Day 18 : Déja-Ventoux
Mont Ventoux from Bedoin
When we got up we took a picture of our 'spot' on the campsite.
A tilted piece of sand underneath a tree
The other cyclists left hours ago. After a few days of bad weather it finally was sunny. It didn't rain the entire day and also wasn't too warm. We cycled at a good pace over pretty flat and large roads. Most of the time we averaged around 26 km/h. Before lunch we had already covered 50 km. Around three we passed the other cyclists, from the campsite. We had ridden about 75 kilometers at that time, with an average of 23 km/h. We stopped to wish them a safe journey and then continued to Bedoin. We arrived there at 15:30, an hour before schedule.
In Bedoin it didn't take long to find a store because we had already been there last year. We got food that contained as much sugar as possible to have some energy for the climb. Just like last year we paid at checkout number 3. Then we took a short break to eat and walk around. Bram bought a heart rate monitor at the bike store so he could monitor himself during the climb. After another half an hour it was 17:00 o'clock and time to climb the Ventoux, yet again. Last year we reached the top in 2:14:38. This time we wanted to go faster and potentially finish within 2 hours. To do that we needed to cycle one kilometer per hour faster. Fortunately we were already familiar with the climb, so we knew what to expect.
First there were a few kilometers that weren't that steep, as well as two villages. Then there was a short section that was nearly flat, before 'the forest' started. That would be about 10 kilometers of climbing at an 9.5% incline. At first it went well, also because it wasn't nearly as warm as last time. When we had two kilometers to go before leaving the forest my legs had a lot of acid in them because the gears on my racing bike were too large to climb easily. After an hour Chalet Reynard came in sight. We were still on schedule to finish under two hours, and would have to average 9.1 km/h during the remainder of the climb. After the Chalet followed a few kilometers that were a bit less steep so we could gear up a bit. The two kilometers before the end were again very steep and this was were we had a difficult time. It didn't seem possible to finish under two hours anymore. In the end, we made it in 2:04:22, more than 10 minutes faster than last time even though we had already cycled 95 km before the start. It helped a lot that it wasn't as hot and we carried enough water.
I don't think the Ventoux is as tough as some of the other mountains in the 100 cols tour. At the top it was windy and cold, but it also was 7 o'clock already. In the giftshop we got our stamp. Bram also bought a hat and a wooden mile marker of the Ventoux. After that we put on some extra clothes before taking pictures. The weather was very clear, so we had a nice view.
Uitzicht vanaf de Ventoux
The descent towards Malaucene was one of the nicest this vacation. The road was broad, clean, and clear. There also were signs before all dangerous corners. Because it was late there was hardly anyone on the road, so we had enough room. The first section had a lot of hairpin turns, then we reached a roundabout. There was a van in front of me which I barely managed to pass. The only problem was that the next section wasn't that steep. For one kilometer I sprinted as fast as possible to stay ahead. After a few more turns there were signs indicating a 12% decline, which made me want to break my speed record from last year. That was 80.3 km/h. I now reached 83 before I noticed a sign indicating a dangerous turn coming up in 400 meters. I started to brake, but in hindsight I could have kept going for a bit longer. During the entire descent there wasn't a single moment where I thought I wouldn't be able to make a turn. That also was because after all the cols I had gotten a lot better in descending. Later on there was another straight section, going down at 10%. I lay down on my bike. Now I went even faster, my maximum velocity was 85.7 km/h.
A few kilometers before Malaucene, at the end of the descent, we passed a camping municipal. We thought there would be another one in the main village so continued. That wasn't the case, so we needed to cycle back. However, we got pizza before doing so. While eating it turned out that today had gone way too well, because when Bram looked at his phone he wasn't too happy. It was dark when we arrived at the campsite.
Distance cycled : 135 km