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The Tour de France and Mont Ventoux - Gallery

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Chris Froome runs for the line during stage 12 of the Tour de France

Froome proceeds on foot (Image credit: Getty Images)
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The Geant de Provence, 'Le Mont Ventoux'

The Geant de Provence, 'Le Mont Ventoux' (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The mythical Mont Ventoux in all its glory

The mythical Mont Ventoux in all its glory (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The Tour de France made its first visit to Mont Ventoux in 1951 during stage 15 from Montpellier to Avignon

The Tour de France made its first visit to Mont Ventoux in 1951 during stage 15 from Montpellier to Avignon
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Chris Froome riding through the final corner in 2013

Chris Froome riding through the final corner in 2013 (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Yellow jersey wearer Chris Froome approaches the finish line 2013 to take the win

Yellow jersey wearer Chris Froome approaches the finish line 2013 to take the win (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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The final kilometres of Mont Ventoux are unlike any other climb the Tour de France visits

The final kilometres of Mont Ventoux are unlike any other climb the Tour de France visits (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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The Tom Simpson memorial near the summit of Mont Ventoux

The Tom Simpson memorial near the summit of Mont Ventoux (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Charly Mottet wore the yellow jersey for the 1987 Tour de France time trial up Mont Ventoux

Charly Mottet wore the yellow jersey for the 1987 Tour de France time trial up Mont Ventoux (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Andy Hampsten of the 7 Eleven Cycling Team team time trials up Mont Ventoux in 1987

Andy Hampsten of the 7 Eleven Cycling Team team time trials up Mont Ventoux in 1987 (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Lucho Herrera of Cafe de Colombia during the 1987 Tour de France

Lucho Herrera of Cafe de Colombia during the 1987 Tour de France (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Laurent Fignon time trials up Mont Ventoux in 1987

Laurent Fignon time trials up Mont Ventoux in 1987 (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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The Michelin Man, Bibendum, waves to the crowds in the 1987 Tour de France

The Michelin Man, Bibendum, waves to the crowds in the 1987 Tour de France (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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The Michelin Man, Bibendum, waves from the back of the motorbike on Mont Ventoux

The Michelin Man, Bibendum, waves from the back of the motorbike on Mont Ventoux (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Paolo Savoldelli puts on his jacket after the 2000 ascent of Mont Ventoux

Paolo Savoldelli puts on his jacket after the 2000 ascent of Mont Ventoux (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Bauke Mollema attempts to get going again as Chris Froome lies on the ground during stage 12 of the Tour de France

The fateful motorbike crash in 2016 (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Chris Froome runs for the line during stage 12 of the Tour de France

Froome runs up Mont Ventoux (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Lance Armstrong and Marco Pantani battle on the Mont Ventoux in 2000

Lance Armstrong and Marco Pantani battle on the Mont Ventoux in 2000 (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Alberto Contador doing his signature 'pistolero' victory salute on the podium in 2009

Alberto Contador doing his signature 'pistolero' victory salute on the podium in 2009
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Some sumosuited fans cheer on Chris Froome and Nairo Quintana during the Tour's visit to Mont Ventoux in 2013

Some sumosuited fans cheer on Chris Froome and Nairo Quintana during the Tour's visit to Mont Ventoux in 2013
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Nairo Quintana approaches the line to finish second in 2013

Nairo Quintana approaches the line to finish second in 2013
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Richard Virenque won the Tour stage to Mont Ventoux back in 2002

Richard Virenque won the Tour stage to Mont Ventoux back in 2002
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Jean-François Bernard riding to the win and into the yellow jersey during the 1987 Mont Ventoux time trial

Jean-François Bernard riding to the win and into the yellow jersey during the 1987 Mont Ventoux time trial
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Charly Gaul riding to victory atop Mont Ventoux in 1958. The first time the Tour finished atop the 'Giant of Provence'

Charly Gaul riding to victory atop Mont Ventoux in 1958. The first time the Tour finished atop the 'Giant of Provence'
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The fans watch the peloton pass by on the upper slopes of Mont Ventoux

The fans watch the peloton pass by on the upper slopes of Mont Ventoux (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Riders grab newspapers to keep warm to keep warm on the descent off Mont Ventoux during the 1994 Tour de France

