Haute Route Ventoux
Challenge Yourself on Le Geant de Provence
6 days / 5 nights
“The Ventoux is a god of Evil, to which sacrifices must be made. It never forgives weakness and extracts an unfair tribute of suffering.” – Roland Barthes, French philosopher
There are many ways for amateur cyclists to experience the glory of Mont Ventoux, but only one way for them to experience it like a pro: Haute Route Ventoux 2017. The newest installment in the Haute Route series of multi-day sportives, Haute Route Ventoux delivers all of the same high quality organization and service as existing events, but in a compact three-day racing format based in one location. Each stage will include one of the three different climbs to the summit.
44|5 Cycling Tours’ Haute Route Ventoux package will help ensure you make the most of your racing experience over the 270km of riding and 7,500 metres of climbing. The mountain and surrounding area have been our riding playground for the past 10 years, so we can share our expert knowledge of roads, weather and race strategies with you. We’ve ridden all three roads to the summit a countless number of times and know every bit of road you will be racing on in October.
Lodged in our provençal farmhouse, just minutes down the road from the start village of Bédoin, you’ll have all the necessary conveniences on hand. Large and comfortable rooms with en-suite showers and toilets, relaxing indoor and outdoor spaces, a swimming pool, and cyclist-friendly meals mean all you have to do is focus on the riding.
Our 5-night package allows you a little extra time to acclimate before the race, and then celebrate your achievements with the group after the last stage on Sunday night. Given the generally excellent weather in Provence in early October, some riders may even consider bringing non-riding spouses or friends, as our farmhouse is an excellent base from which to discover the heart of Provence.
As an Official Tour Operator of Haute Route Ventoux 2017, 44|5 Cycling Tours includes event entry fee in your tour package. However, if you have already purchased your entry from the organizers, you are still welcome on our tour!
Price with entry included: €1890.
Price if entry fee is already paid: €1195
- Haute Route Ventoux 2017 entry fee (value of €695)
- 44|5’s 10-year experience and expert knowledge of Mont Ventoux and the surrounding area
- 5 nights accommodation at our farmhouse
- Breakfasts, dinners split between on-site and local restaurants (geared toward performance cyclists and special dietary requirements).
- Secure bike storage room
- Cycling kit laundered (once)
- Arrival/departure transfers from Marseille Airport or Avignon train station, and all transfers during stay start/finish
- 44|5 Cycling Tours jersey
- Unlimited High5 bars, gels, sports powder + bottled water, and preferred salty/sugary snacks for feed stations
- 44|5 feed station in Official Feed Zone
- Mechanic on-call for emergency repairs at the end of each day
- Lunches (3 of which are included in your race entry)
- Alcoholic drinks and any food/drinks purchased outside of meals
- Insurance for guest and bike.
Wednesday, October 4: Arrival and transfer to farmhouse
Pickups at Marseille airport or Avignon train station in the late morning or early afternoon will ensure you have enough time to settle in, build your bike, and get to know each other. During our welcome dinner at a local restaurant, we’ll review the schedule for the upcoming days and share tips and strategies for a successful three days of racing.
Thursday, October 5: Race village visit and short ride
After a proper cyclist’s breakfast, we’ll spend the day making final preparations for tomorrow’s first stage. This will include a visit to the Race Village in Bédoin to pick up packages and bib numbers, a short “shake-out” spin for those who want, and perhaps even a van recce of Mont Ventoux. Following some “legs up” time, all you’ll have to do is walk downstairs for your first pre-race dinner.
Friday, October 6: Haute Route Ventoux: Stage 1 (110 km; xxxxm)
Let the challenge begin! During the next three days, you’ll be racing in the morning and recovering/relaxing at the farmhouse in the afternoons. Dinner will be served at the farmhouse tonight.
Saturday, October 7: Haute Route Ventoux: Stage 2 (140 km; xxxxm)
The challenge continues! You’ll be riding hard again today, but also ride smart. You need to conserve some energy for tomorrow’s time trial. Dinner will be served at the farmhouse tonight.
