Mont Ventoux, France
400kms ❖ 7,300m ❖ 5 Nights/6 Days ❖ from 2,198€pp.
Mont Ventoux is a huge magnet for cyclists worldwide. Roughly a thousand people cycle the "Beast of Provence” every day during the summer. We stay at the foot of the mountain for two or three nights (you decide this during our pre trip conversations). After riding Ventoux you will want more time to explore the stunning surrounding area which seems to have been built for cycling. You will want to come back and do it again. Each time TTT brings guests here we are constantly blown away by the quality of the riding. Ride Ventoux once … you will never regret it.
Ride Difficulty 6-8/10: The Ventoux week can be described as moderate to tough, depending on your climbing fitness. Without Ventoux the week is really moderate, with Ventoux … take a guess. But in any case our support van is nearby.
Day 1: Meet your guide at Avignon TGV station for your 45 minute transfer to your hotel in Cabrières d’Avignon. After a quick bike and safety session we are off to the Fountaine de Vaucluse and L’Isle sur la Sorgue. Time permitting we have a hillier and longer optional ride. 30 - 100kms
Day 2: Fantastic ride to Gordes then up and over the Plateau de Vaucluse via the Col de Murs. Free-wheel down one of two superb gorges one of which was re-paved in 2016 for the Tour, yes, that Tour. Then on to a great lunch in Venasque, and Bédoin via a rolling route. Today is kept shorter seeing as there is a lot of hill work coming. But if you want an extension, there is one. 60 - 80kms
Day 3: One word; Ventoux.
The climb; 21.8k long with an average grade of 7.4% over the three distinct sections. Sounds easy but the second section when you enter the forest is very tough. It averages 9.3% for 9k. Once you reach Chalet Reynard your work load is at least "on paper" lighter for the last section. Hah! The road averages only 7.4% to the summit, but as if by design the wind usually picks up. The last 500m average 11% with the very last hairpin turn that's got to be around 20%!
Once at the top you have two choices for the descent; Malaucene (21k) or downhill to Sault (28k) and our secret Gorge. Either one is well worth it, but we prefer the Sault descent, for one BIG reason ... please refer to top photo if you need more convincing.
As a general rule Sault is less windy than the Malaucene side and not as steep, so you can pedal through all the gentle curves for 28k. This road was repaved 4 years ago and it’s amazing! How can today possibly get any better?
Well … 21k of more downhill in the Gorge de la Nesque is how. Best day on a bike … ever? 90+kms
Massages available in our hotel from Roger, a former soigneur for a pro team in THE Tour. Quite the day.
Fyi ... The men's record is 8 Ventoux summits in one 24 hour period!
The Ventoux summit record (from Bedoin) is 55 minutes 55 seconds. Right.
Day 4: Day off if you wish or Ventoux again and down the Malaucene side. Lunch in Malaucene then off to ride the Suzette back to your hotel. You won’t believe the Suzette! No cars, only rolling roads and vineyards, and to say that it is very scenic is not doing it justice. Or ... the Gorge de la Nesque in reverse! 0 - 35 - 90kms
Day 5: We have two thoughts for the ride today. Circumnavigate Ventoux (100k+) and spend another night in Bédoin or ride 90 k and spend the night in Lourmarin. You decide during our pre trip conversations. Most groups prefer heading to Lourmarin as there is one of the top Provençal markets every Friday morning if your timing works.
... And it must be said that the ride from Bédoin to Lourmarin is probably the ride of the week, apart from Ventoux. Stops include Roussillon, Bonnieux and a glass of Rosé at the Coquillade.
90 - 100+kms
Day 6: Trip end and 11h00 transfer from Bedoin or Lourmarin to Aix TGV, Marseille Airport or Avignon TGV.
Optional Day 6: Lourmarin Loop ride (if you have chosen extra nights). One of the most beautiful rolling loops we have ever seen or you can have a relaxing day. The long option will blow you away! We forgot to mention that there are no cars today either. ;-)
Optional Day 7: Trip end in Lourmarin. 11h00 Transfer to Aix TGV, Marseille Airport or Avignon TGV.
Optional Day 8 - If you have chosen to ride and extra day with TTT, we have a lovely route to Aix en Provence. Three little bumps to pedal up and over, then a superb downhill all the way to your hotel in Aix centre. It's amazing how the landscape changes on today's ride. Say goodbye to your two-wheeled aluminium (or Carbon) friend in Aix and sip a cool crisp rosé in the centre of town with about 10,000 students doing the same. Upon your arrival in Aix, your Tour de Provence with TTT c'est fini. 38 -70kms