Tour de France riders looking to test their climbing chops ahead of the La Grande Boucle need look no further than the Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge on August 8.
The 1.1-ranked race, set for its second edition in 2020, has confirmed its parcours for the year, which features two ascents of the mythical Géant de Provence. The 182-kilometer route will take the peloton up Ventoux via the famed Bédoin ascent to Chalet Reynard – around two-thirds of the way up the southern slope of the mountain – before dropping down a side road to Sault, then looping back via Bédoin to the finish line at the 1,909-meter summit.
The one-day race is one of a handful of lower-tier French races benefiting from an early slot in the restarted 2020 calendar, alongside Tour de l’Ain and La Route Occitanie. Their early August slots provide Tour de France teams with easy add-on races to the traditional Tour warm-up event, the Critérium du Dauphiné, August 12-16.
“In an unprecedented health crisis, we are proud to have been able to benefit from a date which allows us to organize the second edition of the CIC-Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge,” said race director Nicolas Garcera in a statement Tuesday.
“During these last months, we fought to study all the solutions to organize our event in the most total respect of the sanitary rules,” he said. “We have a thought for all those who have been affected directly or indirectly by this epidemic and we hope that holding our race with the legendary Ventoux, climbed twice, as an arrival site will put a balm in the hearts of all.”
The inaugural 2019 edition, which included only one ascent of Ventoux, saw Jesús Herrada (Cofidis) battle Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale) for victory, dropping the Frenchman in the final kilometers of the fearsome climb in southern France. Several other teams now racing in the WorldTour including Groupama-FDJ, EF Pro Cycling, and Arkéa Samsic also took part.
“Everything suggests that participantion will be of a very high level with several UCI WorldTour teams at the start and renowned riders,” Garcera said. “We are convinced that the participation associated with a legendary site and a magnificent region will encourage a broadcaster to ensure its televised broadcast.”