The new Mont Ventoux one-day race, called the Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge, is the first professional one-day event to feature the iconic French mountain, with a win atop the climb providing a considerable accolade for a rider’s palmarès.
Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale) is the most notable starter, with 12 teams taking the start line in Vaison-la-Romaine, including WorldTour outfits EF Education First, Groupama-FDJ, Total Direct-Energie and Ag2r La Mondiale.
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Thankfully, you’ll be able to follow along with all the action as the race is being broadcast on Eurosport 2 between 1215-1415.
The race will kick off with a 5km, easy 3.7 per cent climb, followed by Col des Aires at 3km and 5.4 per cent.
After that comes the first real test for the peloton, the 11.6km Col de l’Homme Mort with an average of 4.9 perthe next 80km there are a few smaller tests, before cycling’s most iconic test appears.
At 8.7 per cent, it is a brutal finale to the new one-day race. The race will take the classic ascent up Ventoux from Bédoin, with a total elevation of 1612m.
Mont Ventoux, which has featured in the Tour de France 16 times, is steeped in cycling history, both glorious and tragic.
The climb first featured in the Tour in 1951, but not as a summit finish, although 10 stage finishes have since featured at the summit.
A Ventoux finish line first appeared in 1958, with an individual time trial from Bédoin to the top won by Charly Gaul. In 1967, Brit Tom Simpson died on the slopes of the 21km climb.