Mont Ventoux from Bédoin
Distance 13.56 miles (21.82 km)
Total ascent 1,600m
Steepest climb 13% (1 in 8)
Time 1:30 – 3:30 hours (Road biking)
Start/finish Bédoin near Carpentras and Avignon in the South of France, 44.1240, 5.1862
Nearest town Bédoin is a small village, Carpentras is bigger.
Terrain A steady climb all the way from Bédoin on very good roads which have a cycle lane.
Seasonal variations Too hot in the height of summer, and snow-covered in most winters. Spring and Autumn are the time for this one although many still take it on in July and August.
Accommodation There are plenty of small hotels and campsites available in the area. Campsites can get busy in the summer months. Buis-les-Baronnies makes a good base to combined biking and climbing.
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Bike Hire Very good road bikes can be hired in both Malaucéne and Bédoin.
This is one of the giants of the Tour de France and a popular stage for a summit finish. It towers high above everything else in the area and is visible from miles away but also offers great views. The most striking feature of the mountain is the bald summit landscape, a vast expanse of limestone blocks without any vegetation, which make it looked snow-capped all year round. This is apparently the result of deforestation but, whatever the cause, it gives a unique environment to cycle in and makes it one of the most atmospheric climbs in Europe.
The route from Bédoin is a long and steady climb with few respites. The Malauéne route has some steep sections and is actually found harder by some road bikers who prefer a steady climb where they can build up a rhythm, but is not the 'approved' TdeF route. The third way from Sault is considered a slightly 'soft' option although is still a decent challenge but the start is nearly 400m higher than Bédoin.