Tour de France Bike Tour Overview

The Tour de France is returning to Mont Ventoux for the first time since 2016 and we will be here to guide any of you that can get to us. The added bonus is that the ride program is on us. After a year of not being able to travel, we are embracing the easing of travel restrictions in France by celebrating on our bikes once more. If you can get to us we would love to host you.

Our 3-day ride program is designed to provide a cycling experience of not just Mont Ventoux but the surrounding area of Vaucluse as well. It is an area we know very well since our European logistics base has been based here for the last 5 years.

The Ride Program will be hosted by our Mont Ventoux Cycling Club with the ride program below. Please note that places are limited so you need to register with us beforehand to confirm your spot

Tour de France Explore Ride Program


Tuesday, July 6thMont Ventoux Loop Ride

We will ride one of our favorite loops that takes in the Gorges de la Nesque – Ventoux ascent from Sault – Ventoux descent to Malaucene – Return to Mormoiron via the Col de Madeleine. We scouted it last week and the route can be seen below. For any riders looking for something a little less arduous we’ll also be running an out and back ride up the Gorges from Mormoiron which works out at about 52km with 600 meters of climbing.

> Meeting details : We’ll meet at the Mont Ventoux Cycling Club in the Place du Clos in the centre of Mormoiron at 0830. The club is next to the Credit Agricole bank and the Pharmacie Dumoulin.
> Lunch: We plan to have lunch in Malaucene before riding back to Mormoiron
> Dinner: We have a table booked at one of our favourite restaurants in the area – La Ferme de Pezet

Wednesday, July 7th – Tour de France Day

The Tour is coming back in style with not one, but two ascents of our local hill. It promises to be an amazing race and we plan to be on the mountain to watch it with you. Our plan is to get the Ride and Seek van and supplies up on the mountain a few days before to snag a good spot. Ride wise we will take on Ventoux by bike on the morning of the race from the famed Bedoin side of the mountain – they will close the roads at midday according to the schedule. We’ll then spend the afternoon soaking up the Tour vibe before heading back to base in Mormoiron via Bedoin once more.

> Meeting details : We’ll meet at the Mont Ventoux Cycling Club in the Place du Clos in the centre of Mormoiron at 0800. The club is next to the Credit Agricole bank and the Pharmacie Dumoulin.
> Lunch: We’ll indulge in one of our famed Ride and Seek picnics on the ‘hill’ accompanied by the finest Provencal Rose’ wine 🙂
> Dinner: We’ve booked a table at the lovely Le Flandrien restaurant in Bedoin this evening

Thursday, July 8th – Gorges de la Nesque Time Trial

 This road is our self-proclaimed soul ride and we look forward to riding it with you. The idea is to ride a part of it as an individual time-trial as a test run for an event that we are running next year. We’d love you to join us on the inaugural ride. Of course, if you would like to ride it as a soul ride then of course that is also an option. Either way we look forward to introducing you to the wild boars at the top of the climb (734 metres).

> Meeting details : We’ll meet at the Mont Ventoux Cycling Club in the Place du Clos in the centre of Mormoiron at 0830. The club is next to the Credit Agricole bank and the Pharmacie Dumoulin.
> Lunch: We plan to have lunch back in Mormoiron at our local bar – Bar de la Liberte’
> Dinner: Back at our base and home for a final celebratory meal

 

 

 



Team Members on this Tour

Dylan Reynolds
Megan Lindsay



Tour de France Bike Tour Highlights

> Take on one of the most iconic rides in the cycling folklore – Mont Ventoux
> Enjoy the hospitality extended at our base in Provence
> Indulge in the fine wines of the Ventoux region
> Let us introduce you to the cycling around Mont Ventoux – you’ll be amazed at what is on offer
> Savour the delights of the Provençal gastronomy with meals at local restaurants and our base itself
> Take on the guides at petanque on our new pitch – pastis is customary
> Savour the sight and scents of lavender that are in bloom in July

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Tour de France Explore Dates & Prices 2021

Tour Start Date End Date Days Cost
Tour de France (Ventoux) Explore 5th June 8th July 3 days FREE

Supplements

The Tour de France Explore is a ride program with a focus on the Grand Boucle coming to our local hill Mont Ventoux. It is an opportunity for us to showcase our local area and extend our hospitality to those that join us. The ride program, support, and refreshments are on us. The extras (supplements) relate to the accommodation (see the Hotel list for suggestions) and meals. On the meal front, we have booked tables at a couple of our favourite restaurants in the area. We’d be looking to split the bill with any of you that join us.
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Tour de France Bike Tour Food & Wine

We’ve booked into a couple of our favourite restaurants and are hosting a couple of meals at our base in Mormoiron. As per the usual approach to eating on tour, our choices are designed to give you a sense of place through the food and wine we present The paragraph below provides an insight into what makes the gastronomy of Provence so unique.

