113km | 2700m D+ · Friday 5th October
Starting in the heart of Bédoin, the first stage of the 2018 Haute Route Ventoux sets off towards the south for a total 113km and 2700m of climbing with a finish atop Ventoux after the ascent from Sault. Only two small climbs are on the menu before the assault on the Mont Ventoux, meaning the stage should be relatively fast.
First, a relatively shallow and rolling climb to the Col des Trois Termes through a beautiful gorge alongside a small stream. With an average gradient of 4% most riders should be able to stay in a group up this hill, although there are a few steeper ramps above 8% which could create some splits in the peloton.
The second climb of the day on the Col de Lagarde is slightly longer and steeper than the first one, rising to 1101m with an average gradient just below 7%. You will have to settle into your own rhythm on this climb and try to avoid burning any matches before the final ascent of Ventoux to finish the stage.
The final climb of the day to the summit of Mont Ventoux from Sault is the easiest but longest side to climb this famous mountain. The first 16km average around 4% and are very rolling, riders should try to work in small groups to conserve energy during this section. The final 6km however above Chalet Reynard are a different affair. The slope gradually gets steeper and steeper as the road winds around the side of the mountain, culminating in a final kilometre at an average of 9.5%. Control your effort throughout this final section, remembering you have to climb this mountain again twice in the coming days, and enjoy the incomparable views at the top before heading back to the race village in Bedoin.
Stage 1 – Alternative Route
After a start in Bédoin you will climb up the Col des trois Termes and head north to reach Sault via the Col de la Ligne. You will finish the stage at Chalet Reynard rather than climbing all the way to the summit.
The stage cols will be available soon