Mont Ventoux has not been featured in the Tour de France since 2013 when Chris Froome took the stage win and went on to win his first Yellow Jersey. This mountain has had epic battles between competitors and with a riders own mind and body. The vast openness toward the summit leaves riders completely exposed to the elements which are only further exaggerated by the elevation (6,023 ft.) of the mountain.
One great battle on this mountain is that of Tom Simpson in 1967. Tom was known for his ability to suffer like none other and to push himself and competitors to the absolute breaking point. This type of riding resulted in huge wins for Tom and the British cycling program in the 1960’s but on July 13th, 1967 Tom rode his body to complete and utter exhaustion and collapsed less than a kilometer from the summit. He was urged by his team car to call a day and throw in the towel, but Tom refused only to collapse and be caught by fans less than 500 meters up the road. It was later discovered that Tom had taken performance enhancing drugs that combined with a mild laxative he was taking caused his heart to just quit on him. Many of anti-doping rules and policies came about due to this tragedy.
With all of the sadness wrapped around this mountain, there has been more triumph than anything else. Tour champions have established their dominance on the peak of this giant, and true climbers have tested their legs against the best in the world in an attempt to slip away with a stage win or even a Polka Dot Jersey.
This year the peak of Mont Ventoux shows back up on stage 12 the 14th of July, one day after the historical death of Tom Simpson and on Bastille Day. There are sure to be fireworks on the way up to the summit finish from French climbers like Pinot and Bardet, who would be counted in French cycling history as not only having won on Mont Ventoux but won on French Independence Day. General classification contenders will not let the French climbers take all of the glory as the GC riders will swap blow for blow up the summit, testing each’s climbing prowess and legs after two weeks in the saddle. We could see cracks in the armor of riders this day which will lead to time lost and individuals placement in the race compromised.
We have provided you the ability to ride this epic summit finish with the GPX route below. You can ride the exact route the riders of the Tour de France will climb with your smart bike trainer. Just follow the directions in the link provided to download the file and enable your trainer to replicate the Mont Ventoux climb.
I know we will be doing this climb as the riders do it live so as to connect ourselves to the race and the history made over time on this legendary climb. Technology like the ELEMNT GPS Bike Computer and the KICKR Smart Trainer has enabled us to connect to events like the Tour de France in ways that we never dreamed of. Get on this climb and create your own history and maybe a friendly competition between yourself and your riding buddies.
Mont Ventoux GPX File, Once the link, opens select “Download” in the top right corner
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