The unique Mont Ventoux one-day race returns for 2020, with star riders Romain Bardet, Richie Porte and Fabio Aru among the starters.
CIC-Mont Ventoux Denivele Challenges is now in its second year, with its finish atop one of cycling’s most iconic climbs.
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Last season, Jesús Herrada (Cofidis) and Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale) went head to head on the slopes of Ventoux as the race landed in the cycling calendar with a bang.
But after Herrada took the victory by just nine seconds over the Frenchman, both riders will return for the 2020 edition, scheduled to run on Thursday, August 6.
Race director Nicolas Garcera said: “This second edition of the CIC-Mont Ventoux Denivele Challenges comes with an exciting announcement.
“We are very happy and very proud to bring together such a beautiful start list just a few days after the season resumes.
“Some of the best climbers in the world will be there, among them the title holder and the second place finisher in the 2019 edition.”
The second edition of the race features as twist, as the peloton will ascent Mont Ventoux twice before the finish.
Riders will travel to the lower point of Chalet Reynard mid-way through the race, before heading to the classic summit after 182km of racing.
Starting from Vaison-la-Romaine, the racer heads over the Cold de Dontaube and Sault before the peloton hits the Bédoin ascent of Ventoux twice.
Mont Ventoux, which has featured in the Tour de France 16 times, is steeped in cycling history, both glorious and tragic.
In 1967, Brit Tom Simpson died on the slopes of the 21km climb.
The climb first featured in the Tour in 1951, but not as a summit finish.
A Ventoux finish line first appeared in 1958, with an individual time trial from Bédoin to the top won by Charly Gaul.
There have been 10 summit finishes atop Mont Ventoux in the Tour de France’s history.
At 8.7%, it is a brutal finale to the one-day race.
Other riders lining up include Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) and Miguel Ángel López (Astana).
Garcera added: “With the two climbs of Mont Ventoux on the program, all the ingredients are there to witness a magnificent fight in the largest of settings. “
So far 18 teams have confirmed their participation in the event, including Ag2r La Mondiale, Astana, Groupama-FDJ, Cofidis, UAE Team Emirates and Trek-Segafredo.