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Rapha Retreat Le Grand Banc
Le Géant de Provence
Cycling’s relationship with Ventoux is one of untold heartbreak and legendary glory. Based in a private hamlet in the Luberon, this Retreat offers an immersion in the setting of some of cycling’s greatest struggles and victories.
Called Le Grand Banc, this private hamlet overlooks 400 acres of farmland, scrub oak, lavender and cypress trees. It’s the perfect base form which to explore the region, and is serviced with outdoor dining terraces, a swimming pool, and stunning interiors. You will love Le Grand Banc if you are after rustic charm, beautiful art, simple pleasures and tranquil seclusion.
Sunday 4th May to Friday 9th May 2014
Sunday 11th May to Friday 16th May 2014
Sunday 14th September to Friday 19th September 2014
Sunday 28th September to Friday 3rd October 2014
- Groups of 15 to 18 riders
- Accommodation on private estates in beautiful locations
- Local art and culture
- Activities for non-riding partners and guests
- Signature Rapha Support
- Pro-level bike and group set
- Ride guides, mechanic and soigneur support
- Massage and laundry
- All meals and ride nutrition
- Jaguar support cars
Full price of trip: £2100 – £2480
The Géant de Provence
First featured in the Tour in 1951, Mont Ventoux is arguably the most hallowed climb in the history of the race. The Géant de Provence (the Giant of Provence) was first used as a stage finish for a mountain time trial in 1958, won by Charly Gaul, the next rider to triumph on it's alabaster slopes was Raymond Poulidor in 1965.The climb is also tragically known as the place where Tommy Simpson collapsed and died in 1967 and a monument now resides there in his honour. Other battles here included a dual between Marco Pantani and Lance Armstrong in 1999.
Aside from the greats of the sport who have toiled up this special mountain, it is the nature of the Giant, towering above the Provencal landscape, and it's moon-like landscape which sets it apart. Ventoux is also infamous for high winds that can be endured by those who climb (and descend it). Ventoureso is the Provençal word for north-east wind and many meteorologists claim gale forces regularly reach 150 mph. This extreme climate, blasted by the mistral, creates its famous white scree slopes.
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