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Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenges set for August 6

Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenges route
The 2020 Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenges route includes two ascents of the Ventoux (Image credit: Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenges)

The organisers of the Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenges – won last year by Cofidis rider Jesús Herrada – unveiled the route of their 2020 race on Tuesday, which is set to take place on August 6, and will this year take on 'The Giant of Provence' twice.

In its second year, the UCI 1.1-ranked event will be 182km long, starting from Vaison La Romaine and climbing from Bédoin to Chalet Reynard – two thirds of the way up the Ventoux – before descending to Sault. The riders then take the same route again up the south face of Mont Ventoux, but continue on past Chalet Reynard to the climb's summit, for a total of 4,000m of climbing.

Last year – when the race was held in June – Herrada won ahead of AG2R La Mondiale's Romain Bardet after the two riders had gone head-to-head on the upper slopes of the Ventoux, while Rein Taaramäe (Total Direct Energie) was the best of the rest, finishing more than a minute down in third.

The climb up the Ventoux to Chalet Renard has already featured this season when it was used as the finish of stage 3 of the Tour de la Provence in February, with new Arkéa-Samsic signing Nairo Quintana winning there and taking the overall title of the four-day race the next day.

Ventoux Dénivelé race director Nicolas Garcera said they were "proud to be able to organise our race" in light of the mass cancellations of sporting events under the coronavirus lockdowns.

"In the middle of an unprecedented health crisis, we are proud to have been able to have a date on the racing calendar that allows us to organise the second edition of the CIC-Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenges.

"During these past months, we have worked hard to study all the solutions to organise our event in a way that will entirely respect the extremely important sanitary regulations surrounding the current health crisis."

Requirements for professional cyclists hoping to cross borders to compete in races have not yet been announced. Most countries have either shut down borders to international travel or are imposing 14-day quarantines for arrivals.

France has had the third-highest number of COVID-19 confirmed cases at 182,000, with 28,533 deaths as of Tuesday.

"Our thoughts are with all those who have been affected directly or indirectly by this epidemic, and we hope that by holding our race, with the top of the legendary Ventoux as the inspirational finishing line, will act as a balm in the hearts of all," Garcera said.

"We would like to thank the governing bodies of cycling, the public authorities, our partners and all cycling enthusiasts for their support.

"Everything suggests that participation in the race will be of a very high level with several teams from the UCI WorldTour planning to be at the start and many renowned riders among them," he said.