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Cyclist 100 Classic Climbs: Number 2

In-depth
5 May 2020
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2 Mont Ventoux, Provence, France (21.4km, 7.5%)

The Giant of Provence is a mountain of tragedy and triumph and worthy of its spot in the Cyclist 100 Classic Climbs

Words Joe Robinson Photography Juan Trujillo Andrades/George Marshall

A mountain of tragedy, a mountain of triumph. Mont Ventoux has seen the best of cycling and the worst of cycling.

Coined the ‘Bald Mountain’ because of its lunar-like rocky peak, Ventoux’s 1,997m summit dominates the surrounding Provence countryside. It can be seen from miles away and acts as a daunting warning for any cyclist about to tackle its slopes.

Starting in Bedoin, you’re lulled into a false sense of security as you tackle the first 5km at good speed. Then you hit the forest, the climb’s steepest slopes, and it becomes a battle of mind and body for the next 10km to Chalet Raynard.

From here the moonscape reveals itself and the wind swirls to give assistance or sometimes resistance. Slowly you creep upwards, past the Tom Simpson memorial and eventually to the observatory at the summit.

It seems like every time the Tour de France has visited the slopes of this giant, legends have been made: Charly Gaul’s record-breaking climb in 1958; the death of Simpson in 1967; Pantani vs Armstrong in 2000. More recently, one man’s experiences on the mountain have best typified its drama.

In 2013 we saw the best of Chris Froome. Riding his way to a first Tour de France victory, it was on the slopes of Ventoux that he slayed Alberto Contador and Nairo Quintana with one vicious attack that propelled him ever closer to that yellow jersey.

Returning in 2016, Froome was the centre of attention again. High winds had forced organisers to bring the finish line down the mountain to Chalet Reynard at the last minute. With it came the crowds of fans, and where there was space for one fan, now stood three.

In the crush, the inevitable happened. A motorbike couldn’t get through the crowd and when it stopped suddenly Richie Porte crashed into the back of it, bringing down Froome and Bauke Mollema.

In the resulting chaos, we were treated to one of the strangest sights in the history of the pro sport: Chris Froome, without a bike, running up the slopes of Mont Ventoux.

See the ultimate Mont Ventoux route on Komoot

Ride the Cyclist 100 Classic Climbs with Komoot

Cyclist has teamed up with its good friends at Komoot to give you the ultimate route for each and every climb in the list.

If you are new to Komoot, it is offering a free regional bundle (worth £8.99). Simply follow this link to Komoot.com and create your free account today.

Alternatively, head to Komoot and enter the voucher code CYCLIST100. Valid until 31.07.2020.

The Cyclist 100 Classic Climbs

Introducing the Cyclist 100 Classic Climbs  
Cyclist 100 Classic Climbs: 100 - 91  
Cyclist 100 Classic Climbs: 90 - 81  
Cyclist 100 Classic Climbs: 80 - 71  
Cyclist 100 Classic Climbs: 70 - 61  
Cyclist 100 Classic Climbs: 60 - 51  
Cyclist 100 Classic Climbs: 50 - 41  
Cyclist 100 Classic Climbs: 40 - 31  
Cyclist 100 Classic Climbs: 30 - 21  
Cyclist 100 Classic Climbs: 20 - 11  
Cyclist 100 Classic Climbs: 10 - 4  
Cyclist 100 Classic Climbs: Number 3  
Cyclist 100 Classic Climbs: Number 2  
Cyclist 100 Classic Climbs: Number 1  

Mont Ventoux
Mont Ventoux
Mont Ventoux
Mont Ventoux