The full assent of the Mont Ventoux returns to the Tour de France route for the first time since 2013, when Chris Froome climbed to victory ahead of Nairo Quintana and Mikel Nieve. The climb was scheduled to be included three years later, but wind barrelling across the upper part – or, bald part – of the mountain saw the race being shortened to a Chalet Reynard finish. Thomas De Gendt took the spoils.
The 2021 Tour de France a double ascent of the Ventoux in the last 100 kilometres. Following warm-up climb on the Col de la Liguière the riders enter the Ventoux in Sault. The ascent is 24.3 kilometres long on this side. The section until Chalet Reynard barely touches 6% before the last 6 kilometres – the ‘bald part’ of the mountain – go up at almost 8%. The last 2 kilometres even at 9.5%.
The riders plunge down an extremely fast descent into Malaucène to enter the climb again after an undulating section of 12.5 kilometres around the base of the Ventoux. The second ascent begins Bédoin and is shorter, but much steeper than the first. The average gradient sits close to 9% for 15.7 kilometres. And again, the last 2 kilometres rise at 9.5%.
Reaching the summit, the pilots enter the rapid descent into Malaucène once again. The 22 kilometres to the line all fly downhill.
With stage honours and bonification seconds at stake, GC riders will doubtless be motivated to go all out. Primoz Roglic and Julian Alaphilippe are excellent descenders, while Jakob Fuglsang may not target the GC, he could win this with a descending attack if he is still in the mix.
The entry list of the Tour de France is still provisional, so we’ll update this article later.
Favourites stage 11 Tour de France 2021
*** Primoz Roglic, Julian Alaphilippe, Jakob Fuglsang
** Tadej Pogacar, Egan Bernal, Aleksandr Vlasov, Enric Mas
* Marc Hirschi, Miguel Ángel López, Geraint Thomas, Romain Bardet