A day of mixed landscapes as you ride into the heart of the Luberon Valley. Start the day cycling through vineyards and orchards, then wind through the stunning Gorge de la Nesque, complete with a series of natural arches located deep in the wilderness of Provence. Finish the day with amongst magnificent red ochre sandstone cliffs with far reaching views across the Luberon - perfect for a post-ride panoramic refreshment.
Leaving view of Mont Ventoux head towards Villes sur Auzon where it's your last chance to refuel before tackling the Gorge de la Nesque, so please do take advantage of any facilties you need as there are no shops, toilets or cafes once you leave Villes sur Auzon.
The Gorge de la Nesque has a shallow incline and allows the legs to build up a steady rythym as you ascend towards the hilltop town of Sault (around a 22km through the gorge). Rugged, remote road cycling at its best, there was once a project in the 19th century to build a railway along the bottom of the Gorges de la Nesque, but it was subsequently abandoned. The only road running right through the canyon is the D942, which opened in 1920.
Reaching the hilltop town of Sault you can relax over a long lunch and most of the climbing out of the way. Leaving Sault you'll have around another 10km of climbing before a long, long sweeeping desecent to the Rousillon.
Situated in the heart of one of the biggest ochre deposits in the world, Roussillon is famous for its magnificent red cliffs and ochre quarries. The pigment is now only quarried in the nearby town of Goult. You can buy all shades of pigment powders for mixing paints and the paintshops are well worth a visit just for the vibrant display of colours if nothing else.
When you arrive in Roussillon I would definitely recommend that you take the time to stroll around the picturesque maze of streets and squares. The ochre façades of the houses are magnificent. Shades vary subtly from light yellow to dark red, set off by the brightly painted shutters and doors. If you have time visit the Ochre Trail to view the amazing rock formations.
Before starting your ride it’s always worth inspecting your bike for any damage.
Check for any damage to the frame, components or wheels. Ensure there are no loose cables and that the tyres are inflated and the brakes are working. Always wear a helmet when cycling.
If you are doubtful of the condition of your hire bike please call the office or the local bike hire on the number provided in your information pack.
Always be prepared to cycle through a change of weather conditions and do check for any local weather warnings before cycling.
Do remember to ride on the right hand side of the road and whilst drivers in France are respectful of the 'velo', please do be mindful of other road users at all times, obeying local road signs. The road does narrow in parts so please take on bends and when descending, do so with caution
Besides cycling in the kit you are used too, we'd also suggest taking the essentials of water bottle(s), nutrition, an extra layer, cash/credit cards and mobile together with emergency telephone numbers.
Always wear a helmet and pack a spare tube, puncture repair kit, tyre levers and handpump. You may also like to take a multi-tool.
This ride is available on: SGRCMVP