133km | 3300m D+ · Saturday 6th October
Starting once again in the heart of Bedoin for stage two of the 2018 Haute Route Ventoux, riders will discover another two brand new cols before heading to the toughest ascent that the Ventoux has to offer.
Before taking on either of these new cols however, riders will get to ride the breath-taking ascent through the Gorges de la Nesque. Winding through the gorges as the October sun rises over the horizon, the colours and views will be remarkable. Descending briefly through Sault, riders will then head towards a new col, the Col de l’Homme Mort. With a relatively shallow gradient between 5% and 6%, this climb shouldn’t be too testing but will be the main difficulty of the day before taking on the Mont Ventoux.
After the descent there are a succession of rolling hills for the next 40km, which include the Col de Fontaube. These will undoubtedly leave their mark on your legs during this long stage, try to conserve as much energy as possible by riding in a group and avoiding going into the red when the road turns uphill.
After over 110km of the stage the final and main challenge of the day will present itself to the riders: the ascent of Mont Ventoux from Malaucène. The official stats for this climb are eye watering in themselves: 21km at an average gradient of nearly 8%. The toughest section of the climb comes about half way up with a long three-kilometre section where the gradient never drops below 11%. This straight section of road makes these three-kilometres seem never ending; to get through it as comfortable as possible just select a small gear and try to keep a high cadence. Once you are past this steep section you will be rewarded with a few kilometres around the 4% mark before the final 5km ramp up again to above 8% all the way to the summit. Once you’ve reached the finish line at the summit take the time to appreciate what you have just achieved and snap a few pictures before layering up for the descent to the race village in Bedoin.
Stage 2 – Alternative Route
The start of the second alternative route will also be identical to the full stage, heading up the Gorges de la Nesque, once you reach Sault however you won’t head to the Col de l’Homme Mort but will cycle through Reilhanette and over the Col des Aires. To reach the finish line you will then contour the Giant of Provence and return to Bédoin via the Col de la Madeleine.
The stage cols will be available soon