Cure Parkinson’s Ventoux ‘Club des Cinglés’ Challenge
Mont Ventoux has been stirring things up in the Tour de France world since it was first introduced over 60 years ago. It became infamous when it claimed the life of the British rider Tom Simpson in 1967 and has since become a Mecca for cyclists from all over the world wanting to battle the elements up this iconic, arid, rocky moonscape of a climb.
Cure Parkinson’s are no strangers to stirring things up themselves. Driven to cure, this agile charity funds cutting edge Parkinson’s research and unites the world’s leading experts under one cause. Cure Parkinson’s can only continue to have this impact with the support from people like you. So far, the Cure Parkinson’s Raid Series has raised a game-changing £500,000 in just three years and with your help, that total could climb to £1,000,000. Please join us in that ascent and rise the to the challenge.
The ‘Club des Cinglés de Mont Ventoux’ translates as the ‘brotherhood of the Ventoux nutters’ – very apt for anyone that cycles up Mont Ventoux 3 times in a day from all directions (4443m ascent in 136km)! Marmot Tours love a challenge and this ‘focused minibreak’ is as good as they come. If you register for the official challenge, you get awarded a certificate and medal if you make all 3 climbs, though there is no pressure to take part in the registered challenge if you prefer to just climb the mountain once or twice!
In order to give you the best chance of success on Ventoux, days 2 and 3 are interchangeable, so we can choose the day with the best weather for your challenge. On the arrival day, there is the option of a lovely warm-up ride through the local vineyards and villages and the other two full days on the bike offer a beautiful circuit through Provence, around the base of Mont Ventoux and an exploration of the scenic mountains to the north of Ventoux. We stay in the perfectly located and very relaxing 3* Spa Ventoux Provence hotel (with swimming pool) and eat dinner in the town of Malaucène, a short walk away. Non-cycling partners are welcome to book too – grab a couple of days R & R in great surroundings or rent an e-bike locally to support your partner on their challenge.
- Transfers (with bike boxes) from/to Marseille Airport
- 4 nights in the 3-star Hotel Ventoux Provence in Malaucène
- 4 x breakfasts
- 4 x 3-course evening meals in a local restaurant (with up to half a bottle of wine per person per night)
- snacks, fruit, cake, water etc. on cycling days
- 2-3 (depending on group size) fully customised vehicles for all your nutritional, mechanical, moral support and first aid needs
- 2-3 (depending on group size) experienced Marmot Tours guides
- Colour route maps with directions and profiles of the climbs
- GPS files
- Registration for the Club des Cinglés challenge and medal on completion
- Drinks/coffees during the day (water top-ups available from vans)
- Bike hire (if required)
More information (downloads):
For the latest travel advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, check www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Departure Dates & Prices
We are pleased to offer some tempting discounts off the basic trip cost (not including extras such as single rooms or bike hire):
- For a group of 10+ people we offer a 7.5% group discount. Your group is expected to be around 30-40 riders, so you will be eligible for the group discount. Please note that this will be added to your balance invoice as soon as the group reaches 10 riders.
- Be rewarded for your loyalty by receiving a 10% discount from your 3rd Marmot trip onwards
- This holiday is suitable for a non-cycling partner to come along and enjoy as well and we offer a 15% discount for non-riders on the basic trip cost, based on sharing a room with your cycling partner. There are limited places available for non-cycling partners.
Please note that our discounts don’t stack up, so you will automatically receive the highest discount you’re eligible for.
Day 0: Tue, 13th June
We offer included transfers (with bike boxes) from Marseille Airport to our hotel in Malaucène at the base of Ventoux (1hr 45min) at 11:35 and 17:30.
Direct Flight options from the UK (not included in price):
Heathrow (BA) – arr MRS 10:05 or 17:15
London Stansted (Ryanair) – arr MRS 09:05
There are indirect flights from other UK regional airports that can be found on Skyscanner.
Those on early flights will have time to assemble bikes and go for a pre-dinner ride in the hills to the west. We suggest a 52km route through vineyards and rural villages, with 700m of ascent to warm up the legs.
Day 1: Wed, 14th June
Size up your challenge with a ride around the base of Ventoux on one of 2 routes, allowing you to choose how much to do today. Provence offers an extensive network of quiet roads, pretty villages, gorges and cheeky little climbs so you will love today’s route.
Option 1: Cote de Bluye + Col de Aurel + Gorges de la Nesque
[102km with 1400m ascent]
Undulate on the road flanking Ventoux to climb up the Cote de Bluye (578m) from where you can see the weather station at the top high up above you. Continue to Sault for a sneaky cafe stop before joining a narrow cliff hugging road to the Gorges de la Nesque. The descent towards Bedoin is a highlight. Nip back to the hotel over the Col de la Madelaine (451m).
Option 2: Option 1 + Col de Macuegne + Col de l’Homme Mort
[122km with 1900m ascent]
Branch off from Option 1 at Montbrun les Bains to climb up the Col de Macuegne (1068m). It leads you neatly into the Col de l’Homme Mort (1213m), a very pleasant climb offering amazing views of Ventoux. Descend into Sault to rejoin Option 1.
Day 2: Thu, 15th June
N.B., that the routes outlined for day 2 & 3 are interchangeable, depending on the weather forecast.
Challenge day! If you’ve opted for the Club des Cinglés Challenge, the rules are simple: ride all 3 roads up Mont Ventoux (1911m) in a single day, getting your route card stamped each time at the base and at the summit. The ascent from Sault is the easiest so we will do this last. The jury is out as to which of the other two (from Bedoin or from Malaucene) is the tougher!
With our support vehicles we will be there to support you regardless of your speed and would like to emphasise that there is no pressure to complete the official challenge. Climbing Ventoux just once is a great achievement and this is an opportunity to meet your own personal goals.
Option 1: Ventoux from Bedoin [55km with 1700m of ascent]
Option 2: Ventoux from Bedoin and Sault [106km with 2800m ascent]
Option 3: Club des Cinglés Challenge: Ventoux from Malaucene, Bedoin and Sault [136km with 4443m ascent]
Day 3: Fri, 16th June
The mountains to the north of Ventoux are often overlooked, but as you will discover, they are stunningly beautiful.
Our excursion into the Parc regional des Baronnies Provencales takes you over the Côte de Bluye (578m), whilst option 2 detours early into the ride to take on the Col du Perty (1302m) and the Col St-Jean (1158m).
Option 1: Cote de Bluye [98km with 1100m of ascent]
Option 2: Col du Perty, Col St Jean + Cote de Bluye [145km with 2200m of ascent]
Day 4: Sat, 17th June
Our included transfers drop you off at Marseille Airport at 08:45, having left the hotel at 07:00.
Direct Flight options to the UK (not included):
Heathrow (British Airways) – dpt MRS 13:10, arr LHR 14:05
London Stansted (Ryanair) – dpt MRS 14:30, arr STN 15:30
Gatwick (EasyJet) – dpt MRS 11:20, arr LGW 12:10
There are indirect flights to other UK regional airports, which can be found on Skyscanner.