Cycle Mont Ventoux – We’ll Be With You Right To The Top
On every self-respecting cyclist’s Bucket List, Mont Ventoux is a must if you are in the area. We know the ‘Giant of Provence’ intimately and we’d be happy to assist you with a supported ride up this epic climb. Prices depend on needs/number of riders, but as an example, a fully-supported climb for two riders starts at €125 per person.
For the ultimate one-day cycling challenge, join the exclusive Ventoux Triple club by climbing Le Geant from all three sides. We will be with you every pedal stroke of the way – €225 per person (for two riders).
- Pick-up /drop-off at local hotel (if needed)
- Vehicle support on climb
- Expert advice / overview of climb
- Nutrition and water
- Lots of great photos to take back home with you
- Transportation to Mont Ventoux
*If you are in the area for a few days we have a fantastic 2 or 3 day cycling package, centered around a Ventoux climb, with 1 or 2 guided rides in Provence to round off a perfect long weekend! Check out our Ventoux BreakAway Tour page for more details.
Your Ventoux Ascent
We’ll pick you up right after breakfast at your hotel and either warm up with a ride to the start of the climb, or transport you and your bike there. After a ’briefing’ on what to expect on your climb, you’ll hit the road.
44|5 will be waiting every few kilometers on the climb to offer support, encouragement, water and food. After a successful climb, we’ll be at the summit with warm clothes for the descent, and of course, a few photos at that famous sign!
After descending the mountain, you’ll either ride back to your hotel, or we’ll transport you and your bike.
The Three Routes
Most of us know the climb because of the Tour de France, and therefore we know the climb that starts in Bédoin. However, there are 3 routes up Le Geant de Provence and each one is special.
If you want to make sure you are riding in the pedal strokes of legends then this is your route. The most popular route by far is from Bédoin, a lively village on the southern side of the mountain. This is also a good place to stay if you are in the area for riding since the atmosphere is buzzing with riders all day long. The climb starts as the D974 turns out of the village to the east. You cannot miss the way to the summit- there are plenty of signs pointing you toward it. After you turn, start your computer. The climb is on.
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! Don’t worry too much, though. If you have the time there are plenty of shady spots to stop and rest, many with picnic tables.
At Chalet Reynard you can take a rest, If you think you deserve it, then push on for the final attack on the summit. 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, but it can be ferociously windy at times (especially before the Col des Tempêtes, 800 meters before the summit), plus Ventoux saves the best for last, and the final 1 km is at, or just under, 10%.
Malaucène, much like its southern sister, Bédoin, is a most enjoyable town with a vibrant feel to it from spring to fall. To get to the top you take the D974, just like from Bédoin. After a gentle first 2 kilometers you pass a campground on the right, cross a little brook, turn right and begin the fun! 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. There are long sections on this climb of 12% as well, and one long unforgettable steep straight that seems to never end.
Around 6 km before the summit you reach Chalet Liotard, with it’s great views over the Southern Alps (the views are generally better on the north side), then a hard right-hander takes you onto the road again for your final push. With only a couple km left you exit the trees and see your goal, along with the steep hairpins you need to negotiate to get there. This can either be incredibly motivating or unbelievably demoralizing. We’ve felt both, so much depends on the kind of day you’re having.
The route from Malaucène has a good number of riders at all times of the season, but it is far less crowded than the southern side. If you’d like the road a bit more to yourself, choose this one.
The forgotten third road up the mountain is the most serene. For those who may not want to try the other two, for whatever reason, Sault offers something of a ‘Ventoux-Lite’ experience, at least for the first 20 km. This route is the longest, at 26 km, but the first several of those are through the beautiful lavender fields of the Albion Plateau, below the pretty village of Sault. This is one our favorite areas in all of France, especially when the lavender is in bloom (early to mid summer). Note: in 2013 the entire road was re-paved and this climb/descent is like riding on a billiard table now!
Once you make your way out of the valley on its western side you start into the forested flanks of the mountain. It’s an easy climb and a very pleasant ride. Enjoy it because when you get to Chalet Reynard (meeting the climb from Bédoin), you have the same tough 6 km to get up as those attempting the first route above.
No matter which route up you choose, you will end up here, 1912 meters up – and that’s something you’ll never forget.