Luberon to Ventoux

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Le Grand Tour: The Heart of the Race - Luberon to Ventoux Itinerary
Day 1

Welcome to Provence

Your guides will greet you at the Avignon train station and the dream training camp begins. After a quick transfer to our base for the week, la Bastide de Gordes, we’ll be fitted to our Cannondale SuperSix bikes and take to the roads. Today’s ride sees us riding through the deep green pines and ochre cliffs of the Luberon Valley, overall several excellent climbs. Pass through historic villages like Gargas, Bonnieux, and Roussillon, riding alongside beautiful French architecture with views of the Luberon. Tonight we’ll fuel for the coming days with a delicious Provencal meal back in Gordes.

Meals: Lunch / Dinner
Mileage: 37 miles / 59.5 km.
Climbing: 2,559 feet / 780 meters
Destinations: Gordes, Gargas, Apt, Bonnieux, Luberon Valley

Day 2

The Petit-Luberon

Climbing begins in earnest today with a seven-mile ascent into the Petit-Luberon. Averaging 5.1%, this is the first Category 1 climb of the week. It is a training camp, after all. Cycling on a road closed to cars, we’ll be delivered to a gorgeous view of the Petit-Luberon. After revitalizing snacks at the summit, we’ll descend into the peaceful valley below, surrounded by the picturesque orchards and vineyards of the Luberon. After a short climb back up to Goult, we’ll ride the rest of the way home to Gordes, where the night is yours to enjoy the town.

Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
Mileage: 47.5 miles / 76.5 km.
Climbing: 3,353 feet / 1,022 meters
Destinations: Cavaillon, Bonnieux, the Petit-Luberon, Goult

Day 3

The Giant of Provence Approaches

Priming ourselves for the real test to come, we will ride to the base of Ventoux today, where we’ll enjoy the special charcuterie in the town of Sault. This is the perfect fuel for today’s ride, which features several challenging summits. Peering up at the top of Ventoux, we’ll get a taste of what is to come before enjoying the long descent through Gorges de la Nesque to Villessur- Auzon and climbing back up to Gordes through Pernes-les–Fontaines. Tonight we’ll enjoy another delicious and energizing Provencal meal, and a much-deserved one after today’s ride.

Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
Mileage: 68 miles / 109 km.
Climbing: 5,072 feet / 1,546 meters
Destinations: Sault, Villes-Sur-Auzon, Pernes-Lesfontaines, Murs, Gorges De La Nesque

Day 4

The Tour De France and Mont Ventoux.

The moment of truth has arrived. Today the Tour de France will send the peloton screaming to the summit of one of the most legendary climbs in the sport, and we’ll be there to see all of the action, cheering on our favorite Cannondale Pro Cycling Team riders. How will our times up Ventoux tomorrow compare to theirs? Riding 48 miles in the morning before the race, we have a Category 1 climb to conquer ourselves outside Cavaillon to help us prepare for our ascent tomorrow. Eat well tonight. Tomorrow, the giant awaits.

Meals: Breakfast / Lunch
Mileage: 48 miles / 77 km.
Climbing: 4,197 feet / 1,279 meters
Destinations: Ménerbes, Cavaillon, Lacoste, Bonnieux, Goult

Day 5

The Queen Stage

Mont Ventoux. Do you need to know anything else? Conquering the Giant of Provence from Bédoin, we’ll climb for 12.6 miles at an average grade of 7.4%. But don’t let the numbers fool you. This HC monster tops out at 11%. Can you summit in under two hours? How does your time compare to the pros’? After descending through the otherworldly moonscape and back to the valley below, we’ll race back to Gordes for a much deserved victory dinner of the excellent local fare.

Meals: Breakfast / Dinner
Mileage: 65 miles / 104.6 km.
Climbing: 7,618 feet / 2,321 meters
Destinations: Bédoin, Mont Ventoux

Day 6

Au Revoir

With one of the most spectacular climbs in cycling under our belts and the memory of one of the most dramatic moments of the 2013 Tour de France in our minds, your guides will see you off at the Avignon train station.

Meals: Breakfast