Mont Ventoux Denivele Challenges 2019 is one day for the climbers
The inaugural edition of the Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenges, a UCI 1.1 race on the Europa Tour, will take place on Monday, June 17, starting in Vaison-la-Romaine and finishing at the top of daunting Mont Ventoux.
The 173km route features 4,100 metres of elevation gain and will be a test of who can put together the best legs and tactics for a single day of climbing. Organisers confirmed AG2R La Mondiale's Romain Bardet for the start, and the Frenchman's team will be joined by Groupama-FDJ, EF Education First, Cofidis, Vital Concept, Arkéa Samsic, Caja Rural, Delko Marseille Provence, Total Direct Énergie and Murias Euskadi. Amore & Vita-Prodi and Interpro will represent the Continental ranks.
Riders expected to challenge Bardet for the inaugural Ventoux title include Total Direct Energie's Rein Taaramäe, who was third at the 2019 Tour de l'Ain, and Jonathan Hivert, the winner of the Tour du Haut Var in 2018, as well as Arkéa Samsic's Élie Gesbert, second in the final stage of the Tour de l'Ain, and his teammate Brice Feillu, along with EF Education First's Sean Bennett and Matti Breschel.
Major obstacles along the route include Col de l’homme mort at 57km, Côte de Gordes at 116km, Col des Trois Termes at 120km, and, of course, the finish on Mont Ventoux at 173km. The 21km final climb averages 8.7 per cent grades and tops out at 1,912 metres.