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).
Hi Thanks for a perfectly organised trip port to port in Bretagne! We had a wonderful holiday. We used some of the restaurants you described in the traveler book. Helle and Peter. :) (08/2017)
Dear Fabien, Thank you very much for your interest. Thanks to the good one to do, the enthusiasm and the explanations of the guide, today the first day we have completed the first stage successfully in spite of being experienced neither at bicycles nor in GPS. Incredible!!! Thank you very much. A greeting Martha (08/2017)
Hello, We had a fantastic stay. Overall, we are very satisfied and recommend Brittany (...) Eve, Marie, Per-Anders and Ulf What we enjoyed the most: The good weather Pleasant hotel The good food Good equipment, good bicycles (08/2018)
Back home now Fabien, thanks for all the help…a great week of riding and enjoying Le Tour! Merci! (07/2015)
Hello new friends, I wish to say "thank you for a great time and good-bye for now". I missed saying so to most of you yesterday. all the best (05/2013)
Hello Natalie, We are now back in Sweden from our bicycle tour in Normandy. I would just like to give you some feed back from the tour: We were all very satisfied with the trip. When planning the trip, we found it very easy to work with you, quick answers and good flexibility for our ideas. Excellent choice of roads, which took us through the fantastic landscapes of Normandy, and also along the fashinating see shores ending with the first D-day shore. Most roads with very little traffic. We also appreciated the kindness of all french drivers who never complained although we sometimes were in the middle of the small narrow roads. The distances was OK for all of us. When there was a choice of long or short distances, we always selected the long ones. Easy to find the roads with the excellent GPS and the very good Road Book. We also appreciated the very good choice of B&B, places where we felt wellcome and with good standard. A trip we will recommend to our friends. We also had good luck with the weather, lots of sun, not to strong winds, just one or two showers in daytime. (Was the weather also organised by you??) With Best Regards (05/2017)