Saturday September 3, 2005, 98 km (61 miles) – Total so far: 9,447 km (5,870 miles)
We had a long tough climb in hot sunshine for our last famous Alp of the tour. But what a mountain, Ventoux is a real monster!
There were literally thousands of riders on Ventoux, it’s an extremely popular destination for cyclists. We stopped for a while at the memorial on Mont Ventoux to Tom Simpson, the first British road world champion and the first to wear the yellow jersey of Tour de France leader. The granite memorial, unveiled by Simpson’s wife Helen in 1968, the year after he died on the mountain during a stage of the Tour de France, has become a place of pilgrimage for cyclists, particularly those from the UK.
The views from the climb were spectacular, and even though it was a bit misty, we could see for miles from the summit. We’ve climbed so many mountains over the past few months that our fitness is really beginning to show, we overtook several riders sitting on several thousand Euros worth of carbon. It must have been quite disheartening for them.
The descent to Malaucène was a real pleasure before we enjoyed a comparatively flat ride to Bollène where we’ve checked into a hotel and restaurant.