The epic climb of Mont Ventoux will feature on Stage 12 of the Tour de France this year, but the climb may not be as big as previously claimed.
Luke Reynard, the Mayor of Bedoin, one of the towns at the foot of the climb recently commissioned a survey of the highest point of the access road on the mountain and according to Le Dauphiné Liberé, it appears from preliminary estimates that the highest point of the road is slightly less than 1 900 metres. Official results will be announced in late June.
Reynard outlined his motivation for commissioning the survey as he said: “More and more athletes are trying to establish records for the ascent of Mont Ventoux. To obtain approval of their records, they need a certificate from the municipality, which mentions certified altitudes. Anecdotally, these athletes say they are climbing to the summit of Ventoux which is 1909.60 m, while they are actually climbing to the highest point of the road which is located at a significantly lower altitude than the summit.”
The survey was undertaken last Friday by a team led by Sophie Argence, President of the Department of Surveyors from the Vaucluse region.
This year’s stage of the Tour de France which features Mont Ventoux will be the sixteenth time that the climb has featured in the race and the tenth time that it has been used as a summit finish.
So it seems that from July onwards, riders taking on the climb won’t be climbing to the height that they previously thought they were.