Romain Bardet is the star attraction in upcoming Mont Ventoux one-day race, being held on Monday June 17.
The Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge is the first pro race to take in the iconic French mountain and is attracting WorldTour talent.
Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale) will take on the race on home soil alongside riders from Groupama-FDJ and EF Education First.
Race organiser Nicolas Garcera said: “We are delighted that a rider like Romain Bardet has decided to participate in our race.
“Our course and the attraction of Mont Ventoux leave no one indifferent and we know that the public and viewers will live a great moment in a unique setting.”
Other teams taking to the start line of the UCI 1.1 ranked race include Arkéa-Samsic, Cofidis, Total Direct Energie and Euskadi Basque Country-Murias.
The startlist show includes Bardet’s team-mates Nans Peters, winner of stage 17 of the Giro d’Italia, Joe Dombrowski (EF Education First), Cyril Gautier (Vital Concept-B&B Hotels) and Brice Feillu (Arkéa-Samsic).
Organisers have published the profile of the new 172km race, which features seven climbs before the dreaded and legendary Mont Ventoux.
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 per cent.Over the next 80km there are a few smaller tests, before cycling’s most iconic test appears.
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 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.