This is a public service announcement in English because I doubt it exists anywhere else yet. Below is a blurry graphic in French on the work that is being done on Ventoux this (whole) season. We were pretty disappointed about this when we first heard about it in the winter because it was going to play havoc with our Ventoux tours (we cancelled one because of it even). Since I’m not a bike guide anymore this year I’m now looking at this with a little more optimism. Here are the basics:
- Vehicles are not permitted to the summit all year long. You will be stopped 500 meters or so from the top (Col des Tempetes on the south side; that big parking lot by the round thingy on the north side)
- Cyclists and walkers are allowed to the top. Are you thinking what I am? Most car traffic is ‘through’ and not many will want to just go up and down, I’ll bet, especially when they won’t be able to motor to the top. Combine that with the ‘covid factor’ and you will have a nice, quiet Ventoux this year.
- They’re going to build a stairway for people to access the summit from the road before the last hairpin. You will have to walk from your parked car down at the Col des Tempetes, I think.
- Once the work is done it seems like the summit will be for the exclusive use of cyclists and people on foot. Through traffic will be diverted to the lower road (now one way with parking on the side). This sucks for tour operators who have cold weather clothes, food, water, etc. waiting in their vehicles for clients, but we’ll figure it out. The summit of Ventoux is a total madhouse on busy days (most days) with cyclists pissing off cars and vice versa. Good decision.
- There will be a walking ‘discovery’ trail that appears to go down towards the east, maybe around the buildings at the summit, and past the chapel to the round thingy on the west side.
- ‘Wild parking’ on the limestone sides of the road will not be permitted anymore. They will either block this off or make actual parking spots, I think.
That’s about all I can make out from this, but you can bet I’ll be adding updates throughout the season if I have the energy to ride to the top after all this sitting around.