We had a fantastic holiday. Marmot Tours surpassed themselves: guides, routing, organisation, catering, accommodation were all first rate and made our trip and challenge even more special. What Marmot promises, it delivers. Ventoux Cingles Challenge, May 2017
2019 John Lewis Property Department cycling charity 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.
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 loves 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* Domaine des Tilleuls 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 x nights in the 3-star Hotel Domaine de Tilleuls 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)
- 3 x picnic lunch on cycling days
- snacks, fruit, cake etc. on cycling days
- 2 x fully customised vehicles for all your nutritional, mechanical, moral support and first aid needs
- 2 x experienced Marmot Tours guides
- Colour route maps with directions and profiles of the climbs
- GPS files
- Registration for the Club des Cinglés challenge (£30 per person, including admin fee and postage of medals)
- Drinks/coffees during the day (water top ups available from vans)
More information (downloads):
Departure Dates & Prices
We are pleased to offer some tempting discounts on the basic trip cost (not including extras such as single rooms or bike hire):
- Book & pay your deposit more than 6 months in advance of the start of your holiday for our 5% Early Bookers discount
- Be rewarded for your loyalty by receiving a 10% discount from your 3rd Marmot trip onwards
- Get a group of 10+ people together for a 10% Group discount
Please note that there is a maximum 10% discount on any holiday.
Day 0: Wed 25th September
We offer included transfers (with bike boxes) from Marseille Airport to our hotel in Malaucène at the base of Ventoux (1hr 45mins) on September 25th at either 11:30 or 16:30.
Direct Flight options from the UK (not included in price):
Heathrow (British Airways) – Dpt LHR 07:20, arr MRS 10:15 or Dpt LHR 13:05, arr MRS 16:00
Gatwick (Easy Jet) – Dpt LGW 07:55, arr MRS 10:55
Luton (Easy Jet) – Dpt LTN 07:10, arr MRS 10:25
There are indirect flights from other UK regional airports that can be found on Skyscanner.
Those of you on the 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: Thursday 26th September
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 (103km, 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: Friday 27th September
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 2 (from Bedoin or from Malaucene) is the tougher!
With our 2 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: Saturday 28th September
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 (94km with 1100m of ascent)
Option 2: Col du Perty, Col St Jean + Cote de Bluye (143km with 2200m of ascent)
Day 4: Sunday 29th September
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 11:10, arr LHR 12:15
Gatwick (EasyJet) – Dpt MRS 11:25, arr LGW 12:15
Luton (EasyJet) – Dpt MRS 10:55, arr LTN 11:50
There are indirect flights to other UK regional airports that can be found on Skyscanner.