Tour de France 2014 – Stage 6

Cinglé du Mont Ventoux

As we didn’t arrive in Bédoin before 21:00 yesterday, we were lucky to get a bite at the Italian restaurant after we settled into our room.

It was almost midnight by the time we went to bed.

Smart people undertaking the ‘Cinglé du Mont Ventoux’ effort, will tuck in early and get on their bike at the break of dawn…

However, the hotel owner was not going to serve breakfast before 8:30 anyway – no exceptions, because that privilege was reserved for the Saturday, when large crowds of Belgian cyclists would occupy the Ventoux for their equivalent to our Alpe d’HuZes.

So, as I did not want to start on an empty stomach, which would be suicide anyway, I still got sufficient sleep…

All in all, I didn’t get on zee baik until just before 10:00. I anticipated that every climb up the Ventoux would require about two hours and with more time in between to grab a bite and rest a bit, I would be done with my three ascents of the Mont Ventoux around 19:00.

It would probably have been better not to cycle between 12:30 and 15:00 (or so), but having started so late, I didn’t have a choice.

Tour de France 2014 - Stage 6 Cinglé du Mont Ventoux: close to the summit of the Malaucène ascend

This made the second climb from Malaucène the hardest of the three; it has less – next to none – shady stretches and there are some steep kilometers (from 11 to 8) that are quite hard under the blistering sun.

The first 16 to 17 kilometers of the ascend from Sault are overall indeed by far the easiest, although since it was the third climb of the day, it was by no means a freebie.

Anyway, I made it up that one too, the last 7 kilometers – which are the same as the Bédoin ascend – being extra hard on account of the wind reaching dangerously high speeds.

Upon arrival at the near deserted summit around 8pm, we shot a picture, I quickly changed into warm(er) gear and started the descend back to Bédoin.

And a rather treacherous descend too because of the strong (cross) winds, not getting any easier when I reached the forest and the setting sun was blinding me through the leaves…

We visited the same restaurant as yesterday again for a good ‘post Cinglé du Mont Ventoux’ dinner – I’m proud of the achievement, obviously, but the more sane thing to do, would be to plan this as a complete trip in itself, rather than as a side event.

I missed the chance to enjoy and cycle more of the area, for instance through the Gorges de la Nesque…

Trip: 137.3 km / 4,283 m elevation gain (Garmin).

The Cingle registration form

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