turned professional in 1984 for La Vie Claire, led by Bernard Hinault...

2000
2000 Tour de France
The 2000 Tour de France was the 87th Tour de France, and took place from July 1 to July 23, 2000. It was won by American cyclist Lance Armstrong. The Tour started with an individual time trial in Futuroscope and ended traditionally in Paris. The distance travelled was 3662.5 km...

12 Carpentras
Carpentras
Carpentras is a commune in the Vaucluse department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.It stands on the banks of the Auzon...

149 HC
Hors Categorie
Hors catégorie is a French term used in cycle races to designate a climb that is "beyond categorization", an incredibly tough climb. Most climbs in cycling are designated from Category 1 to Category 4 , based on both steepness and length...

Marco Pantani
Marco Pantani
Marco Pantani was an Italian road racing cyclist, widely considered one of the best climbers in professional road bicycle racing...

Lance Armstrong
Lance Armstrong
Lance Edward Armstrong is an American former professional road racing cyclist who won the Tour de France a record seven consecutive times, after having survived testicular cancer. He is also the founder and chairman of the Lance Armstrong Foundation for cancer research and support...

2002
2002 Tour de France
The 2002 Tour de France started in Luxembourg on July 6, 2002, and ended in Paris on July 28. France was visited counter-clockwise, so the Pyrenees were there before the Alps...

14 Lodève
Lodève
Lodève is a commune in the Hérault département in Languedoc-Roussillon in southern France. It is a sub-prefecture of the department.-Geography:...

221 HC
Hors Categorie
Hors catégorie is a French term used in cycle races to designate a climb that is "beyond categorization", an incredibly tough climb. Most climbs in cycling are designated from Category 1 to Category 4 , based on both steepness and length...

Richard Virenque
Richard Virenque
Richard VirenqueRichard Virenque's name is pronounced Ree-shah Vee-rahnk. Virenque considers himself a man of the South but pronounces his name in standard French. Confusion is caused by the southern habit of pronouncing "en" as "ang" or "eng", making it Vee-rank. But Virenque says Vee-rahnk or...

Lance Armstrong
Lance Armstrong
Lance Edward Armstrong is an American former professional road racing cyclist who won the Tour de France a record seven consecutive times, after having survived testicular cancer. He is also the founder and chairman of the Lance Armstrong Foundation for cancer research and support...

2009
2009 Tour de France
The 2009 Tour de France was the 96th edition of the Tour de France, one of cycling's Grand Tours. It started on 4 July in the principality of Monaco with a individual time trial which included a section of the Circuit de Monaco...

20 Montélimar
Montélimar
Montélimar is a commune in the Drôme department in southeastern France. It is the second-largest town in the department after Valence.-History:...

167 HC
Hors Categorie
Hors catégorie is a French term used in cycle races to designate a climb that is "beyond categorization", an incredibly tough climb. Most climbs in cycling are designated from Category 1 to Category 4 , based on both steepness and length...

Juan Manuel Gárate
Juan Manuel Gárate
Juan Manuel Gárate Cepa is a Spanish professional road racing cyclist. He currently rides for the Rabobank team. He is perceived to be a climbing specialist, and to date his greatest achievements have been in the Giro d'Italia, where he placed fourth overall in 2002, fifth overall in 2005 and won...

Alberto Contador
Alberto Contador
Alberto Contador Velasco is a Spanish professional road bicycle racer for UCI ProTeam . He was the winner of the 2007 Tour de France with the team. With the Astana team he has won the 2008 Giro d'Italia, the 2008 Vuelta a España, the 2009 Tour de France, the 2010 Tour de France and won 2011 Giro...


Other appearances in Tour de France


The race has also crossed the summit six times.
Year Stage Category Start Finish Leader at the summit Nationality
1951
1951 Tour de France
The 1951 Tour de France was the 38th Tour de France, taking place from July 4 to July 29, 1951. It consisted of 24 stages over 4690 km, ridden at an average speed of 32.949 km/h....

18 1 Montpellier
Montpellier
-Neighbourhoods:Since 2001, Montpellier has been divided into seven official neighbourhoods, themselves divided into sub-neighbourhoods. Each of them possesses a neighbourhood council....

Avignon
Avignon
Avignon is a French commune in southeastern France in the départment of the Vaucluse bordered by the left bank of the Rhône river. Of the 94,787 inhabitants of the city on 1 January 2010, 12 000 live in the ancient town centre surrounded by its medieval ramparts.Often referred to as the...

Lucien Lazarides
Lucien Lazarides
Lucien Lazaridès was a French professional road bicycle racer. Lazaridès was born with Greek nationality, but became French in 1929. Lucien Lazaridès was an older brother of cyclist Apo Lazaridès. Lazaridès won the Dauphiné Libéré in 1949, and reached the podium of the Tour de France in 1951...

1952
1952 Tour de France
The 1952 Tour de France was the 39th Tour de France, taking place June 25 to July 19, 1952. It was composed of 23 stages over 4807 km, ridden at an average speed of 31.739 km/h. Newly introduced were the arrivals on mountain peaks....

14 1 Aix-en-Provence
Aix-en-Provence
Aix , or Aix-en-Provence to distinguish it from other cities built over hot springs, is a city-commune in southern France, some north of Marseille. It is in the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, in the département of Bouches-du-Rhône, of which it is a subprefecture. The population of Aix is...

Avignon
Avignon
Avignon is a French commune in southeastern France in the départment of the Vaucluse bordered by the left bank of the Rhône river. Of the 94,787 inhabitants of the city on 1 January 2010, 12 000 live in the ancient town centre surrounded by its medieval ramparts.Often referred to as the...

