An unexpected invitation to spend a week in Provence at Mont Ventoux ,staying at amazing villa near Vaison La Romaine, came to us. The most amazing villa in Provence: La verriere. We accepted immediately, of course. My husband rider mate Marco (Cicloposse founder), a strong cyclist, started to talk about the absolute “must do climb” – He convinced me that I could face it. We arranged a tour that included the epic climbs of France: French alps + Monte Ventoux, but at the end of the day I am the back office person and I ride for fun and keep my shape. Let’s go. We arrived in beautiful Provence the day before to meet friends . We went to Mazan – strategic little village with a nice chateau hotel (I needed a comfortable bed to sleep before the big day) 12km far away from Bedoin with very gentle terrain very good for a previous warm up. We woke up and it was a beautiful, sunny, warm day – no way to skip the plan! Ok I am ready: I dressed up with my best bike pants and all my pro clothes. My bike is not bad: carbon fiber, Durace groupset, compact 20 speed with big cog in the back that should help. “ Andiamo” Once in Bedoin through a scenery secondary road we started the epic climb. For 5 km terrain was gentle but after that the steep part began a never-ending climb. As usual during long difficult climbs I wonder why am I doing this? Anyway I rode slow, using the lowest gear a lot. Marco encouraged and supported me all the time. The road is inside the forest for most of its length: Beautiful ! Many cyclists passed us!! We arrived at Chalet Reynard, 7 km to the top. My shoulders were paralyzed but I felt good, a quick stop, a coffee, an espresso a l’italien and here we go again! In my mind the most was done I was not prepared to face another steep part! At all times you can see the long for top but the climb is so exhausting and killing that again I wondered why! The scenery has changed completely: no more trees: the famous moonscape, often windswept. Pedalling in slow motion I reached the top! My once in a lifetime experience!
Altitude 1912 meters Lengths 21 km erage grade 7,22% Maximum grade 12% Other than this strenuous climb the cycling in Provence is fantastic, for a week we rode on rolling hills, discovering enchanting villages such as Suzette, Crillon Le-Brave, Beaumes-de-Venise. Great food & wine in special company, what else ask for a vacation?
Giuliana Mulas, March 2015