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Provence and Mont Ventoux

$7,950

“Like a dream.” That’s how Eros Poli describes his historic solo win over Mont Ventoux. A quarter of a century later, his courageous ride has become the stuff of legend, and it remains one of the most memorable stage victories in Tour de France history, a rare example of underdog success on one of the biggest climbs at the world’s biggest bike race.

We’re returning to that mountain to celebrate our man’s greatest success with a very special trip. The Ventoux is always a memorable climb, but riding up its slopes with someone who conquered it in such spectacular fashion, with the whole world watching, is a rare treat. This is your chance to relive the excitement and the emotions, to picture the mountain erupting with color and noise as Poli electrified the huge crowds, to experience one of cycling’s greatest challenges with the kind of insight, support and equipment that only inGamba can offer. We’ll also introduce you to a side of Provence that few visitors get to see. You’ll ride through hilltop towns and spectacular countryside, and indulge in the food and wine that has made this part of France so famous.

Check out this great interview with Eros from Velonews

Included With Trip:

  • All lodging*
  • All food and beverages**
  • Pinarello Dogma F12 Disk with SRAM RED eTap AXS
  • Daily Bike Wash
  • One custom Castelli × inGamba cycling kit
  • Daily post-ride massage from a professional soigneur
  • Laundry service for cycling clothing

*Pre/post-trip lodging is not included

**Beverages ordered by guests beyond normal amounts and away from group activities will incur additional charges

Trip at a Glance

Start Location:

Marseille

Finish Location:

Marseille

Days Riding:

6

Group Size:

12 – 18

Total Distance:

378 km

Total Elevation:

7,575 m

Longest Day:

Day 4. Viens. 93km

Biggest Climbing Day:

Day 6. Mont Ventoux. 1,583m

...

Day by Day Breakdown

1

Lacoste

Bienvenue en France! After your pick up and a short transfer to our new home on the edge of the Luberon valley. After a light lunch, it’s time to fit the bikes and take an afternoon test ride into the heart of Provence. This is the time to make adjustments to your bike fit, so if something isn’t quite right please talk to one of the mechanics.
2

Soignan

After an opening descent for the first few kilometers, the picturesque town of Gordes marks the beginning of today’s climbing on what is an enjoyable, but hilly route that takes us in a loop around the outskirts of the Luberon Regional Nature Park. Around halfway through, after the day’s biggest climb, we’ll stop for coffee in Saignon, a gorgeous village high on a hill that’s hidden behind a huge rock formation.
3

Malemort du Comtat

Today we’ll discover the region between the valley and Mont Ventoux to the north. There are two main climbs to challenge you today and while they are both tough, they are also beautifully scenic and the descents are some of the best in the region.
4

Viens

Our ride today takes us directly to Pont Julien. Built in 3BC, it has been used to span the floodwaters of the Cavalon River for two millennia. From there, we’ll head east in the valley, where few tourists visit. Once you’ve seen it, you’ll wonder why, because it’s beautiful. There’ll be time to stop for coffee in the small town of Viens, which though barely big enough to have a café, is utterly charming.
5

Abbaye du Senanque

Today’s ride leads us north, towards the Senanque Abbey which, on a day with good weather and good lighting, provides the backdrop for that classic Provencal selfie. The cluster of buildings of Lioux is tucked away under a massive overhanging limestone cliff. – just be careful that you keep your bike on the road while craning your neck to see it all.
6

Mont Ventoux

Welcome to one of the most famous routes in all of cycling. We’ll depart early for a short drive to the base of Mt. Ventoux, and our ride will be up and over the summit just like the pros have traditionally done. At the ‘94 Tour, our very own Eros Poli found himself in a solo breakaway from the gun... and the rest, as they say, is history, as he rode to one of the most iconic victories in living memory.
7

Departure

This is our final morning together and after a leisurely breakfast, it will be time to say goodbye, or at least arrivederci, until we meet again. Transfers to the airport will be arranged by our hard-working crew but if you’re planning on staying a few extra days, let us know if we can help with reservations or a few recommendations.

YOUR Guides

Eros Poli

The Champion

The night before Eros Poli took victory atop Mont Ventoux he couldn’t sleep. It was not like he was dreaming of victory or even had the slightest idea the next day's stage would change his life forever. It was just that it was hot. Unbearably, unsleepably hot in his less-than stellar French hotel. His roommate had taken his mattress off the bed and was sleeping on the small balcony outside their room. And the man who would shortly become known as Monsieur Ventoux was watching football, Italy vs. Brazil in the World Cup final, to be exact. Italy lost. The following morning as Eros dragged his weary, tired legs out of bed and down the stairs, as there was no lift, James Brown came into his head. “I feel good, I knew that I would now,” started to repeat over and over in his head. As it would the rest of the day. He felt good and the rest, as they say, is history.

Manuel Cardoso

The Quiet Crusher

Manuel Cardoso is no longer sitting on the front of the pack, pulling everyone along at what some would describe as a “brisk” pace and what others are unable to describe at all, because they're too busy gasping for breath and holding onto the wheel in front of them for dear life. Manuel is now sitting just slightly off the back of the pack. As I look back, I realize he has that look on his face. The look which struck fear in the hearts of the Pro Peleton for many years. The look which is part grin, part mischievous child and all business. He is about to start some shenanigans. Sure enough, just a few kilometers later and Manuel has picked one lucky contestant out of the pack and they are sitting-in, waiting, like predators, for the perfect moment. For Manuel, just like when he raced pro, this is when the road turns slightly up, a spot in the road where it gets tough for everyone. And he accelerates with his breakaway “partner” in tow. It is something to see. He ramps it up to a speed with which no one can latch onto the back and with such precision you have to question whether or not you actually want to try and close the gap he has created. And you can’t see it, but you just know, he is grinning from ear-to-ear.

BIKE OPTION

PINARELLO DOGMA F12 DISK

FRAMESET:

Pinarello Dogma F12 Disk

COCKPIT:

ZIPP Service Course SL

GRUPPO:

SRAM RED eTap AXS

PEDALS:

Speedplay (or your own)

SADDLE:

Selle Italia

WHEELSET:

Zipp 302 Carbon Clinchers

TIRES:

Vittoria Corsa CX

BOTTLE CAGES:

Elite Custom Race

BIDON:

Elite Corsa Team

COMPUTER:

Garmin Edge 820