Guide to the Climb from Sault
Cycling Mont Ventoux from Sault is not the most famous route up Ventoux but it's arguably the easiest and most beautiful. The Mont Ventoux climb is incredibly famous and is on the top of most cyclist's bucket list rides. It has a rich history and has been conquered by some of the most famous cyclists in the world. It's located in the Provence region of southern France and towers above anything else in the area at 1909m. It is considered part of the Alps, but because it stands so tall, it is known as the only mountain in the Luberon range. If you are looking for an incredible cycling holiday, Mont Ventoux should definitely be considered.
Mont Ventoux Routes
The most famous Mont Ventoux route is the ascent from Bedoin. That is the climb that is most revered and you can read all about that here. Alternatively, you can read about the climb of Ventoux from Malaucene here. If you fancy checking out the best way to ride the climb from Avignon, you can find that here.
This article will give you all the information you need to know about cycling Mont Ventoux from Sault.
The Route from Sault
The Sault Mont Ventoux route starts from the town of Sault, in the heart of the Luberon, surrounded by lavender and sunflower fields. The town of Sault is east of the mountain and it tends to be the quietest route up Mont Ventoux, simply because it's further away from the main towns of Carpentras and of course Bedoin. It is 24.4km long, climbing 1205 of ascent, with an average gradient of 4.9%. The eastern ascent of Ventoux is the longest but it's arguably the easiest (easiest not easy!) as the gradient is diluted by the fact that the climb is a few kilometres longer than both the route up Ventoux from both Bedoin and Malaucene. We also personally think this route up Mont Ventoux is the most beautiful.
Sault is a very beautiful place and full of incredible architecture. If you like lavender fields and village life, there's a good chance of falling in love with this place. If your trip falls on the 15th of August, they have an incredible lavender festival here which brings all the locals together, and people flock from all over to enjoy the games and competitions they put on all about lavender. As beautiful as it is here, you will want to get on your travels to the Mont Ventoux from Sault. Ensure you have enough food and water when you leave, as there are little to no places for resupply.
Cycling Mont Ventoux from Sault will take you up just shy of 1,200m, and you're going to really enjoy this. The views are incredible, and the road is nice and quiet. You will see an everchanging landscape where the green starts to fade, and you start to see the harshness of this incredible mountain. You have about 20km of climbing before joining the route from Bedoin to Ventoux. In this section, the gradient on average is about 6% but can bite you all the way up to 10% at points while heading up. When you join the road which comes from Bedoin, it starts getting tougher, the gradients are steeper, and the altitude is higher.
We recommend keeping your edge about you as the wind speeds can pick up a little once you are up to Chalet Reynard as past the cafe is where the lunar landscape really appears. It's also where the climate really changes as the protection from the forest has been lost and winds can batter riders as they try and complete the last 6km of the climb.
If you have the time to stop at the Tom Simpson memorial, this is always a reminder of the toughness of this challenge and the legend of the rider. One thing you will experience here is the epic views of the lunar landscape region around you as you tower over everything. Here you will see the weather station and just round the bend is a small cafe if you want a coffee at the top.
It's now time to make your way back down, and you are going to come back on yourself here, riding back down to Sault. The descent is incredible, passing Chalet Reynard, but we highly recommend taking it cautiously as you can easily pick up a lot of speed.
Length - 24.4km
Climbing - 1,150m
Average Gradient - 4.5%
Toughest Gradient - 13%
Tips for riding Ventoux
Ventoux is not an easy climb, and it can easily get the better of even the best cyclists, so here are our top tips for tackling the mountain.
We highly recommend doing a bit of training before going to Ventoux from Sault. It's a challenging ride and can easily get the better of a very experienced cyclist. Some training on local hills will go a long way.
One thing that Ventoux is known for is the strong winds that can come from the top. You are going to want to be very cautious and go on a day when the weather is nice. Starting early in the morning to avoid the heat from the day will also help your ride. If you want to know a little more about cycling Mont Ventoux in October, you can read our guide here.
Food and Drink
There's not a huge amount of resupply in the mountains, and you can never count on everything being open, so we recommend carrying plenty of food and water to keep you fuelled.
Pace and equipment
Finding pace helps alpine climbing. Using a heart rate monitor or power meter will really help you avoid digging too deep. This also stops you going to crazy on a false flat. Using the right bike will go a long way too. A road bike instead of a Mountain bike should be on the menu Mont Ventoux.
Although it is challenging, don't forget to enjoy the climb and relish in its rich history. Having a cycling holiday at Mont Ventoux is incredible and must be enjoyed as much as possible. If you enjoyed this route the Gorges de la Nesque is also an excellent cycling route. Making a family holiday out of the trip is a great idea as there's a lot to do in the area.