New for 2020, our Taming the Ventoux challenge is for those who wish to test their mettle on one of the most feared and mythical mountains in cycling folklore, while also exploring the beautiful roads in the heart of the Provençal. Established in 1988 the Club des Cinglés challenges riders to tackle all three sides of the Ventoux within a single day - that’s 137 kilometres and 4,500m of elevation! Becoming an official member of this coveted club is the highlight of this tour and having raced, time-trialled, video’d and simply ridden the Ventoux for the sheer satisfaction that it brings, Mike Cotty and The Col Collective are very excited to bring this unique challenge to life for you. While Mont Ventoux dominates the skyline this region offers some spectacular riding and we’ll also support you on one of our favourite rides, a beautiful 90 kilometre loop through the magnificent Gorges de la Nesque.
Unlike any other mountain, the Ventoux’s isolated position overlooking the Rhône valley dominates the entire region and on a clear day it’s an un-missable centre point from every angle as far as the eye can see. Its otherworldly landscape gives it a menacing character of its own, where bare limestone rock makes it appear as if it’s snowcapped the whole year round. Steeped in cycling drama and tragedy, The Giant of Provence is nothing short of pure legend and nearly 20 years on from my very first ascent I can still feel the energy and aura that the Ventoux emits like it was just yesterday. Just thinking about it still makes my heart beat faster and I can’t wait to return and share this experience with you all.
Fully supported both on and off the bike by The Col Collective, ride and learn from Mike Cotty and the team and relax après velo in beautiful surrounds at our carefully selected cycling friendly accommodation.
This escape is all about taming the Ventoux, exploring the Provence and helping you become a more complete mountain rider through a challenging experience that will live with you for a lifetime.
WHO’S IT FOR?
This tour is aimed for anyone that wishes to silence the Ventoux and become a member of the prestigious Club des Cinglés. Rides on the two main days will be from 90 to 140km with 1,500m to 4,500m elevation. As the big focus will be on the triple ascent of the Ventoux we’re flexible enough to tailor all the other days around this to ensure that you have the best conditions and legs for your challenge.
We’ve chosen to run this tour as a highlight at the end of our season, not only is it something for us to personally look forward to but the late summer conditions make it the perfect time for cycling where the temperature is more favourable than in the height of summer. This will be a one-of-a-kind challenge supported by The Col Collective with a maximum group size of just 10 riders, so that we can really support you in the best possible way all the way to the summit!
Thur 24th - Sun 27th September 2020 (3 nights) - Just 1 place remaining!
€1,275 per person - based on twin share, includes our exclusive Col Collective Ventoux essentials kit bag! See ‘what’s included’ for details.
€225 - single supplement.
10% discount for non-riding partners.
5% loyalty discount for returning guests and for group bookings of 3 or more.
We are currently working on our 2020 Col Collective kit bag which will include the highest quality mountain essentials gear from our premium partners including limited edition Col Collective jersey, nutrition, lighting and more.
THE TOUR IN BRIEF > 3 x Ventoux / 250km / 6,500m elevation
Day 1 - Arrival and collection from Marseille airport or Avignon train station, transfer to the foot of Ventoux for a short ride with our first view of The Giant of Provence!
Day 2 - Le Club des Cinglés du Mont Ventoux Challenge - all three sides from Bedoin, Malaucène and Sault > 137km / 4,500m elevation
Day 3 - Gorges de la Nesque adventure > 90km / 1,700m elevation
Day 4 - Well earned breakfast and return to Marseille airport or Avignon train station.
We’re here to look after you and ensure that you get the very most from your experience. Our main goal is for you to conquer the Club des Cinglés challenge and we’re flexible enough to adapt rides and days to ensure that you’re in the best shape possible.
We’ll collect you at Marseille airport or Avignon train station at lunchtime and transfer to our base at the foot of Mont Ventoux in the Vaucluse department of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. To loosen the legs we have a beautiful route planned featuring meandering vineyard lanes and gentle climbs. Smell the fresh pine and feel the Provençal warmth on your skin. This route can easily be adapted from between 25 and 50 kilometres with 350m to 700m of elevation.
The BIG one! And what a day this will be! Conquering the Ventoux is a once in a lifetime achievement but bagging all three sides in the same day is just Cinglés (AKA nuts!) That’s what we LOVE here at The Col Collective! From Bédoin the climb is 21.4km at an average of 7.6%, with a tough 5 kilometre wooded section and double digit gradients. Emerge from the forest and you’re completely exposed to the elements from Chalet Reynard and beyond. The summit appears close, teasing in a way that only ‘the windy mountain’ can get away with, and yet pedal stroke by pedal stroke it’s still a lifetime away. Today will be an all time life lesson in pacing and mental focus. Although very different in character the ascent from Malaucène is just as long and equally challenging, often hitting 10% and with little shelter it’s important to keep well hydrated. The lunar landscape on the upper slopes, devoid of vegetation and strewn with millions of limestone rocks, are as hard to comprehend as is the gradient. With both of the tougher sides behind us, all that is left now between yourself and Cinglés history is a final ascent from Sault. 25.6 kilometres in length but at a much friendlier 4.5% average, although considerably easier by now the extent of this challenge will really start to set in. It’s not over until the summit is passed for the third and final time and we’ll be here to support you all the way! Relish the moment, every heart beat has been worth it. You. Are. A. CHAMPION!
If you’ve ever dreamed of riding in the Grand Canyon then this ride could very easily make this dream come true. The 25km long Gorges de la Nesque are a spectacular canyon nestled in the heart of Provence, with rocks and caves sculpted in prehistoric times in a quiet place where time appears to have stood still, and a very different feeling to the uniqueness of Mont Ventoux. The river Nesque has flowed here for millions of years, carving impressive cliffs that we will follow through the Gorges before returning on a maze of peaceful roads crossing forests of oak and all the while dominated by the splendour of The Giant.
We hope that by now you’ll be feeling very proud of yourself, and we will be too for sharing such an experience together. A final breakfast and it’s time to return to the airport or train station only this time you’ll be stronger, wiser and most importantly part of an elite club of Mont Ventoux mad folk!
Our very high standards mean that it’s important for us to check every detail prior to confirming our accommodation to ensure that it creates the exact experience that we wish to create for our guests. We are currently confirming the accommodation and will add more details in the coming days.
Please complete the below booking request form so that we can start working with you to confirm your Col Collective cycling adventure. We’ll give you a call or send you an email with more details, also prior to booking we can answer any questions that you may have. Once you’re happy and have confirmed the booking we ask for 30% of the full price of the tour at this time, with the remaining balance paid in full 12 weeks before the tour. Changes and cancellations are detailed in our terms and conditions.
Thank you for your interest. We look forward to welcoming you to our mountains!
PLEASE NOTE THAT WE OCCASIONALLY ENCOUNTER AN ISSUE WITH OUR BOOKING FORM. IF YOU DON’T HEAR FROM US WITHIN 48 HOURS PLEASE SEND AN EMAIL TO firstname.lastname@example.org
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Now in our fourth season, we're proud to bring you all the info on our new 2020 cycling tours. Whatever your level of cycling we'd be proud to share the road with you and help you become a more accomplished mountain rider.
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Our Grand Cols Tourmalet Celebration is for those who wish to be part of the grand opening of the Col du Tourmalet while also conquering the most prestigious peaks in the French Pyrénées.
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If you want to create your own truly unique cycling experience with The Col Collective then drop us a line and we can put a bespoke tour together especially for you and your friends.