RIDE at the Tour: Day Five
Ventoux loomed out of the misty horizon to tower over our coach by the time we got within 50km of it. The baron rocky top is often confused for a snow cap from a distance but there was no mistaking the monumental size of the climb.
A traffic jam that impeded any meaningful progress in the first five kilometres of the 25km ride to the top. Once over the bridge, the climb started properly. Through the first 10km of hot forest the climb is steep without any hairpins for respite.
The number of people lining the course was staggering and all were eager to cheer and shout encouragement in every language imaginiable.
The sweaty, himid forrest became a distant memory as concentration was required to simply keep riding forward without being blown over.
The wind was enough to knock the steel crowd barriers are more than a few cyclists into the ground. As the road traced a steep course the wind would alternate between battering from the front and right, and assisting from rear and left. The summit was being closed by the time we reached it.
After riding the climb we were convinced it had the potential to change the race.