Mont Ventoux is one of the most daunting mountains in the Tour de France. The “Giant of Provence” forcing his bare views and its difficulty in wonderment over bikers and supporters. Along with these characteristics are essentially the breakdown of drivers who have made the myth of Mont Ventoux. In no other mountain in the Tour de France rider ever gone so deep under cols get author has written such poetic books. What makes the “Giant of Provence” so special? What is “Bald Mountain” which seems to be the last six kilometres to a moonscape? An overview.Mont Ventoux is not in the high mountains of the Alps, but in a kind of offshoot of the near the Southern French city of Avignon. The climb is 1912 m high, 21.2 km long and rises by an average of 7.6%.
The ascent of Mont Ventoux
Mont Ventoux in the Tour de France is usually climbed from the charming Provencal village of Bédoin.The first few kilometers of the climb is quite gently sloping. You ride on a wide road with left and right peaceful vineyards. Only when you are approaching the forest, the road becomes steeper. You can find your rhythm and hard in summer, stifling hot here because there is no wind. Hairpin is steep, the road is a bit meandering and confusing as the ascent here seem endless.
Châlet Reynard: Summit in sight
When suddenly come out of the woods you see in the distance the tower with the mast on the top. After Châlet Reynard is 6 km in average by 8.5% increase. From here starts a lunar landscape of barren, white stones. Even if you look away consistently top, you have the impression that you do not go forward. The infamous mistral wind has free games and makes it possible for the athletes all the way back. When the big summer heat, riders often complain about the lack of oxygen in the final kilometers.
Drama on the Mont Ventoux: 1955
When the ascent of Mont Ventoux in 1955, there was a heavy heat. Heelwat riders that day shifted their boundaries. Ferdi Kübler fell to the ground several times in the last kilometer ascent and told viewers that he had gone mad. Kübler still got to the final but the next day he gave up. After his breakdown on the Mont Ventoux, he never took his old level. The same day also marked the end of cycling career Frenchman Jean Malléjac. In the infamous last kilometers of the Moon’s, and he fell unconscious from his bike. He had to be carried to the hospital, where he was just hours later regained consciousness.Malléjac never returned in the peloton.
Tom Simpson dies on the “Bald Mountain”: 1967
A sad highlight the story of the breakdown of the Mont Ventoux came on the 13th day of July Tour in 1967. Also that day, the heat of the Mont Ventoux was relentless. Many riders zwalpten road. In the last few kilometres of the monstrous mountain, the British former world champion Tom Simpson an incredible coincidence. He fell from his bike, got through the back straight, but fell again. Simpson lost consciousness, got extra oxygen, but died later in the Hospital of Avignon. Simpson’s sad death was the result of a combination of stimulants, alcohol and narcotic heat. At the place where Simpson fell down, was a monument where the cykelfans still stop for a moment of reflection.
Even Eddy Merckx gets tough on Mont Ventoux: 1970
Three years later Eddy Merckx took a solo trip to the rope for the prestigious victory in the Giant of Provence. Merckx appeared to succeed on the first raft in his plan. He rode alone in front and also took time to take off his hat when he drove past the spot where his former teammate Simpson died. But in the very last kilometers, known as “Cannibal” a slump with a vengeance: he lost much of his lead and had to give everything to win the stage. Scarcely was the measurement beyond Merckx black eye, and he said he had a choking feeling. Merckx got extra oxygen in the ambulance and came back to their senses.
Armstrong gives Pantani victory: 2000
In 2000, Mont Ventoux was the scene for the resurrection of Marco Pantani, who could establish our highest level after a period of inactivity. However, it was “Il Pirata” first unloaded from the group leaders, but coming out of the Woods came the next connection. Pantani miraculously recovered and launched a surprise attack. He was just catching up with Lance Armstrong, who had to go into the final sprint Pantani. “The Boss” later stated that he did Pantani out of respect the stage victory gift. Pantani took this as an insult and there was a rivalry between the two opponents, who may still take a long time.
Books on Mont Ventoux
The Bald Mountain, the Giant of Provence, or simply the Mountain of Mountains: Mont Ventoux was and is for authors and supporters a source of poetic inspiration. In the international cycling peloton Ventoux is more or less considered the toughest climb in Europe. It may not be the steepest mountain but her tragic past and its harsh elements of nature as essentially psychological Ventoux is difficult to climb. Who want to dig further into this fascinating but inexorable climb in the Tour de France can choose between heelwat cycling literature.
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