La Ferme de Pezet

Some Background

With a strong Italian and Spanish influence the cuisine of Provence has a distinctive flair that sets it apart from more classic French fare. Blessed with an abundance of natural ingredients that flourish in the region, Provence is unsurpassed for the freshness of its produce and variety of its dishes. What better encapsulates the flavours of Provençal cuisine than the region’s herbs? Containing rosemary, marjoram, basil, savory and thyme, as well as a variety of other aromatic plants, you’ll be awakened to their presence not just in the food but also in the air as you cycle along. And what about the tapenades? These go so well spread on fougasse – a flat bread with herbs, fig, olive, and walnut. We like the original made of capers, black olives and anchovies but why not try the myriad of other options and discover your own favourite?

Provence is also one of France’s serious fine wine regions, on a par with Bordeaux and Burgundy. In contrast to the cultured power of Bordeaux and the elegance of Burgundy, Provençal red wines are earthier with an almost rustic flavour. In this respect they are really interesting since quality commercial wine making is balanced by a real sense of identity. Our tour takes us into the heart of some of the regions finest wines and we’ll have chance to compare and contrast the relative merits of Côtes du Rhône, Les Baux and Côtes du Ventoux. For dessert we recommend the excellent Muscat de Beaumes de Venise – an almost floral, citrus bouquet making them both refreshing and full bodied.

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Tour de France Bike Tour Accommodation Options

The Tour de France Explore is a Ride Program without accommodation being part of the package. We recognise that you’ll need somewhere to stay if you take part though. We have secured options at a couple of hotels which we are happy to pass on – this will be done on a first-come, first-served basis. In addition, below is a list of some of the places that we know well and are happy to recommend. Please note that if you wish to ride with us the sooner you book your accommodation the better. The list below works in descending order of cost starting with the most economical option at the top. If you can’t find availability with any of the below we suggest using Airbnb and Booking.com to find alternative options. Our base is in Mormoiron so best use that as a point of reference as that is where the rides will depart from.

Ventouxcc Gite, Mormoiron– A great option for a stay in the area is the multitude of gites and chamber d’hotes (B& B’s) that can be found. One of our favourites is run by our friends Matt and Nicola just outside Mormoiron. With a wonderful sense of style and eye for the details their place provides a great option for an affordable stay.

Au Brabo, Mormoiron – Run by our friends Dominique and Renee this charming B & B is well-positioned for walking access to the village centre and the nearby lake. With a great beer garden and a hot tub, this affordable accommodation option provides great post-ride relaxation and a homely stay.

Hotel le Siecle, Mazan – Another hotel that has served us well over the years is this hotel that is situated in the village of Mazan. A family-run 3* hotel it has a lovely homely feel and maintains a wonderful charm around its 16th century heritage

Hotels des Pins, Bedoin – A 3* boutique hotel at the foot of Mont Ventoux in Bedoin. We have used this hotel for a number of tours in recent years and it is always popular. With a lovely shaded garden, an on-site soigneur, and a fine culinary tradition it is a good option.

Chateau de Mazan, Mazan – Another abode that we have used multiple times over the years the Chateau de Mazan. Newly refurbished and with a one * Michelin restaurant it provides a for a stylish stay. The fact it was once a residence for the Marquis de Sade makes it an intriguing option as well!

Hotel Crillon le Brave, Crillon Le Brave – Looking to push the boat out then look no further than this not so humble abode. The most luxurious (and expensive) hotel in the Vaucluse with a 5* rating it provides for a very discerning stay. As you would expect the restaurant has a great reputation and the view towards Mont Ventoux is hard to beat.

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Tour de France Bike Tour History

Below is a wonderful piece from Bas Steman in Soigneur about the Geant.

The peloton shimmers off in the distance. A solo shadow appears on the barren, windswept horizon. The road winds up to a white tower. Reach it, and you’ll kiss immortality. You’ll strike another classic from your list. All the best riders have struggled here. Mont Ventoux is to cycling what Wembley Stadium is to football.

The mountain’s menace can’t be captured by statistics, although they are impressive, with more than 20 kilometres of climbing, from 300 metres of elevation up to 1,900 metres, and long gradients at more than 12%. Even the pros suffer. You can suffer anywhere though. In the Alps and the Dolomites, there are mountains of equal magnitude, but Mont Ventoux is the mythical climb. To come to terms with the Ventoux, you have to see it as more than mountain. You can’t reduce it to an elevation profile, a promise of lactic acid. 7.7% doesn’t tell you very much. Mont Ventoux has a story, a history. It’s almost a character in itself. Its stories are woven into cycling’s DNA. Every kilometre is another chapter.

Mont Ventoux sits alone, rising out of the countryside, ruling over the land as if it were its sacred kingdom. It flirts with the status of Mount Fuji and Kilimanjaro. Ever since man first put his thoughts to paper, he’s attested to his fealty. For centuries, people spoke of a god who lived at the summit of the Ventoux, commanding awe. He withstood storms and torturous heat. Wolves roamed his slopes, hunting for food. Few were reckless enough to take on the ‘Scala Paradisi’. The poet Petrarch, who defied borders with his love, was one of them. He wrote about his experience in 1336.

