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The Conquered Giant
Congratulations to all those riders who participated in this year’s Etape du Tour. The roads and mountains of Provence provided for a spectacular 170km ride on Monday 20th July, with a climax on the gruelling slopes of Mt. Ventoux. Five of us from Rapha took part, some faster than others. Highlights included the beautiful climb up the Col d'Ey with stunning Provencal scenery, the speedy descent into Bedoin and the delicieux gateaux they provided at the feed stations. We are now eagerly awaiting the arrival of the pros on Ventoux for the penultimate stage of The Tour on Saturday. Let us know your thoughts on the Etape 2009.
See the profile of the route here.
The ‘Giant of Provence’ is a place of joy and despair, a legendary climb ridden and eulogised by cyclists and writers alike.
“There will always come that moment as you close with Ventoux, when you see the dominant, leprous, windswept summit of the Giant of Provence sprouting that sinister radio mast, thrust up out of the surrounding landscape, and shiver. Ride up there? You say to yourself.”
Graeme Fife, forthcoming book 'Great Road Climbs Vol. 2' published by Rapha
“The Ventoux has no in-itself. It’s the greatest revelation of your-self. It simply feeds back your fatigue and fear. It has total knowledge of the shape you’re in, your capacity for cycling happiness, and for happiness in general. It’s yourself you’re climbing. If you don’t want to know, stay at the bottom.”
From 'Need for the Bike' by Paul Fournel, published by University of Nebraska Press
“And then you’re at the summit. You look out over the land; you drink a bit; a ruddy sense of well-being courses through your whole body, and a great desire wells up in you to climb this mountain again some day.”
From 'The Rider' by Tim Krabbe, published by Bloomsbury
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