With the legendary Mont Ventoux acting as the perfect backdrop and a reminder of what lies ahead, riders were welcomed to the event village in Bédoin today to register for the 270km challenge and 7,900m+ of elevation which would make up Haute Route Ventoux 2019.
As the last European event of the season, many riders were looking forward to one last big hit-out after building their fitness and experience at a series of Haute Route events earlier this year, whilst others were ready to experience their first Haute Route event after training and working hard towards this challenge for several months. Whether aiming for a podium position or simply to complete each stage in their own time, all riders knew they had to respect one of the most famous and iconic mountains in cycling – nicknamed the Beast of Provence - which they would be taking on three times in three days.
After picking up their bib numbers and riders packs, riders enjoyed the atmosphere and partner stands in the event village before heading to the safety briefing and the pasta party later that evening where they would get the chance to catch-up with new and old cycling friends.
“This is my first Haute Route and I am very impressed by what I have seen so far. It is a very professional event village and I am really enjoying myself, so I have great expectations about the start tomorrow and the rest of the stages,” said Robert Fidom from the Netherlands.
“My goal is to reach the finish each day. I do a lot of kilometres on the bike, although not as much as I would have liked for an event like this, but I will be taking each day as it comes. I am here with my brother who won our entry, so thank you to ABLOC beer for this opportunity.”
For Lars-Johan Lundell from Sweden, this event is just the beginning: “We signed up for Haute Route Alps next year so we thought this would be ideal practice for the big goal next year. We have done many cycling events but this is our first multi-day event and our first Haute Route so we are very excited. It has all been superb so far.”
As the sunset over the charming cycling town of Bédoin, riders settled down for a good night’s sleep ahead of tomorrow’s first stage, involving a 114km long route with 3,100m+ of climbing over Trois Termes, La Ligne and La Liguerie before a summit finish up Mont Ventoux. For riders opting for the Compact Course, they will join the Original Course peloton over Trois Termes and La Ligne, before preparing for their finish atop Chalet Reynard to round off a 92km long day and 2,100m of climbing.