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Riding Mt. Ventoux(2 posts)

Riding Mt. VentouxRookieZ
Jun 15, 2002 5:04 PM
I am extremely lucky to get to go watch and pre-ride and few of the tour stages in July. We will be in the Pyrenees and finish with Mt. Ventoux. Has anyone ridden any of the climbs on these stages without a triple chain ring? I am a decent climber and was planning on putting a 12x27 on my bike before I go. Does anyone have any firsthand knowledge if that will be sufficient? Thanks.
re: Riding Mt. Ventouxphilippe crist
Jun 15, 2002 11:50 PM
I usually ride the Ventoux 2-3 times a year -- and at least once in race conditions. The answer to your question re: gearing depends on your condition and which side you plan to go up. The South side (from Bedoin) is the hardest, followed closely by the north side from Malaucene. The east side from Sault is the easiest. If you plan to go up the south side, you should be able to handle ~10km of consecutive above-9% grades -- anbd the rest of the 22 kms are tough as well. The north side has ~5kms of contiguous 10% grades. The tough thing about the Ventoux is that there are almost no switchbacks -- and therefore almost no relief. This is not the case with climbs in the Pyrenees or the Alps where you can at least recover for the few metres of the turn in the switchback. In any case, many people who go up the Ventoux use a triple -- usually with an 11-23, a 27 with a triple would be overkill. Depending on the time of year and the side I am going up, I use 52-39 with a 12-25, or a custom 12-27 (12,13,14,15,17,19,21,23,25,27).

Oh, and it is usually hot, hot, hot!

Bon courage!

Philippe

P.s. here are the profiles for the north and south sides