In 2020, the ‘Giant of the Provence’ is the most popular col in the myCols app. You searched en masse for data on this mighty mountain. Mont Ventoux is a mythical climb for many cyclists and we truly advise you to conquer it at least once in your life.
The Tour de France first climbed Mont Ventoux in 1951 (from Malaucène), but it was not until 1958 that ‘La Grande Boucle’ finished at the top for the first time. Charly Gaul, winner of the Tour de France of 1958, obviously won that stage.
One of the most tragic moments in the history of the Tour de France also occurred on the slopes of Mont Ventoux. Tom Simpson, former world champion and winner of ‘Milan Sanremo’ and the ‘Ronde van Vlaanderen’, succumbed due to a combination of amphetamine, alcohol and the entangling heat on the way to the top in 1967.
Three years later, on his way to victory, Eddy Merckx still had the presence of mind to take off his cap as he passed the monument erected in memory of Simpson. Near the top of the summit, the climb was so demanding of Eddy Merckx that he had to be oxygenated afterwards.
2016 provisionally was last time Mont Ventoux was conquered in the Tour de France. It would turn out to be a historic stage in which Chris Froome was ‘running up that hill‘. The four-time Tour de France-winner broke his bike after he, Richie Porte and Bauke Mollema collided with a motorcycle. The crowd was going wild screaming: ‘Run Froomey, Run!’
In 2021, Mont Ventoux will be climbed twice in the eleventh stage of the Tour to Maucelene. The first time they climb it from Sault (the easiest of the three versions) and in the ‘grande finale’ they go up via the notorious Bedoin-side. By the way, it’s only the second time that the Tour de France goes up from the Sault-side to Mont Ventoux. First time was in 1972.
The first official timed attempt on the ‘Giant of the Provence’ took place on July 12th 1908, during a Ventoux marathon. Cyclist Gabriel Jacques climbed the 21.6 kilometers in 2 hours and 29 minutes. The current 15 fastest times registered for the Mont Ventoux climb were all accomplished before the imposition of the biological passport by the UCI in 2008. You can all draw your conclusions from this 😉
The fastest known climb was recorded by Iban Mayo in 2004 in a 21,4 kilometer long individual time trail during the Dauphiné Libéré. He climbed the Bédoin-side in 55min 51sec. Charly Gaul’s time in 1958 was 1 hour 2 min.
The 10 most popular climbs in the myCols top 10 of 2020 are alle big names in the history of cycling. Remarkable is the ascent of the Col de la Madeleine and the entry of the Grand Colombier in this years list. They both were conquered in the Tour de France, that might be the reason for their ‘ressurection’.
The myCols top 10 of 2020:
|Passo dello Stelvio||2||1||-1|
|Col du Galibier||4||5||+1|
|Col de la Madeleine||5||10||+5|
|Col du Tourmalet||6||8||+2|
|Col du Grand Ballon||7||7||–|
|Col du Grand Colombier||10||–||new|
Profiles of the climb.