What plan to choose to train for mount ventoux

Hi fellow cyclists, I am planning on cycling Mount Ventoux end of May and need advice about what type of training plan to choose to train indoors over the next 2/3 months .I am a Rouleur ! I ride outdoors 1/2 times per week but I live in Ireland and the weather is awful !
I cycle 3/4 times per week , gym once and I’m a good cyclist for my age 55yrs .Did 10,000 km this year and lots of climbing .
Any advice as I’m new to this forum is welcome :blush:


FIrst, Welcome to the forums @BigCog. Second, while I’ve never ridden Ventoux irl, I’ve done it virtually MANY times. No matter how you look at it, it’s a slog.

Do you have a goal for your climb? As in, are you shooting for a specific time to completion, are you wanting to leave it all out there so you “just” finish it before your heart and legs burn up in a spectacular fiery explosion, are you wanting to enjoy your time on the hill, stop and take a few photos along the way, are you planning on “only” doing it once?

My bet is, as long as you maintain your fitness somewhat, your experience will definitely carry you over the top.

My advice, for what its worth, is to make sure you have sufficient gearing as there’s a good nearly 10km stretch that is a relentless 10% grade so if you’re used to more punchy hills and managing on a 39/28 you might want something kinder like a 50/34 and 11/32 or 11/34 combo to provide some relief and allow for a higher cadence during the harder bits. Depending on your w/kg you can expect a good couple hours of climbing as you’ll gain about 1500 metres on the day(s).

Without knowing whether you want to smash yourself to bits or more or less “enjoy” the ride, as for a specific training plan, you’d likely be good with SYSTM’s Mountain Fondo even though the distance will be greater than you’ll likely ride. If you subscribe to Zwift you can even do the ride virtually yourself as they have a sim called Ven-Top and Rouvy and FulGaz also offer Ventoux sims.

Edit: add in that I’m jealous AF as I live in the prairies of Canada. Think, the Netherlands but further from Ireland :wink:


Prop up your front wheel when on the trainer to replicate the slight change in geometry of the 10% gradient.


I’ve ridden Ventoux 4 times over 2 decades. Be prepared for a long slog - (almost 3 hours for me!) and all kinds of weather. As others have already indicated low gears are great to have. If it takes you a long time you’ll need to be able eat and drink whilst ascending too. As for plans - anything that prepares you for a long (and fantastic) ride uphill. Low volume mountain fondo maybe or maybe the 100 mile plan? Good luck and enjoy!!


I have also ridden Ventoux and am tentatively planning a cingles late summer next year. There are lots of plans that will help. But my view is nothing beats riding a long climb and if you also have access to Zwift then you have a few, including their version of Ventoux. Ride at 100% trainer difficulty not the default 50%. I was 57 when I rode it and wished only that I had worked more on upper body and core strength. My lower back caused me some grief way before the legs started shouting at me. In contrast I rode the raid Pyrenees this year and had few back problems after putting in some core and strength work beforehand.


You seem to be quite fit already. I did Bedoin-Mont Ventoux in September. My preparation was about improving FTP, MAP and endurance. For endurance I also used sim on Rouvy (there is a two week trial). I found that really helpful and increased the desire to do it in real life to the max. Still I was far to weak. It took 2:50 to the top. and I was grinding a lot. I can’t imagine to go slower without falling over.
Various plans will work to prepare in general, but the choice depends on personal weaknesses imho. Based on my grinding experience I would include low cadence work into my next preparation.


Like others have said, you seem fit enough to take it on. Training wise I always stick to the mountainous Fondo plan with strength and yoga, seems to cover all I really need lots of FTP and MAP work, and has great sufferfest workouts in it.

What worked for me specifically for Ventoux was to ride it a couple of times on a virtual platform. Just to get a feel for the pacing, gearing, how long it may take, and how to fuel.

First time I set off from Avignon, but that’s quite the trip in the end (130k), took me like 5 hours to go round. Later that week, I started in Bedoin and rode it a bit harder. The Strava estimated power indicated that I rode it at about 90% of FTP in about 80 minutes.

And do take the cards of the photographers along the route, you may get some good shots of your attempt.


Hi , thank you so much for taking the time to reply and for your much appreciated advice.

One Q, I can’t find a mountain fondo plan on Zwift .
Would you mind pointing me in the right direction please ?
Thanks so much

[EDIT] NOTE this is in Wahoo SYSTM and not in Zwift, FYI!

Click on “Plans” in SYSTM and then follow the decisions I have illustrated here for steps 1-4:

Before you commit to a plan, you can preview it to see what it looks like on your Calendar - at the end, click on “Preview your Plan” and then “View Schedule” to do that.


That’s super , thanks so much

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I rode the Cingles this year (8h 16min) and loved it. I don’t have a climber profile and my preparation was not that great (few organized focused tours as there are Tour of Flanders, Fleche Wallonie, and the organized tour of Les Trois Ballons, in the Vosges). No specific SYSTM prep.
Again I’m not a climber. Heck,I barely finished in front of the broom wagon at the Trois Ballons. For Ventoux, imo, you only need 4 things: a proper base, an apetite for suffering, and then you’ll need some luck: normal temperatures and little wind.
We started in Sault, suffered on Malaucène (mid day start) and finished up in Bédoin, where our hostel was.

With your state of fitness, the amount of suffering will imo mainly depend on the weather.

NOT trying to undervalue Ventoux here though, just putting it in perspective though.


Sounds like you like a bit of suffering !
Thanks so much for your reply , all the advice really helps .