Tuesday, 14 July 2009

All roads lead to the Giant of Provence

With less than a week to go, I have been reading far too many reports on Mont Ventoux and scaring myself silly. These are a few quotes.


"The forest. Jesus, the forest. Nothing can prepare you for that relentless ten kilometres through the forest. There is simply nothing else like it. Double chevrons crawl like spiders on the map all the way along the D974. Looking straight up the road gives me vertigo, makes me queasy."
Giles P Croft from the Rapha site.

"The climb seemed endless. Just when you think you are near the top, the sign '11km to the summit' appears. At that point riders were starting to get off and push in increasing numbers."
Report from the Etape 2000 which went up Ventoux.

"If the legs are hurting it's a mental challenge too as each time you'll see bend in the road ahead and hope for respite but it never seems to come. Instead it is just up and up, a real ordeal. There's are points where the gradient slackens but it's relative, 7% instead of 9%."
Route report on the Kingston Wheelers site.

"With no sign posts from there to Chalet Reynard and no hairpins, the ascent is unforgiving. In the forest it is hot and humid, quiet. There is still no sign of the top and it’s infuriatingly steep."
'The Elusive Prize' on the Rapha site.

Cyclingnews asked Lance how it went on Ventoux and as usual, the Texan didn't skate around the facts, telling us, "Well, it was tough! Tough as usual (on Ventoux) and a tough day in general, because it was very, very windy. The climb is relentless; very steep at the bottom and just difficult at the top.
Lance Armstrong, Cycling News.

Ventoux Stats
Start Altitude: Bedoin 280m
Finish Altitude: 1912m
Climb distance: 21.6km (13 miles)
Average gradient: 7.8%

3 comments:

kate said...

scary but very exciting! you've done everything you can, just enjoy it :)

Ed said...

I have to disagree with some of that. "Nothing can prepare you". Yeah, nothing except training. Reading stories from people you don't know doesn't help because you can't compare their fitness to yours. Anyone who is surprised by Ventoux really didn't do their homework, regardless of their training. And Lance doesn't count :-)

You've trained for over a year, tackled the two hardest sportives in the country and got silvers for both. You never walked. And recently your climbing has improved a lot.

Its going to be tough, very tough. But we know that. We know the gradients. We've done steeper, the only thing we haven't done is the duration. But we know that too. You've prepared and you know what's coming.

If anyone thinks I'm saying it won't be hard I'm not, it will be. Very. My point is only that you can prepare. And you bloody well have done.

Anonymous said...

Bring it on we are ready, YOU are ready, Lets enjoy the ride.It's what we all have been waiting for. Just take it all in and Enjoy the experience.
TO WITHIN A WHISPER OF YOUR OWN PERSONAL PERFECTION
TO PLACE THAT ARE SWEETER BECAUSE YOU WORKED SO HARD TO ARRIVE THERE
TO PLACES AT THE VERY EDGE OF YOUR DREAMS.
Regards
Trea