Recently cycling cosmonaut received a unsolicited report from a relative living in the old country. We speak of course of the Netherlands, home of Jan Janssen, Robert Gesink, and Johnny Hoogerland. The Slayer of Ventoux (SOV) has earned this name for his courageous assault of Mont Ventoux from every conceivable route. This kind of dedicated insanity has drawn praise from Team Vitesse members as well as Johan the Omniscient. Johan has indicated that he needs the SOV on the team. Contador might be added later as support on the climbs in the 2010 season. The following is an account of SOV's climb up and down that pimple of a climb. Remember that he acheived this feat without the assistance of the SMEVEC 88T which was very foolhardy indeed.
As I know you can appreciate the feeling of suffering caused by climbing a mountain on a bicycle, I just thought I'd drop you a line to let you know I set out for Mont Ventoux again a few weeks ago. With a friend (the one who crashed into a tree, last time we were there) I rented a house a few km along the way up from Bédoin for two weeks.
Our main goal was to reach the summit from all three sides in one go, preferably within 2 hours time. As we had two weeks available to us, we decided to warm up a bit by riding some routes I found on a site dedicated solely to Mont Ventoux (http://www.dekaleberg.nl/ if you're interested). To work up our courage, we went up from Sault first as it is the easiest route to take. I am pleased to report that we reached the summit well under our target time of 2 hours. Dat geeft de burger moed!
2 days later we attacked the climb from Bédoin. This proved to be a lot more difficult, though easier than last time for I never had the idea that I would fall of my bike for lack of speed. That said I averaged only 10,4 km/h and at some point did not seem to be able to go any faster than 8 km/h. If my friend and I hadn't been climbing together, I think we both would have turned around. Anyway I reached the summit only one minute shy of 2 hours, within my target time, having been passed only twice, and without stopping. Loads better than last time, so I can now comfortably say that I conquered le géant de Provence. The last ascent, starting in Malaucène, proved to be at least as hard as the one from Bédoin. It is much more irregular, and steeper in places. In addition a few kilometers along we had to battle against the wind as well as against the incline. Unfortunately it took me 2 hours and 3 minutes to get to the top. But I didn't much care, as the wind made it so cold all I wanted was to get back down as quickly as possible. Descending quickly wasn't much of a problem as I reached a new max speed of 85,4 km/h.
As you know, I have this cool gadget on my bike that records just about anything. It's no SMEVEC, but it does the trick. Here's the record of my climb from Bédoin: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/16220642