The organiser of the CIC - Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge has confirmed that it will be holding a women's event alongside the men's race in 2022, as well as aiming to be part of the UCI ProSeries. Lead sponsor, CIC, has committed to supporting the race until 2023.
The event hasn't been going on for very long at all with the first edition taking place in June 2019, a day after the Santini GF Mont Ventoux sportive. There have been few details about women's event revealed, though it will take place on the same day as the men's. The route of the proposed women's race has also yet to be confirmed, though the men's route for 2021 has been revealed.
Some big names have been tempted by the opportunity to ride up the Giant of Provence in the previous editions, with the likes of Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic), Romain Bardet (Team DSM) and Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech) all testing their legs in the event.
In the race's first year it took place a day after Cirtérium du Dauphiné with the idea being that some of the big-name male riders would use it as extra preparation for the Tour de France, but only a handful of riders made the trip from the Alps, Bardet being one.
The first edition was won by Jesús Herrada (Cofidis), who surprised Bardet after the Frenchman did all he could to get rid of the Spaniard.
In 2020 the race was held in August following the rescheduling of races due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but this meant it attracted a more star-studded line-up with the then Russian champion, Vlasov, taking victory ahead of Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo), Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) as well as Quintana as they climbed to an adjusted finish away from the famous weather station due to development work at the summit.
This year's race is set to take place on June 8 starting in Vaison-la-Romaine. The 155km race will climb Ventoux twice; once from the easier Sault side before descending to Malaucène, and then from the classic Bédoin side, returning to the top of the climb after maintenance work has been completed.
The event organiser in a press release said: "The double ascent, initiated in 2020 but truncated from its final, will now be complete. Two months before the race, everything suggests that participation will be of a very high level with several UCI WorldTour teams at the start and renowned riders.
"The confidence placed by the CIC is proof that cycling today is the bearer of strong human values. The long-term commitment to all of our projects reinforces our decision-making and our actions for the cycling of tomorrow.
"The arrival of the Department of Vaucluse among our partners also shows that cycling is a strong vector of communication, generating local economic benefits. It positions Vaucluse, land of cycling, as a key player in sustainable tourism."
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