Physically, Mount Ventoux is dreadful. Bald, it’s the spirit of Dry: Its climate (it is much more an essence of climate than a geographic place) makes it a damned terrain, a testing place for heroes, something like a higher hell.” Roland Barthes, French philosopher and bicycle racing fan

“The Ventoux is a god of Evil, to which sacrifices must be made. It never forgives weakness and extracts an unfair tribute of suffering.” Roland Barthes, French philosopher and bicycle racing fan

“I fought battles here in a past life.” Dai Parry, (Cwn Carn Paragon Cycling Club, S. Wales) 2km below Chalet Reynard

A genuine wheel-to-wheel rivalry, this one also got personal! During the 2002 race, American Armstong and the Italian Pantani were battling it out over a number of stages. Sustained attacks by both men made for an intriguing battle that is still spoken about by fans of le Tour today.

Above: The day when Chris Froome shelled everyone on Mont Ventoux to take his second mountain-top win of the 2013 race.

The Fastest ascents:

  • Iban Mayo 2004 – 55.5min,
  • Marco Pantani 1994 – 57.3min,
  • Chris Froome 2013 – 59min