[The 2023 CIC Mont Ventoux was shortened at the eleventh hour. The second ascent of the ‘Windy Mountain’ was cut from the route due to the risk of storms. The new route amounted to 98.3 kilometres.]
The race sets off from Vaison-la-Romaine, a place northwest of the Mont Ventoux. The fastest route to the summit is 30 kilometres long, but the riders take a detour instead. They circle around the Bald Mountain before going to the top.
Shortly after the start the riders enter the Col de la Madeleine, which is a gentle warm-up climb of 5.6 kilometres à 2.2%. The route moves through Bédoin and continues onto the Col de Gabelle. This is a 10 kilometres climb with an average gradient of 4.2%. After the descent and a false flat of approximately 20 kilometres the first haul up the Mont Ventoux begins in Sault.
Perched on a rocky outcrop and amidst fields of lavender, the fortified village is the start of the sweetest route up the Beast of the Provence: 24.3 kilometres at 5%.
The riders fly down the Ventoux towards Malaucène. The race moves through the village and re-enters the first part of the route. So the Col de la Madeleine reappears and 7 kilometres after the summit the riders reach Bédoin for the second time.
This is where Mont Ventoux begins for real. On this side the ascent is 21 kilometres long and the average gradient sits at 8.7%. The first section through the woods is extremely tough – 3 kilometres at 10% – before it ‘levels out’ to 7.5% in the ensuing 7 kilometres. After Chalet Reynard the scenery changes to a lunar landscape without any vegetation, as if climbing the moon. This section is roughly 6 kilometres long and climbs at almost 8%. The last 1.5 kilometres go up at almost 10%.
The winner succeeds Jesús Herrada, Aleksandr Vlasov, Miguel Ángel López, and Ruben Guerreiro. The Portuguese finished off a solo last year, while his team mate Esteban Chaves and Michael Storer finished in second and third.
CIC Mont Ventoux 2023: route & profiles
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