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Bardet, Aru, López, Porte to ride Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenges

Mont Ventoux
Racing on Mont Ventoux (Image credit: Getty Images)

Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale), Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo), Miguel Ángel López (Astana) and Fabio Aru (UAE Team Emirates) are among the riders set to line up at the second edition of the CIC-Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenges, which is scheduled for Thursday, August 6.

Inaugural winner Jesús Herrada and his Cofidis teammate Guillaume Martin were also among the participants announced by the race organisation, who confirmed that six WorldTour teams will be on the start line in Vaison-la-Romaine.

"This second edition of the CIC-Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenges promises to be exciting. We are very happy and very proud to bring together such a high-quality group just a few days after the resumption of the season," said race director Nicolas Garcera.

"With the two ascents of Mont Ventoux on the program, all the ingredients are there for us to witness a magnificent fight in the grandest of settings."

The 180km race will feature some 4,000m of total climbing, including two ascents of Mont Ventoux. The peloton will first climb as far as Chalet Reynard – where Thomas De Gendt won the shortened stage at the 2016 Tour de France – before the race finishes at the haunting summit of the bald mountain, 1909m above sea level.

Last year’s race was held on the day after the conclusion of the Critérium du Dauphiné. After the 2020 calendar was revised and condensed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the second Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenges will take place on the eve of the three-day Tour de l’Ain, which gets underway on August 8.

The shortened 2020 Dauphiné will take place from August 12-16, while the rescheduled Tour de France is due to get underway in Nice on August 29.

The six WorldTour teams in action at the Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenges are Trek-Segafredo, AG2R La Mondiale, Cofidis, Groupama-FDJ, Astana and UAE Team Emirates.

Porte and his Tour de France co-leader Bauke Mollema are both expected to be on hand for Trek-Segafredo, while Bardet is joined on the provisional start list by AG2R La Mondiale teammate Pierre Latour.

Valentin Madous is expected to lead the line for Groupama-FDJ. It is not anticipated that Thibaut Pinot will be on hand. The Frenchman is set to ride La Route d’Occitanie, the Critérium du Dauphiné and the French Championships ahead of the Tour de France.

The UCI ProTeams in the Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenges peloton include Direct Energie and Ark­­éa-Samsic, though the race was not on the programme announced by Nairo Quintana last month. The Colombian, who won at Chalet Reynard in February’s Tour de La Provence, is due to ride the Tour de l’Ain and Critérium du Dauphiné in the build-up to the Tour.