Make your way to Bedoin via plane or train. If you’re travelling as a group, arrive into Marseille airport and we will transfer you to Bedoin. If you’re on your own or a couple, it’s best to get the Eurostar to Paris and then the TGV to Avignon as your transfer will be cheaper. Once you arrive in Bedoin, spend some time getting to know the village. There are plenty of cafes serving delicious baked goods, typical French restaurants and medieval buildings. Check out the bike shop on the roundabout where you will collect your stamps so you don’t lose time on the first day trying to locate it.
Your trip is totally flexible so you can choose when and where you want to ride. As a warm up before tackling all 3 sides of Mont Ventoux in 1 day, we recommend riding Gorges de la Nesque. In doing this you will get a little bit of climbing in, as well as witnessing wonderful scenes over the Luberon in a more relaxed manner than when you try out the Cingles challenge. Spend some time on the plains and explore the lavender fields, olive groves and vineyards en route. The evening before the big day, eat a good meal full of carbohydrates and green veggies, then kick your feet up ready to wake up bright and early.
Today is the day you push yourself to the limits and tackle Mont Ventoux 3 times. It is important to note that you will need a stamp from Bedoin before you set out and when you return at the end of the day, as well as in Malaucene, Sault and ONE stamp at the summit. The time will also need to be written next to each stamp. Stamps can be collected from any bike shop, tourist office or some cafes in the 3 base villages. It doesn’t matter which order you cycle the 3 routes up, however we recommend Bedoin first, and Sault last, as it’s known as the easiest. Read the following sections for detailed descriptions on each route.
Because our cycling holidays are fully flexible, if you’d like to stick around Bedoin and ride additional routes, we can arrange extra nights accommodation. Alternatively, if the Club des Cingles challenge is accomplishment enough, check out from your hotel and we will transfer you back to Avignon train station or Marseille airport.
Before setting off, remember to stamp your ride card at the bike shop on the roundabout! Your first climb of the day can be split into 3 sections across 21.5km. The first section is a gentle gradient of around 4.5%, getting the legs warmed up as you arrive at Saint-Esteve. Lined with trees, the outlook is straight up, at an average of an unrelenting 10%, until you reach Chalet Reynard. From there, it is out of the forest and onto the barren lunar landscape. The Tom Simpson memorial is just 1.5km from the top and with a final switchback to the right, you will reach the first of your three Ventoux summits. Stamp your card, then head off in the direction of Malaucene, the base for climb 2.
Grab a croissant from the local bakery, and a stamp at the same time. Like the Bedoin route, a large chunk of the ride from Malaucene travels through pine forestry. Because the Malaucene route averages 7.2% across a total distance of 21.1km there are rarely gentle gradients, unlike the Bedoin route, meaning it’s difficult to get into a rhythm. About 15km into the Mt Ventoux climb, about 7km from the summit, you’ll come to the rustic, superbly located, Chalet Liotard. As you climb higher you get fantastic views throughout the ride and it’s also much quieter than the Bedoin route. Next up, the village of Sault for your final climb of Ventoux.
Stamp your card in the Sault tourist office, then psyche yourself up for the climb that will make you part of the legendary Club des Cingles. The climb from Sault is considered the “easiest” of the three routes to the summit. This route is 26 km in length with an average gradient of 4.6%. It provides a more gradual ascent of Mont Ventoux, taking you to the lavender fields of Sault for the start of the climb. Steadily rising at an average gradient of 4.4%, you will arrive at Chalet Reynard, where the Bedoin route crosses your path. Now, the steep barren landscape kicks in to the summit for 7km. Once at the summit, congratulate yourself, get a photo, then make the breezy descent to Bedoin for the last stamp.
Join the iconic Club des Cingles, and challenge yourself to cycling Mont Ventoux 3 times in 1 day from Bedoin, Malaucene and Sault. To experienced riders, Ventoux is a legendary climb. Its slopes have featured as a battleground throughout the Tour de France history. From Tom Simpson and Lance Armstrong to Chris Froome, all cycling aficionados have a Ventoux memory etched in to their consciousness. Now, you too can be part of Mont Ventoux’s thrilling history and experience the climb from all angles.