CHALLENGE 22

Cycling Mont Ventoux - Bedoin route - 24.06.19

I was lucky enough to cycle up the Stelvio Pass (officially the third highest mountain in the Alps at 2,757m) in August 2016 with my family. It was a hot day but after passing more than 40 odd hairpin bends mixed with the lack of air the higher we got, we made it to the top. It definitely took us far much longer than the pro cyclists, who cycle up the mountain in the Giro. But we had done it, we had ridden up a mountain that the pros compete on, ok, with far less grace, speed and style but who cares!

Having cycled up a mountain that has featured in many of the Giro stages throughout the years, gave me the idea of cycling up two more mountains to complete a mountain for each Grand Tour!

That’s why challenge 22, will see my dad and I cycle up Mont Ventoux at the end of June! Ventoux has featured in the Tour de France 16 times and is steeped in cycling history. It’s definitely a ride that’s on the ‘top ride’ list for many.

Both my dad and sister have climbed Ventoux before, so I’ve heard all about it. In terms of the route, it’ll of course be the Bedoin route, the pro route. This route is 21.3km long, it climbs 1,579m, its average gradient is 7.4% and max gradient is 9.27%. Pros can do this route in about an hour?! I may be adding at least another five hours to that, but if I can just get to the top, I’ll be happy!

Another challenge is to descend the mountain. I am petrified of going down hill on my bike and I refused to cycle down Stelvio, so this really is scaring me!

I’ll also make sure to pay my respects at the Tom Simpson memorial, a few kms from the summit.

My bike is going in for a service this week to make sure its in the best condition it can be before we head out to France. As always, I’ll be documenting the climb somehow. Fingers crossed for good weather, both at the bottom and top. I cannot wait, Ventoux, we’re coming for you!

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