After hitting 46C last summer, we who live in the south of France are getting a little nervous about all this Global Warming business. So, it was with mixed emotions yesterday that John and drove over to Mont Ventoux for a ride in lovely springtime temperatures, even at Chalet Reynard, nearly 1500 meters up.
But it was business. Our mission was to combine a ride on the Albion Plateau (around Sault) with some pro viewing on the finish line of stage 3 of the Tour de la Provence. This year’s event was a big affair, with 14 World Tour teams represented, and a finish on Mont Ventoux (even if it was ‘only’ Chalet Reynard) is always something to look forward to.
After our very fast ride, with John and I usually sitting in behind the guy on the right below. Rob is a local to Ventoux and a former Canadian Masters Champion in cyclocross. He doesn’t know anything but ‘hard’, although he seemed to be easing up for us. Getting back from our loop in plenty of time, we found an empty picnic table in front of the chalet and had a couple of cold beers…in February…outside!
Here’s my Strava proof:
Below is the finishing straight. For those who know the area, the riders came up the Bedoin road (below), made a sharp u-turn to the right, then the last 50 meters was on the road to Sault (above). I’m not sure why they did it this way, but it must have had something to do with logistics.
Our car was parked beyond the buses you see in the photo above, so on the way back we spun by a few guys cooling down, including the ever-classy Warren Barguil, being generous with his time with some young fans.
Finally, if you can find this stage somewhere on the interwebs, give it a watch. Quintana attacked a sizeable group with 7 kilometers to go from the finish. That is pretty audacious when you consider that most of those 7 km are at 10%. It’s great to see him riding like this again and here’s hoping he’s found a good home at his new team (with Barguil above), Arkéa-Samsic. Enjoy John’s video of Nairo winning well ahead of anyone else, if my ’embed’ worked!