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· I heart team Zissou!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A few weeks ago one of my old team-mates calls me up and asks what I'm doing this past w-end. "Nothing" I say. "Wrong" he says, "you're riding the Ventoux cyclosportive with me and some mates". "errr.... "(silence on my end of the line...)

Don't get me wrong -- I L.O.V.E Provence -- it is a region that makes you understand the perfect essence that the creator of the bicycle was trying to gain access to. It's just that I really don't like the Ventoux even though I've ridden up it a more than two dozen times. It is a beast and even more so when you are riding it in "race" (well, cyclosportive) conditions. But ever ready to test my legs in June and see if the Paris region race fitness I have built up translates into something approximating mountain race fitness, I agreed.

And so off I shuttled down on the Friday a.m. TGV to Avignon and from there to Carpentras by bus and from there to a little corner of paradise by bike. My buddy and his brother, both Australians and the latter a physiotherapist with la Francaise des Jeux and two other riders were to join us at the B&B. From there we rode the 8 kms to the start in Beames de Venise to pick up our race packets and complimentary bottle of wine (whoohooo!) and scouted out the final 10 kms buffeted by gale-force Mistral winds. We were all praying that the wind would die down during the night.

The next morning we lined up at 7:30 (where the race photographer took a few shots of us) and were off at 8:30 for 170kms of fun. From Beames de Venise, we rode to Bedoin and went up the Ventoux via the south route -- luckily with only a side wind. Down we went to Malaucene (98 kms/hr!) and round back on the north side to Montbrun les Bains, Sault and back up the east side of the Ventoux to Chalet Reynard. From there we went back down to Bedoin (104kms/hr -- new personal record!) and back the long way through the Dentellles de Montmirail to Beames where I arrived 6 hours and 48 minutes after I started -- and just 8 minutes off of the "gold certificate" time for my new age category (40-49). All in all pretty good considering I took my time on the climbs and only hit the flats and downhills hard.

Quick shower and back on the bike (ouch!) for a ride back to Carpentras and bus to Avignon for the 20:00 TGV. I'm feeling like the legs are coming along but man was a wiped on Sunday!

A+

Philippec (the one in the red-and-white clown suit in the pics below).

The pictures are:
a. of the B&B
b. of the ride we did on Friday
c. of the cyclosportive itself
 

· gastarbeiter
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1,524 Posts
tres bon! c'est genial!

keep planning on visiting a friend who's living down that way. looks like i should have done it then!??

thanks for the great pics!

cheers

O

philippec said:
A few weeks ago one of my old team-mates calls me up and asks what I'm doing this past w-end. "Nothing" I say. "Wrong" he says, "you're riding the Ventoux cyclosportive with me and some mates". "errr.... "(silence on my end of the line...)

Don't get me wrong -- I L.O.V.E Provence -- it is a region that makes you understand the perfect essence that the creator of the bicycle was trying to gain access to. It's just that I really don't like the Ventoux even though I've ridden up it a more than two dozen times. It is a beast and even more so when you are riding it in "race" (well, cyclosportive) conditions. But ever ready to test my legs in June and see if the Paris region race fitness I have built up translates into something approximating mountain race fitness, I agreed.

And so off I shuttled down on the Friday a.m. TGV to Avignon and from there to Carpentras by bus and from there to a little corner of paradise by bike. My buddy and his brother, both Australians and the latter a physiotherapist with la Francaise des Jeux and two other riders were to join us at the B&B. From there we rode the 8 kms to the start in Beames de Venise to pick up our race packets and complimentary bottle of wine (whoohooo!) and scouted out the final 10 kms buffeted by gale-force Mistral winds. We were all praying that the wind would die down during the night.

