2021 will see the return of the Tour de France to Mont Ventoux, and for nothing less than a historic double ascent of the legendary summit!
By the time of the event, the redevelopment works will have been completed.
Double ascent on 7th July 2021
The announcement at the end of October of a 100% Vaucluse stage for the 108th Tour de France (June 26 to July 18, 2021) delighted the locals, especially as it promises to be an exceptional one!
Indeed, on Wednesday 7th July next year, the riders will depart from the small town of Sorgues, between Avignon and Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and will finish the stage in Malaucène.
But between these two points, they must face nothing less than a double ascent of Mont Ventoux, the first time coming from Sault, then from Bédoin, with the last stretch from the Chalet Reynard to the limestone summit, with its incline of 9 to 10%, climbed twice! It will be a first for the Tour. To this route is added the Col de la Liguière, as well as the crossing of many other Vaucluse villages.
The history of Ventoux as part of the Tour
All the champions have challenged the bare mountain, and the greatest have won fame: Charly Gaul, Raymond Poulidor, Eddy Merckx, Jean-François Bernard, Marco Pantani who beat a humiliated Lance Amstrong, Richard Virenque, and more recently Christopher Froome in 2013 and 2016, when he completed part of his ascent on foot, choosing to throw away his unusable bike and to run after hitting a motorcycle. Sporting highlights are engraved in the collective memory of Ventoux, and have formed the legend of the mountain. Terrible tragedies have also contributed to this legend, such as the death on July 13, 1967 of Tom Simpson, who collapsed two kilometres from the summit. A legendary stage of the race.
A closer look at the works at the Ventoux summit:
The first phase of the redevelopment of the summit was completed in early November.
With more than 700,000 visitors a year, Mont Ventoux is a popular destination for both the residents of Vaucluse and for tourists. So much so that the “Giant of Provence” is close to maximum capacity, which led the Departmental Council of Vaucluse to launch important works at the summit last spring.
The objectives of this exceptional construction site are: To preserve the landscape and the environment of Mont Ventoux but also to make its visit more comfortable for everyone, while better ensuring the safety of all visitors to the site.
The new works include three major operations: The restoration of the retaining wall of the Observatory’s forecourt, the development of the forecourt (with the addition of an inscription of the summit’s official height of 1910 metres) and the construction of a large staircase (“les Degrés du Ventoux”) connecting the Belvédère de Provence to the summit.
The second phase of the project will run from April to June 2021, and consists of the restoration and development of natural environments and the installation of informative panels for visitors. It will therefore be ready for the most publicised sports event on the planet in July!