“TO SUCCEED, WILL IS NOT ENOUGH; YOU NEED DESIRE.”

Nowadays, there is a road, a ribbon of asphalt draped over the bald flank of the mountain. And so long as there is a road, people will climb it on bikes. The Tour first arrived on Mont Ventoux in 1951. The peloton departed for the moonlike landscape from Malaucene and climbed the northern slope of the mountain, which is even more treacherous than the ascent to the south. Lucien Lazaridès was the first to the top. The Tour director Jacques Goddet wrote, “Under a burning sky, the vast plains of loose white pebble stones that form the deserted slopes of Mont Ventoux have served as the theatre for an act of the 58th Tour de France.”

A year later, the Tour returned, this time taking on the mountain from the south, via the town of Bédoin. A Provençal winegrowers’ village, where Grenache and apricots are traditionally cultivated, Bédoin would have been passed over by time had the Tour not taken on Mont Ventoux. Cycling breathed new life into the myth. People no longer spoke of gods or wolves. Heat, without shadow, and empty air drove riders to their limits. Mallejac rode himself senseless. In 1955, Kubler finished the climb speaking in tongues. Charly Gaul brought the record down to one hour and two minutes in 1958. From Bédoin, an inviting stretch of false flat leads up through the vineyards. It’s nothing to worry about. Whoever wants to set a good time can gain a minute here. But anyone who’s not sure how he’ll fare against the Ventoux had best keep his powder dry. After five kilometres, just past the first switchback to the left, the stairway to heaven rises up. The trees become denser, the road smaller. It hugs the cliffs, without ever offering you a breath of relief. Ten kilometres at ten percent are followed by seven kilometres at seven, then the road pitches up at more than eleven.

In high summer, the route is filled with a procession of cyclists — pilgrims on bikes, searching for grace. Everyone follows the same path in his own way. It’s an act of personal confirmation. The Ventoux is a continuously unfolding story, onto which anyone can inscribe his own myth. Anyone who takes it on rides through history. Film after imaginary film is added to the montage. Between your eyelashes, you see Anquetil ride past with hollowed-out eyes. Merckx struggles for breath. Armstrong dances on the pedals. Then, there is the great Italian, Eros, named for desire. A non-climber, he’s minutes ahead, just enough to claim the prize.

Whoever strives to live a full life is bound to come close to death. Between the trees, where, for ten kilometres, the road rises at ten percent, it creeps up behind you. It bites into your legs, gnaws at your spleen. Go too deep here and you’ll die on the moon. Just past the Chalet Reynard, lies emptiness. The mountain deceives you. Rarefied air, heat, and wind conspire against you. Above, the chalky stones whirl. You stand on the pedals, collapse. The white tower is further away than your eyes lead you to believe. To your right, a monument looms. Here, in July 1967, the rider with the Union Jack on his shoulders left his life behind in the Tour. He was felled by fame, the heat, dehydration, and madness.

The last kilometre is merciless. As Petrarch wrote, “To succeed, will is not enough; you need desire.”

One last vicious right-hand corner, a few more metres, and there’s the white line. As soon as you pass it, your wheel ticks off another item from your bucket list.

Bas’s account chronicles his experience climbing from Bedoin but there are actually 3 ways up the mountain. Below are the elevation profiles of these 3 ascents. The ‘classic’ is the ascent from Bedoin which is the way the Tour de France typically climbs the mountain. However, the other two also have their merits and our Mont Ventoux weekend gives you the chance to take them on too.

The climb from the north side is from Malaucene and is in our opinion on a par difficulty wise with the Bedoin climb. Whereas the climb from Bedoin comes up through the trees until Chalet Reynard the Malaucene ascent is a lot more open with expansive views of the Alps in the distance. The so called ‘easy’ ascent is from Sault and is arguably the most picturesque. Do all 3 in a day and you can join the Cingles club.

The Bedoin ascent elevation profile

The Malaucene ascent elevation profile

The Sault elevation profile

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The Trip

A 3 days festival of cycling to celebrate the return of the Tour de France to Mont Ventoux in July. Join our Mont Ventoux Cycling Club to explore this stunning area with the Giant of Provence serving as a backdrop throughout.

Book Now Schedule a Call

Tour at a Glance

Tour de France 2021 Explore

    Length: 3 days
    Distance: 226 km I 140 miles
    Elevation: 4407metres I 13,147feet
    Dates: July 5 -8 2021aa
    Price: FREE
    Grading: 

The Trip

A 3 days festival of cycling to celebrate the return of the Tour de France to Mont Ventoux in July. Join our Mont Ventoux Cycling Club to explore this stunning area with the Giant of Provence serving as a backdrop throughout.

Book Now Schedule a Call

Tour at a Glance

Tour de France 2021 Explore

    Length: 3 days
    Distance: 226 km I 140 miles
    Elevation: 4407metres I 13,147feet
    Dates: July 5 -8 2021
    Price: FREE
    Grading: 

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