Ventouxman – June 3, 2018 – swimming 3.8 km – cycling 180 km – running 42.195 km
By David, Abicyclette travel advisor – Strength: road bike
4:30 wake up … The weather looks good, a cloudy sky and a temperature of about 20° C at the base of Ventoux will accompany us throughout this day.
7:30 … it’s the start for more than 750 participants. As expected, I swim as relaxed as possible (well I try). I have trouble taking my bearings and I have to add a little distance but I still come out in the set time of 35 minutes.
I take the bike on a good rhythm on this first part of the approach towards the Mont Ventoux through the vineyards of the Plan de Dieu then towards the villages of Séguret and Gigondas lodged on the flanks of the Dentelles de Montmirail. We leave the vineyards and the plain for olive groves and cherry trees before attacking the first difficulty, the slope leading to the village of Crillon le Brave with a superb panorama of Mont Ventoux.
Finally the arrival in Bédoin and the beginning of the hostilities. This is where I recharge batteries with fuel and especially the encouragement of my supporters: my 2 daughters, my partner and my cousin from Aix en Provence. The first half of the Ventoux is going pretty well with a good pedaling pace until the gradual arrival of a back pain.
Unexpected back pain complicates the arrival at the top
My force is dwindling and my cruising speed is going down. The competitors that I had overtaken at the beginning of the climb have passed me. At Chalet Reynard (6km from the summit) I often manage to get back on rhythm but today it is far from the case. The end of the Ventoux has never seemed so long and I arrive at the top with relief, in a hurry to finish with the bike (and especially with this back pain).
Once the Ventoux is climbed, we can believe that the hardest or almost is done … well it is not the case! After the descent of about 6km to the Mont Serein Resort, a trail of 20km (4 loops of 5km) await the competitors with descents … and climbs!
From that moment on, it is the mind that will take over. I take advantage of every refueling and encouragement of the spectators and my supporters to regain my energy, so important and precious at this moment of the race.
Each lap is a motivation that approaches me to the finish line.
After a little over 6 hours of effort, it’s the salvation and reward. I crossed the finish line … tired (it’s a bit normal right?) And especially proud of my performance (63rd).
Hello again Nathalie (...) It was wonderful and we so appreciated everything you organized to make it so. (...) The hotel was first class, lovely comfortable room and delicious breakfast......5* (...) Your maps and directions were excellent and we only got lost a couple of times! Don't forget to tell your clients about the beautiful gardens....Le Jardins Botanique de la Boirie at Saint Pierre Ile d'Oleron. They are amazing and not to be missed! Journeys over the bridges were thrilling and we especially liked the Ile de Re....we might have to return there one day! Again our thanks Nathalie. We'll be in touch for next year. Sincerely, Brenda & Michael (09/2018)
Bonjour, Suite au Week-End, un peu pluvieux, passé ensemble autour des Châteaux de la Loire, merci pour tes efforts et ta compagnie. A une prochaine fois, sans doute... (05/2013)
It has been an excellent experience. Totally raw with the bicycles, everything was organized so well (bicycles, housings, local information to eating) that we enjoy every moment of the tour. The explanations of the first day on the part of the guide us turned out to be very useful and to know that always you could rely on the organization it allowed us to enjoy the trip. The tour, on there having no been rolled traffic, is most indicated for people that as us it cannot circulate in road with the bicycle. The way of sirga that accompanies on the channel of Nantes Brest is of a spectacular beauty. It seems of another time, to admire the flowers that adorn the exclusas of the Channel, the villages that you are, a marvel. What more we estimate : All the explanations the day of delivery of the bicycles and of the documentation. The transport of suitcases and last day the taxi up to the village where we had to catch the bus. We come to France without having anything organized absolutely. (09/2017)
Back home now Fabien, thanks for all the help…a great week of riding and enjoying Le Tour! Merci! (07/2015)
Hi David Just wanted to mention again what a wonderful trip we had along the Loire in Brittany . We loved the food, and the itineraries were just right (...) Cheers Trevor (11/2018)
Hi Fabien, Thank you for a most lovely organised trip on the Brest Canal last week with Annick. We live in Somerset UK near Exmoor and we welcome you to visit and stay anytime to cycle our hills!!! We all had a great time and good Hotels food and wine. Yours sincerely. (05/2015)