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