The organisers of the first ever one-day professional road race to the summit of Mont Ventoux have confirmed the event will be held on June 17 and have published the profile of the 185km route.
Called the Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge, the race will take place the day after the Santini GF Mont Ventoux mass-participation event, creating a weekend of riding and racing on the Géant de Provence.
News of the creation of the Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge first emerged in the summer, and the event was confirmed on the UCI Europe Tour calendar published in early October. It will take place the day after the conclusion of the nearby Criterium du Dauphine, meaning many of the Tour de France contenders who have ridden the French WorldTour stage race could also ride the Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge.
The route will start in Vaison-la-Romaine, like the Santini GF Mont Ventoux, and will climb the Col des Aires, the Col de L’Homme Morte to the east of Mont Ventoux, before looping south around to Bedoin to start the 21km climb to the finish at the summit of Mont Ventoux, according to the race organisers.
The 185km race will have an elevation gain of 4,400 metres, making it a race for the climbers.
The Tour de France has climbed Mont Ventoux 16 times, with 10 of those being mountaintop finishes. Charly Gaul, Eddy Merckx, Marco Pantani, Richard Virenque and Chris Froome have all claimed victory atop the Ventoux.
Mont Ventoux is also known for the death of Britain's Tom Simpson on the slopes of the climb during the 1967 Tour de France.
Mont Ventoux most recently appeared in the Tour de France in 2016, when the finish line was placed at Chalet Reynard due to high winds at the summit of the mountain. On that occasion, yellow jersey Chris Froome suffered bike damage in a collision with a motorcycle, after which he ran several hundred meters uphill before receiving an ill-fitting neutral service bike. The stage was won by Thomas De Gendt.
While most professional riders conquer the mountain in an hour, the fastest recorded time of 55:51 was set by Iban Mayo in an individual time trial in the 2004 Dauphine Libere.
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