Team Sky’s Chris Froome has cemented his grip on the Yellow Jersey of the 100th edition of the Tour de France by winning Stage 15 from Givors to the Summit of Mont Ventoux. The climb from Bédoin at the base to the summit of is one of the toughest climbs in professional cycling, this years 15th Stage of the Tour de France was the 9th time the summit of this behemoth has been a stage finish. This years visit to this legendary site is arguably one of the toughest of all time with the summit coming after a grueling 242.5km of cycling, despite this Froome has managed to put in more than 1 minute 40 seconds over his two main rivals by crossing the line first after a fine solo effort in the last 2km.
Mont Ventoux has long been a sacred place for British Cycling, the legendary climb claimed the life of British cycling legend Tom Simpson almost 47 years to the day of Froome’s epic Climb. Simpson who died of heat exhaustion and dehydration caused by a mix of alcohol intake and amphetamines has a permanent memorial on the side of these very slopes. The former British World champion was to many a hero of British Cycling despite his use of the performance enhancing alcohol and amphetamine combination. Before his death he began to wildly weave across the road before crashing. Delirious he asked spectators to put him back on the bike, which he rode to within a half mile of the summit before collapsing dead, still clipped into his pedals. Despite the improved training and fitness of the modern cyclist Froome himself had to be given oxygen after completion of the monster.
The final climb is a monster 22km with gradients over 10% in parts, during this the average tour rider will be producing close to 400 watts of power for up to 50 minutes… Those numbers don’t sound too impressive alone, so to put it into perspective the average cyclist will struggle to output 400 watts for 5 minutes let alone 50! It is enough power for a decent sized car stereo system or portable generator!!