The next morning we lined up at 7:30 (where the race photographer took a few shots of us) and were off at 8:30 for 170kms of fun. From Beames de Venise, we rode to Bedoin and went up the Ventoux via the south route -- luckily with only a side wind. Down we went to Malaucene (98 kms/hr!) and round back on the north side to Montbrun les Bains, Sault and back up the east side of the Ventoux to Chalet Reynard. From there we went back down to Bedoin (104kms/hr -- new personal record!) and back the long way through the Dentellles de Montmirail to Beames where I arrived 6 hours and 48 minutes after I started -- and just 8 minutes off of the "gold certificate" time for my new age category (40-49). All in all pretty good considering I took my time on the climbs and only hit the flats and downhills hard.

Quick shower and back on the bike (ouch!) for a ride back to Carpentras and bus to Avignon for the 20:00 TGV. I'm feeling like the legs are coming along but man was a wiped on Sunday!

A+

Philippec (the one in the red-and-white clown suit in the pics below).

The pictures are:
a. of the B&B
b. of the ride we did on Friday
c. of the cyclosportive itself
 

· Not Banned
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awesome Phillipe thanx

your pix are always most inspiring. 80 euros a night is tres sweet as we say. It's rustic charm is right down my alley (plus the access the Provence riding and Mt. Ventoux)
So your ride, sounds like you went up multiple routes, did they all summit and how many trips up was it?
 

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Route

Sounds like one full ascent (from Bedoin), then down (to Malaucene) and then about 2/3 up the mountain to Chalet Reynard (from Sault) before descending again.

The descent of Ventoux toward Bedoin is a lot of fun. I can understand how Philippe hit 104km/hr.

I wonder if the lavender is blooming around Sault yet? That makes for some pretty scenery.
 

· I heart team Zissou!
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
thebadger said:
Sounds like one full ascent (from Bedoin), then down (to Malaucene) and then about 2/3 up the mountain to Chalet Reynard (from Sault) before descending again.

The descent of Ventoux toward Bedoin is a lot of fun. I can understand how Philippe hit 104km/hr.

I wonder if the lavender is blooming around Sault yet? That makes for some pretty scenery.
That's the course, I've drawn it out on the map below -- we did the section from Bedoin to the Chalet Reynard up on the way out and down on the way back. The Lavender was not in bloom in Sault but the air was full of the smell emanating from the incipient blooms -- and the purple sage was in bloom. Sounds like you know this area pretty well!
 

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philippec said:
Sounds like you know this area pretty well!
I know the area as well as two rides up the Ventoux will allow. Rode the mountain in '03 and '04.

In '03, our tour group dropped us off in Bedoin and we did a basic up and down ascent of Ventoux. The weather was not so basic. It was about 90F at the base and the summit was shrouded in the clouds, with strong winds and felt like upper 40sF.

In '04, we rode from our hotel in Isle sur la Sorgue and through Bedoin again. On the descent we turned left at Chalet Reynard and rode to Sault for lunch. Afterward, we went through the Gorges de la Nesque(?) to Carpentras and back to the hotel.
 

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Taking pics on the bike

Philippe,

Great report! Your photos look better than the ones taken by the folks covering the sportif.

What camera are you using and how do you carry it on the bike?

I'm about to do l'Etape and Ventoux and want to take a camera with me. So far, the best way I've found to do it is to lash the camera case to the stem.

Thanks,
Greg
 

· merckxman
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Going at the end of June!

Thanks report. Eros Poli, who lives here in Verona, and won the Mont Ventoux TdF stage in 1994 has organized a trip to re-visit it. I am really looking forward to it. Give me any advice you can.

Eros Poli was probably one of the most unlikely winners on Mont Ventoux....."Mount Ventoux can be seduced by unknowns. In 1994, Italian domestique Eros Poli propelled his 6-foot-6, 187-pound body to the top of the beast of Provence in a solo marathon of 171 kilometers before winning at Carpentras."
 

· I heart team Zissou!
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Greg,

I use a casio exilim which is not the smallest point-and-shoot out there but nearly. I carry it in my back jersey pocket in a snug-fitting neoprene case that I picked up in Japan. I ride w/ the case unzippered and it's a piece of cake to reach back, loop the little leash attached to the camera around my wrist, pull it out and take pictures -- I haven't dropped it yet!

