The 4th edition of Haute Route Ventoux started off just like the previous ones with sever weather threatening the 3-day gran fondo in Southern France.
After the Haute Route gran fondo series cancelled eight of ten 2020 gran fondo events due to COVID19, including the flagship week-long Haute Route Alps race, riders arrived in the village of Bédoin eager to race around and up Mont Ventoux.
With a total of 270km and 7900m vertical ascent, Haute Route Ventoux offers three routes to the icon red/white radio tower summit over three days.
With severe rain and wind normal in October, it is very challenging to hold the event safely. 2017 only saw riders on the summit once. 2018 had great weather and three summit finishes. 2019 finished twice on the summit.
The 2020 Haute Route Ventoux had 155 riders start the first stage on Friday 2 October as rain, 7C temperature and wind gusts of 102km/hr were expected on the Ventoux summit.
Needless to say, none of them made it to top. Drenching rain, lightning and wind forced organizers to end the stage early, well short of the summit.
Complete Haute Route Ventoux Stage 1 results here.
More severe weather is expected for the weekend with the 108km second stage on Saturday and the final stage three time trial up Mont Ventoux on Sunday in doubt of starting.