Riders grab newspapers to keep warm to keep warm on the descent off Mont Ventoux during the 1994 Tour de France (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Whenever Mont Ventoux has featured in the Tour de France, it has attracted the fans

Whenever Mont Ventoux has featured in the Tour de France, it has attracted the fans (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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The final steep corner to the Mont Ventoux finish line

The final steep corner to the Mont Ventoux finish line (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Alberto Contador taking in the moment after sealing his second Tour de France victory in 2009 after the summit finish on Mont Ventoux

Alberto Contador taking in the moment after sealing his second Tour de France victory in 2009 after the summit finish on Mont Ventoux (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Alberto Contador punches the air after sealing his Tour de France victory in 2009

Alberto Contador punches the air after sealing his Tour de France victory in 2009 (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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The fans brought the flares to cheer on the peloton in 2013 when Froome won the stage

The fans brought the flares to cheer on the peloton in 2013 when Froome won the stage (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Chris Froome has Nairo Quintana on his wheel on the early slopes of Mont Ventoux in 2013

Chris Froome has Nairo Quintana on his wheel on the early slopes of Mont Ventoux in 2013 (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Bradley Wiggins suffering on the Mont Ventoux in 2009

Bradley Wiggins suffering on the Mont Ventoux in 2009 (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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An American fan cheers on the front group of the two Schlecks, Contador, and Armstrong

An American fan cheers on the front group of the two Schlecks, Contador, and Armstrong (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Andy Schleck and Alberto Contador cross the line together in 2009

Andy Schleck and Alberto Contador cross the line together in 2009 (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Chris Froome makes his move on Mont Ventoux.

Chris Froome attacks in 2016 (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Juan Manuel Gárate punches the air in delight having won the 2009 stage to Mont Ventoux

Juan Manuel Gárate punches the air in delight having won the 2009 stage to Mont Ventoux (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Andy Schleck led Alberto Contador over the line during the 2009 Tour de France with the Spaniard holding on for his second overall victory

Andy Schleck led Alberto Contador over the line during the 2009 Tour de France with the Spaniard holding on for his second overall victory (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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A gendarme runs to get out of the way of Andy Schleck during the 2009 Tour

A gendarme runs to get out of the way of Andy Schleck during the 2009 Tour (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Thomas De gendt wins stage 12 of the 2016 Tour de France

Thomas De Gendt wins the 2016 stage (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The fans flock the roadside as Lance Armstrong rides up Mont Ventoux in 2002

The fans flock the roadside as Lance Armstrong rides up Mont Ventoux in 2002 (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Lance Armstong riding away from Joseba Beloki during the 2002 Tour de France

Lance Armstong riding away from Joseba Beloki during the 2002 Tour de France (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Richie Porte paces Chris Froome while Alberto Contador sits in third place

Richie Porte paces Chris Froome while Alberto Contador sits in third place (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The grupetto inside the final kilometre of Mont Ventoux in 2013

The grupetto inside the final kilometre of Mont Ventoux in 2013 (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Andy Schleck and Alberto Contador finish ahead of Lance Armstrong and Fränk Schleck in 2009

Andy Schleck and Alberto Contador finish ahead of Lance Armstrong and Fränk Schleck in 2009 (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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A fan flies the French flag on the slopes of Mont Ventoux

A fan flies the French flag on the slopes of Mont Ventoux (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Bradley Wiggins climbing the final kilometres of Mont Ventoux in 2009 as he finished fourth overall

Bradley Wiggins climbing the final kilometres of Mont Ventoux in 2009 as he finished fourth overall (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Andy Schleck leading Alberto Contador and Lance Armstrong inside the final kilometre of Mont Ventoux

Andy Schleck leading Alberto Contador and Lance Armstrong inside the final kilometre of Mont Ventoux (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Lance Armstrong and Marco Pantani approach the finish of Mont Ventoux shoulder-to-shoulder in 2000

Lance Armstrong and Marco Pantani approach the finish of Mont Ventoux shoulder-to-shoulder in 2000 (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Marco Pantani climbing Mont Ventoux during the 1994 Tour de France

