Twenty-six year-old Belgian Olivier Godfroid, who only started cycling three years ago, bested a field of ex-pros and top French amateurs to win the prestigious Lapierre Gran Fondo Mont Ventoux on 13 June in searing temperatures approaching 35C.
He completed the 122km race atop the “Giant of Provence” in 3:51:48, almost five minutes ahead of neo-pro Arthur White (3:56:16) and former AG2R La Mondiale pro Julien Berard (3:59:40).
In addition, Godfroid set a blistering pace up the classic Bedoin route to the summit, completing the 21 kilometre climb with 1912 metres vertical in only 1:06.00. Not far off the 0:55:51 time set just five days earlier by one of the best climbers in the world – Movistar pro Miguel Ángel López who rode the fastest ascent of Mont Ventoux since the 2004.
After his outstanding Mont Ventoux win Olivier Godfroid is toying with moving beyond amateur racing. He told Gazette van Antwerpen “What comes, that comes. I now enjoy what I do and that comes first. Recently I have been riding with the amateur team Van Mossel Cycling from Heist-op-den-Berg. On June 22 I will ride my first race in my own country, in Bassevelde. I’m curious, but I’m realistic. Anyway, I’m more of a climber type. I especially want to gain experience in real racing and above all continue to enjoy it.”
Over 3300 cyclists from 27 different countries participate in Gran Fondo Mont Ventoux, which started in Vaison-la-Romaine and finished next to the iconic red and white radio tower on the summit of Mont Ventoux.
Complete Gran Fondo Mont Ventoux results here.
PHOTOS: Sportograf.com, GF Mont Ventoux