Mont Ventoux is a 1,909 m high mountain in the south of France . It has been called the "Giant of the Provence". As the name suggests it can get quite windy at the summit, especially with the mistral, gusts can exceed 160 km/h.
The mountain is not part of the Alps nor of the Pyrenees but stands alone. The top of the mountain is bare rock without vegetation or trees, sometimes attributed to logging for shipbuilding some centuries ago.
The Tour de France bicycle race has included a race up to the summit twelve times beginning in 1951. This is where Eddy Merckx rode himself to the brink of collapse while winning the stage in 1970. He received oxygen, recovered, and won the Tour.
It is also the mountain which claimed the life of the great English cyclist Tom Simpson, who died here on July 13, 1967 from a combination of amphetamines, alcohol and heat exhaustion. There is a memorial to Tom Simpson near the summit, which has become a shrine to fans of cycling.