Jean Robic
Jean Robic
Jean Robic was a French road racing cyclist, who won the 1947 Tour de France. Robic was a professional cyclist from 1943 to 1961. His diminutive stature and appearance was encapsulated in the nickname the hobgoblin of the Brittany moor...

1955
1955 Tour de France
The 1955 Tour de France was the 42nd Tour de France, taking place from July 7 to July 30, 1955. It consisted of 22 stages over 4495 km, ridden at an average speed of 34.446 km/h....

11 1 Marseille
Marseille
Marseille , known in antiquity as Massalia , is the second largest city in France, after Paris, with a population of 852,395 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Marseille extends beyond the city limits with a population of over 1,420,000 on an area of...

Avignon
Avignon
Avignon is a French commune in southeastern France in the départment of the Vaucluse bordered by the left bank of the Rhône river. Of the 94,787 inhabitants of the city on 1 January 2010, 12 000 live in the ancient town centre surrounded by its medieval ramparts.Often referred to as the...

Louison Bobet
Louison Bobet
Louis 'Louison' Bobet was a French professional road racing cyclist. He was the first great French rider of the post-war period and the first rider to win the Tour de France in three successive years, from 1953 to 1955...

1967
1967 Tour de France
The 1967 Tour de France was the 54th Tour de France, taking place June 29 to July 23, 1967. It consisted of 22 stages over 4780 km, ridden at 35.018 km/h...

13 1 Marseille
Marseille
Marseille , known in antiquity as Massalia , is the second largest city in France, after Paris, with a population of 852,395 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Marseille extends beyond the city limits with a population of over 1,420,000 on an area of...

Carpentras
Carpentras
Carpentras is a commune in the Vaucluse department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.It stands on the banks of the Auzon...

Julio Jiménez
Julio Jimenez
Julio Jiménez Muñoz is a Spanish former professional road racing cyclist. Known as a climbing specialist, he captured six King of the Mountains jerseys at the Grand Tours...

1974
1974 Tour de France
The 1974 Tour de France was the 61st Tour de France, taking place June 27 to July 21, 1974. It consisted of 22 stages over 4098 km, ridden at an average speed of 35.241 km/h...

12 1 Savines-le-Lac
Savines-le-Lac
Savines-le-Lac is a commune in the Hautes-Alpes department in southeastern France.-Population:-References:*...

Orange
Orange, Vaucluse
Orange is a commune in the Vaucluse department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.It has a primarily agricultural economy...

Gonzalo Aja
Gonzalo Aja
Gonzalo Aja Barquín was a Spanish professional road bicycle racer. In the 1974 Tour de France, Aja was the first cyclist on the Col du Tourmalet and the Mont Ventoux, and finished on the 5th place of the general classification.- Palmarès :19711974- External links :*...

1994
1994 Tour de France
The 1994 Tour de France was the 81st Tour de France and included two stages in England , Stage 4, Dover to Brighton and Stage 5, around Portsmouth. It took place July 2 to July 24, 1994...

15 HC
Hors Categorie
Hors catégorie is a French term used in cycle races to designate a climb that is "beyond categorization", an incredibly tough climb. Most climbs in cycling are designated from Category 1 to Category 4 , based on both steepness and length...

Montpellier
Montpellier
-Neighbourhoods:Since 2001, Montpellier has been divided into seven official neighbourhoods, themselves divided into sub-neighbourhoods. Each of them possesses a neighbourhood council....

Carpentras
Carpentras
Carpentras is a commune in the Vaucluse department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.It stands on the banks of the Auzon...

Eros Poli
Eros Poli
Eros Poli is an Italian former professional racing cyclist of the 1990s, notably employed as Mario Cipollini's lead-out man in bunch sprints....


In 1951, the approach to the summit was from Malaucène
Malaucène
Malaucène is a commune in the Vaucluse department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.-Geography:Malaucène is a typical provençal village located in Provence at the foot of Mont Ventoux.-Sights:...

. In all other years, the approach has been from Bédoin
Bédoin
Bédoin is a commune in the Vaucluse department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.-Geography:Located at the base of Mont Ventoux, it is the starting point of one of the three routes to the summit of the mountain .-Sights:Bédoin contains a large Spanish-style church,...


The climb from Bédoin to the Mont Ventoux


The climb by bike from Bédoin
Bédoin
Bédoin is a commune in the Vaucluse department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.-Geography:Located at the base of Mont Ventoux, it is the starting point of one of the three routes to the summit of the mountain .-Sights:Bédoin contains a large Spanish-style church,...

 to Mont Ventoux is one of the toughest in professional cycling. Every climb has its own unique particulars. To get a detailed impression of this climb, the route has been measured accurately.

The figure for the average gradients per kilometre can be found in many books and websites on cycling. The average gradient of the total climb and also the average gradients per kilometre differ slightly, depending on the source of the information. Accurate measurements result in an average gradient for the total climb of 7.43%, based on a horizontal distance of 21765 metres and an ascent height of 1617 metres. The actual distance ridden is 21825 metres.

The average gradients per kilometre are as follows:
Kilometre Average gradient Kilometre Average gradient
1 1.9 % 12 10.1 %
2 2.8 % 13 9.2 %
3 3.8 % 14 9.4 %
4 5.8 % 15 8.8 %
5 5.6 % 16 6.9 %
6 3.1 % 17 6.6 %
7 8.6 % 18 6.8 %
8 9.4 % 19 7.4 %
9 10.5 % 20 8.3 %
10 10.1 % 21 9.1 %
11 9.3 % 22 10.0 %

Skiing


There is a small skiing facility on the northern face of Mont Ventoux. High winds and the modest elevation tend to limit the amount of time when this is open to the public.

See also

  • List of highest paved roads in Europe
  • List of mountain passes

External links