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Story follows four friends who reunite to tackle iconic climb in Provence 30 years after they first rode up it

Alpe d’Huez may be the Tour de France climb that has a bend nicknamed Dutch Corner, but it’s another iconic mountain that often features in the race that is the subject of a new film from the Netherlands, called Ventoux.

The film follows four 50-something men taking on the mountain nicknamed the Giant of Provence, recreating an ascent they first did on road bikes 30 years earlier. In doing so, they discover themselves and also lay to rest some ghosts from the past, as far as we can work out.

They’re joined at some point by a female friend for their youth, named Laura – perhaps by coincidence, the same name as the muse of the 14th Century Italian poet, Petrarch, the first man to climb Mont Ventoux, or at least write about the experience.

Billed as a bittersweet comedy addressing issues of mid-life crisis and lost youth, it comes across as a bit like Sideways with bikes instead of wine – or perhaps as well as wine, given we’re in the South of France. 

Based on a bestselling novel by Bert Wagendorp, the film is directed by Nicole van Kilsdonk and is released in the Netherlands in mid-May. Here’s the trailer.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.