Climb one of the Tour de France's most iconic mountains
Start Sault, right at the foot of Mont Ventoux. After time to check bikes and make any final adjustments, we will head out for a short warm up ride south west from Sault through the Provencal countryside around Monieux. That evening there will be a welcome meeting with your leader and the opportunity to discuss the route in more detail. Cycle approx. 38km with 520m ascent *Comfortable hotel*
Today we head to the iconic Mont Ventoux! Our ride starts with a great descent that winds itself through the magnificent Gorges de la Nesque. This is a lovely ride in its own right, but only the start of today's excitement. Arriving in Bedoin we can stop for a coffee break before starting the climb up Mont Ventoux (1912m) by the most famous Tour de France route. It is certainly a challenge as the road climbs for 21.5km at an average of 7.5% to the summit. The final 5km are tough with pitches as steep as 10.7 %, you'll have earnt a celebratory drink by the top! A scenic 30km descent takes us back to Sault, probably for another celebratory drink.
After breakfast we set out on the bikes to take on Ventoux for the second time, but this time via the less ridden and equally beautiful ascent from Malaucene. The first part of our ride is mainly downhill as we follow a lovely balcony road in the foot hills of Ventoux before arriving in the town of Malaucene, here we can stop for a coffee and snack break before starting the climb up Ventoux. The ascent form this side has an average gradient of 7.2% and rises 1535m over the 21.2km, making it in theory a little easier than yesterday’s ride. From the summit we have a brilliant 35km of downhill all the way back to the hotel in Sault.
For the final day of the tour we have the option to head out on a short ride before the airport transfer. Our ride follows a road to the south of the Nesque gorges through small traditional towns like Saint-Jean and Methamis before turning and climbing up the Nesque Gorge road back to Sault. This climb is 19.7km long with a total elevation of 444m at an average gradient of 2.3% making it a perfect climb after two tough days on the bike. Once back at the hotel there will be time to pack bags and any bikes brought from home before the tour ends here.
* 3 days cycling (including 2 half day rides) with partial vehicle support (limited seats) * 100% tarmac roads * Climbs are long and steady (average 7%) * Group normally 6 to 16, plus leader in support vehicle. * 3 nights in a charming family-run hotel
All breakfasts are included. Lunch and evening meals are at your own expense. For breakfast you can expect a large buffet with eggs, meat, bread, yoghurt, cereals, jam and of course, croissants. Tea and coffee is available throughout the day in the hotel restaurant. Lunches and dinners are not included, giving you the flexibility to select your own diet and the option to try more items on the menu. There are some great bars and restaurants in the town offering superb local dishes and the hotel restaurant is also superb, with a varied menu and popular bar attracting friendly locals for a drink. We suggest that you budget around £20 - £30 per day for an evening meal including drinks. For lunch you can either stop in cafes or restaurants or (weather dependant) have the guide set up a picnic on route; we recommend budgeting between £5-15 per day for lunches. We also recommend that you budget another £5 per day for coffee / cake stops whilst out riding. We recommend that you bring your favourite energy bars/products with you as there are limited options available locally.
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