I'm doing the Etape and then re-riding the Ventoux later -- what are your dates, maybe we might run into each other.

A+

Philippe
 

· I heart team Zissou!
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I remember seeing Eros haul his huge frame over the Ventoux that year -- that was also the day Indurain very nearly bought the farm on a sketchy corner on his way down the mountain... good stuff, although I have to say that in my mind Eros's win also had something to do with the great and new popularity in the peleton of this stuff called EPO. In any case, my suspiscion doesn't detract much from his win since I suspect that much of his competition was also experimenting with the stuff as well!

Which side are you going up and which side are you going down -- it matters for the advice I have to give you.

A+

Philippe
 

· merckxman
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Direction going up

We are departing from Bedoin then 37km later passing Carpentras and then climbing.

philippec said:
I remember seeing Eros haul his huge frame over the Ventoux that year -- that was also the day Indurain very nearly bought the farm on a sketchy corner on his way down the mountain... good stuff, although I have to say that in my mind Eros's win also had something to do with the great and new popularity in the peleton of this stuff called EPO. In any case, my suspiscion doesn't detract much from his win since I suspect that much of his competition was also experimenting with the stuff as well!

Which side are you going up and which side are you going down -- it matters for the advice I have to give you.

A+

Philippe
 

· I heart team Zissou!
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
merckxman said:
We are departing from Bedoin then 37km later passing Carpentras and then climbing.
I imagine you meant that you will be departing from Carpentras and passing through Bedoin 37 kms later -- which is more in line with the location of both towns. After Bedoin, you'll have a few kilometres of "false flat" (some of it agressively so!) before you arrive at the hamlet of St. Estephe which is the start of the climb proper. Do not worry about keeping "a gear in reserve" and get immediately into your best climbing gear -- the going is hard and steep from St. Estephe on to about 1 km before Chalet Reynard. Unlike climbs in the real mountains, this one has no real switchbacks (well, it does have 2 but thay are only there to remind you of what you are missing) and so there is no let-up from the unrelenting slope. It is this oddity of road engineering combined with the slope, heat and wind that make this climb one of the most poorly liked in the peleton -- just ask Floyd Landis! After the Chalet Reynard, you get out of the forest and out onto the exposed limestone scree slopes. You will likely have a headwind here and this will not be something that is nearly so bad as it sounds since it may just cool the infernal heat to something tolerable... or not! The 6 kms from the Chalet Reynard to the top get slightly steeper near the middle-end and there is a small but painful ramp after the final turn right underneath the tower. It is here that the cramps that you will likely have been struggling to keep at bay will suddenly and magnificently manifest themselves in both legs -- try not to fall in front of the crowd gathered at the top!

Really -- it is not all that bad. Be prepared for the heat, have adequate climbing gears and be prepared to pass a "mauvais quart d'heure" as we say in french. Don't worry though, like dental surgery under the effect of nitrous oxide, it will be painful but you will have no memory of the pain as soon as it is over! Enjoy!

A+

Philippec
 

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Philippe,

A friend and I are combining a couple of shared interests. We're meeting in Lyon on the 7th and immediately driving to Domaine Ogier for an appointment there. We'll be staying in Les Roches de Condrieu at The Bellevue. We have two more Côte Rôtie appointments on the 8th. We'll travel to Gap on the 9th where we'll stay at the Gapotel on the nights of the 9th and 10th. We'll start in the 6th pen at l'Etape. On the 11th we're going to travel to Hermitage and climb Hermitage Hill before we go to an appointment at Domaine Voge in Cornas. We'll go from there to Mondragon and La Beaugraviere for a celebratory dinner before arriving in Carpentras that evening. We're doing winery stuff on the 12th (Beaucastel and Pegau) and then plan to attempt Cingles du Mont Ventoux on the 13th.

What's your schedule for Ventoux? If you start in a pen in front of me, I doubt I'll catch you at l'Etape.

Greg
 
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