Monday, 8 August 2011

100 cols - Mont Ventoux

After leaving Pyrénées, one would expect a few sedate days before the big climb to Mont Ventoux (which is categorized as the toughest climb in 100 cols). But even here, the route was packed with cols. The road is leading through a variety of sceneries, sometimes it is a narrow forest road, then it crosses a high grassy plateau, then again it goes through gorges with Mediterranean scents. Just a few times the itinerary is following bigger national roads and at those times you learn to appreciate the blessed tranquility of 100 cols' little roads.

View from the hotel.

View from the hotel -2.

View from the hotel - 3 (the best TV of the tour).

Canal du Midi.

Plane tree lining the road - a frequent vista in France.

Around Mont Aigoual.

Taking a swim on a hot day.
I was a bit respectful toward the climb to Mont Ventoux. Some had judged it as the toughest climb they've ever made. But once one the road, I didn't find it so difficult - or maybe I was just super motivated. After first 6 km of introduction it is about 18 km of more or less constant gradient, somewhere around 9%. The kilometers - or rather 100's of meters - are passing agonizingly slowly, so it is better not to look at the distance, switch to the clock, those numbers are turning faster. In the mean time look around you and try to enjoy. Once you get out of the forest it's much easier, as you can see your target, and there's only 5 km to go. There are a few more climbs with lookouts on Mont Ventoux, as if to ensure that you don't forget it too soon.

Approaching Mont Ventoux.

View from the top of Mont Ventoux.

I'm going down, some are going up.

(Beau)mont Ventoux after Mont Ventoux.


A farewell to Mont Ventoux.

How to choose the handlebar width for a tour in France.

Days 14 to 19: 839 km (min 127 km, max 152 km, average 140 km). Total: 2666 km.
23 cols: Notre Dame, Broue, Minier, Sereyrède, Prat Peyrot, Mont Aigoual, Perjuret, Solpérière, Exil, St.Pierre, Bane, Mont Ventoux, Voltigeur, St.Michel, Fontaube, Aires, Macuègne, Homme Mort, Aire deï Masco, Ayen, Siron, Buis, Félines.

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