May 19, 2016

A Truce With the Giant

The village of Crillon-le-Brave sits in an enviable position in southern France’s Vaucluse region. From its hill top position, home of the legendary duke Louis des Balbes de Berton de Crillon or “Le Brave Crillon”, one of Henri IV’s fiercest and most valiant generals during the French Wars of Religion in the late 16th century, the expansive panorama offers a commanding view to the south over the vineyards of the Côtes du Ventoux appellation; to the west rise the impressive Dentelles de Montmirail, deformed, yet impressive limestone peaks that jut from the earth like broken fingers from a dead giant’s still palm, their silhouette both mesmerizing and haunting as the sun collapses on the horizon.  The dramatic geological formations and the palette of color that explodes in vibrant shades of purple across endless lavender fields paints a myriad of visually stunning scenery in the Vaucluse that is an inspiring backdrop to step into for cycling.  It’s difficult, however, to not feel the omnipresence of what fills the eastern sky and to gawk in admiration at the grandest anomaly in the southern France landscape that stretches 1,912 meters high.  Capped in white from its naked landscape, the mountain dominates the skyline as it breathes life into its nickname, Le Géant de Provence.  Mont Ventoux is the centerpiece of life in this region, and regardless of whether you’re a cyclist, the mountain demands attention, commands respect and offers a hint of mystery not normally reserved for the iconic locations in the sport of cycling. Go to Full Article







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