Sunday, October 8: Haute Route Ventoux: Stage 3 - Individual Time Trial (21.6 km; 1620 m)
The final challenge! It’s time to leave it all out on the road. That’s what a time trial is all about, especially on the last day of a stage race. Don’t worry, we’ll be there to carry you back to the farmhouse! Group celebratory dinner at a local restaurant.
Monday, October 9: Departure and transfer to airport or train station
Goodbyes will be exchanged over breakfast and one last French coffee shared before we transfer you to the airport or train station. Your legs will be tired and sore, but your cycling soul will be fulfilled and already yearning for the next challenge!
Our accommodation is an 18th century provençal farmhouse and wine estate that has been renovated with impeccable taste. Just a few kilometers from Bédoin, the start village of each stage, the auberge is surrounded by vineyards, offering stunning views of Mont Ventoux and the nearby Dentelles de Montmirail. It will provide a peaceful and comfortable environment for you to unwind and recuperate at the end of each day’s stage.
Non-riding spouses and friends will enjoy its central location from which to discover the best sites and activities in Provence. The farmhouse is located near Carpentras, with its famous market and fine selection of restaurants.
The climb starts as the D974 turns out of the village to the east. Follow the D974 for around 6 km, through the hamlets of Sainte-Colombe, Les Bruns and finally Sainte Estève, where your road makes a famous left hairpin and the climb really begins.
From here to Chalet Reynard, nearly 10 km away, the gradient almost never goes under 9%, and indeed stays closer to 10% for much of the way. It’s a relentless grind that will quickly let you know whether you’ve come to the mountain prepared or not! At Chalet Reynard the road flattens for 100m or so before the final attack on the summit begins.
You are now above the trees and the bald, rocky peak is visible for much of the 6 km you have left. The gradient is a little less forgiving, and the long turns provide some relief, but it can be ferociously windy at times especially before the Col des Tempêtes, 800 meters before the summit. Be warned, Ventoux saves the best for last, and the final 1 km is about 10% on average.
From Malaucène, the climb starts at the junction of the D938 (avenue de Verdun) and the D974 which form a “T” intersection with a bakery on your right. This climb is not nearly as steady as the southern route, which means you get more breaks from the non-stop steepness of the Bédoin climb, but it also means it’s a little more difficult to get into a steady pace because the gradients change up and down.
After a gentle first 2 kms the road turns to the right and the fun really begins! You get your first taste of 7-10% for the next couple of kilometers, but your burning legs soon get a nice reprieve as the road flattens to a more reasonable percentage (3-5%) for the next 3 kms.
At km 9 the real work begins. There are long sections of 12% and one or two unforgettable steep straight-aways that seem to never end. Some 4.5 kms later, another flattish section of 1.5 kms brings you to Chalet Liotard, with its great views over the Southern Alps. Be sure to take advantage and recover a bit, because the next hard right-hander takes you back to the steep slopes for the final 6 kms push.
With only a couple of kms remaining, you exit the trees and see your goal, along with the steep hairpins you need to negotiate to get there. The gradient is relatively stable and averages about 8% the rest of the way to the top.
This is the longest route up Mont Ventoux at 26 kms, but also the easiest at an overall average of 4.5% and 1152m of climbing. The first several kms wind their way through the beautiful lavender fields of the Albion Plateau, looking down on the pretty village of Sault.
Once you’ve made your way out of the Sault valley you start into the forested flanks of the mountain. This isn’t like the forest on the Bédoin side. It’s actually quite manageable with gradients between 4-7%. Also, at this point you’ll notice that the pavement is in great shape for both the climb and descent, as the road was entirely resurfaced in 2013.
After 12 kms, you can really start to pick up steam as you reach a false flat that runs for 7 kms and rarely tops 3% all the way up to Chalet Reynard. The roads from Sault and Bédoin meet at the Chalet, so once again you find yourself facing the same tough 6 kms climb to the summit as described in the Bédoin route above.