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Mont Ventoux

   Mont Ventoux, the 'Giant of Provence', an icon amongst icons. It stands alone, dominating everything for miles around. Noted also for the very high winds experienced near the summit (320kmph has been recorded). 

   The classic and most difficult climb is from Bedoin. From Bedoin, the climb measures 21.4km with 1630m ascent to given average of 7.5% gradient. The first 6km however are only 3.9% which means the remaining 16km average 8.9% with no let up and that's what makes Ventoux such a revered climb.

   Over the years the 'giant' has been the scene of many a drama. Probably the most remembered and most sad being the death of Tommy Simpson in 1967 from heat exhaustion mixed with amphetamines and alcohol. His memorial is around 1km from the summit. 

   The fastest ascent ever recorded is Iban Mayo in 2004 with a time of 55 mins and 51 seconds. The record for the maximum number of ascents in 24 hours stands at an incredible 11. Even so, just to climb it once is a justifiable achievement and a fitting end to our tour.

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