Marco Pantani climbing Mont Ventoux during the 1994 Tour de France (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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The 'moon like' upper slopes of Mont Ventoux is packed with camper vans

The 'moon like' upper slopes of Mont Ventoux is packed with camper vans (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The telecommunications mast which stands atop the Mont Ventoux

The telecommunications mast which stands atop the Mont Ventoux (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Chris Froome (Team Sky) approaching the finish line for the stage win while wearing yellow at the 2013 Tour

Chris Froome (Team Sky) approaching the finish line for the stage win while wearing yellow at the 2013 Tour (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Chris Froome remained in the yellow jersey, extending his lead on Mont Ventoux

Chris Froome remained in the yellow jersey, extending his lead on Mont Ventoux (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Jack Bauer celebrates the completion of the Mont Ventoux with a wheelie

Jack Bauer celebrates the completion of the Mont Ventoux with a wheelie (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Richie Porte shows his exasperation at the stage 12 finish

Richie Porte is all of us as he wonders what on earth is happening on that 2016 stage (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Mont Ventoux has taken its place in the folklore of the Tour de France since it first featured in the French Grand Tour back in 1951, when Lucien Lazarides led the peloton over the summit.

Since then, the race has returned only 15 times but the 'Giant of Provence' has nevertheless - and perhaps also as a consequence - acquired a mystical reputation. From triumph to tragedy, with battles like Armstrong-Pantani and Contador-Schleck, and of course a yellow jersey literally running up, the 'bald mountain' has always served up the biggest storylines.

Seven years ater its first visit, Mont Ventoux hosted its first ever summit finish with Charly Gaul taking the win in a time trial and Raphaël Géminiani riding back into the yellow jersey.

Having made return visits to Mont Ventoux in 1952 and 1955, the Tour de France's second summit finish came in 1965 with Raymond Poulidor taking the stage win.

Stage 13 of the 1967 Tour, Marseille to Carpentras, is etched into the history book of cycling as it witnessed the death of English champion Tom Simpson at just 29. Simpson collapsed on the upper slopes of the climb, asking spectators to put him back on his bike before collapsing for a second and final time just half-a-mile from the summit. A memorial has been erected at the site of Simpson's collapse which has since become a shrine for cyclists riding up the mountain who leave tokens of remembrance such as bidons.

The Tour returned to Mont Ventoux three years later with Eddy Merckx taking the win in the yellow jersey on stage 14. Bernard Thévenet won the stage to Mont Ventoux two years later with Merckx also wearing the yellow jersey. The Tour then returned in 1974, only passing over the Ventoux, with a wait until 1987 before it featured again in the race.

The 1987 Tour featured a second time trial of Ventoux, starting in Carpentras, with France's Jean-François Bernard taking the victory and moving into the yellow jersey which he would lose the following day. It would be another seven years before Ventoux returned with Eros Poli the first rider over the summit and taking the stage win at the finish line in Carpentras.

In 2000, Mont Ventoux played host to the battle between Marco Pantani and Lance Armstrong with the Italian winning the stage in controversial circumstances. France enjoyed a fourth win on the Giant of Provence with Richard Virenque winning the stage from Lodève in 2002 with Armstrong wearing the yellow jersey.

Seven years later, Juan Manuel Gárate won the stage to Mont Ventoux from a breakaway while behind Alberto Contador, Andy and Franck Schleck, Lance Armstrong, Roman Kreuziger, Franco Pellizotti, Vincenzo Nibali and Bradley Wiggins were engaged in the fight for the overall. Contador wouldn't be broken though as the then-Astana rider sealed a second overall victory.

To celebrate the 100th edition of the race, Mont Ventoux served as the denouement to the longest stage of the 2013 race with Chris Froome soloing to victory in the yellow jersey and Nairo Quintana announcing himself as the Team Sky's rider biggest rival in the race.

In 2016, Froome and Quintana will be favourites to contest for the stage win again with the former in position to become the first dual-winner atop the 'Géant de Provence'. However, with weather conditions shortening the race this year, the riders won't encounter the 'moon like' upper layers of the climb.

Click or swipe through the gallery above for a close look at some of the best racing images of Mont Ventoux over the years.