Mont Faron Preview and Giveaway Competition

Friday, 8 February 2013

Mont Faron overlooking the city

Saturday’s Stage 4 of the Tour Méditerranéen features the classic summit finish on Mont Faron. A short and steep climb above the naval city of Toulon, this is a tough and selective point in the race that reveals the early season form.

It’s the first summit finish of the year in Europe and to celebrate this moment in the season here’s a look at the climb plus a chance to try your forecasting skills to win some goodies.

Mont Faron
This is a cliff-like mountain above the port city of Toulon, base of the French navy. There is a narrow road – so narrow it’s one way – that leads to the top, some 584 metres above sea level. From the junction on the edge of town it’s a shade under 5km, with ramps of 12% and an average gradient that’s just under 10%. Many visitors go up via cable car.

Mont Faron

The race has used the road in reverse before but tomorrow takes the normal route via the western Fort Rouge side. The road surface is granular at best, with a patchwork of repairs and some switchbacks on the way up as you pass the typical landscape of small oak trees and arid terrain and slowly gaining a great view of the bay below. The vista comes with a price as the better the view, the more road gets more exposed to the wind. This can make the race tactical. Get a gap and rivals behind can look at each other, waiting for someone else to do the work but the climb is so short that there’s little room to hesitate.

It’s been a fixture in the sport for years with Tom Simpson, Eddy Merckx, Federico Bahamontes and Raymond Poulidor all winning on the top. In recent year’s it’s seen riders like Ivan Basso and Alexandr Vinokourov appear as stage racers. The 1968 Paris-Nice tried an innovation with the Meilleur Descendeur prize for the fastest rider down… sponsored by a ski manufacturer. Thankfully for rider safety this downhill innovation didn’t survive.

Prendas postcards

Postcards still exist in pro cycling. Teams used to take promo photos of riders but the idea was bigger in the past, presumably before the internet these were a handy way to collect images of riders. The cards come from British outlet Prendas and the pack contains 10 cards with photos from the past… as well as a bonus card from Le Rouleur Lent that I’ll add as a joker to set.

Who Will Win?
That’s for you to guess. David Moncoutié was a four-time winner on here but he’s retired to the amateur ranks now. Last year saw Jonathan Tiernan-Locke aiming to win before snow prevented the climb from being used.

This year you’ll find a list of riders on cyclingnews and I’ll be watching Thibaut Pinot, Alex Geniez, Thomas Lövkvist, Dan Martin, Andrew Talansky amongst others but take your pick with the Colombians or veteran Italians like Frano Pellizotti or Davide Rebellin.

The Rules
Pick the stage winner of the Tour Med Stage Stage 4. Please leave a comment below with your choice, emails or tweets don’t count. You’ll need to do this before the race hits the start of the Mont Faron, someone who makes their pick with one kilometre to go won’t win. In the event of a draw I’ll pick a winner at random and if nobody is right, the closest pick wins.

Gus February 8, 2013 at 2:49 pm


Dachs February 8, 2013 at 2:51 pm

Pierre Rolland

Capo Mele February 8, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Johan Esteban Chaves Rubio

T-Ha February 8, 2013 at 3:50 pm

Steve Morabito

Matt February 8, 2013 at 3:55 pm

Nico Roche put in an impressive TT the other day. Much better than he usually puts in.* Sure, the TT ended with a sharp climb, but it was a power TT up until then. Also, Dan Martin was right up there so must have good form.

* Putting aside the jump in form correlating to joining Riis and Contador… 😉

Jack February 8, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Roman Kreuziger

Tom February 8, 2013 at 4:02 pm

Nicolas Roche

haps February 8, 2013 at 4:06 pm

thomas voeckler

LM February 9, 2013 at 5:19 am

I can’t believe you’re the only person predicting Voeckler. I checked in early, with only 10 votes, and didn’t want to elbow in on your post cards, so they’re yours when he wins.

I know it’s early in the season for him, his TT result is back there with Griepel which is not reassuring, but I believe Voeckler is going to get to the top first.

H M February 8, 2013 at 4:22 pm

Thomas Lövkvist

David February 8, 2013 at 4:25 pm

Andrew Talansky

C February 8, 2013 at 4:26 pm


sinai February 8, 2013 at 4:38 pm


Chris February 8, 2013 at 4:39 pm

Would have gone with Darwin Atapuma, but noticed he’s not there. Sooooo, my pick is Esteban Chaves

Soab February 8, 2013 at 4:40 pm

I’ll go with Dan Martin.

MANUEL PEREZ DIAZ February 8, 2013 at 4:50 pm

Bauke Mollema

Matt February 8, 2013 at 5:02 pm

Rafael Valls Ferri…may as well go for a little bit of a dark horse

sa February 8, 2013 at 5:05 pm


bill February 8, 2013 at 5:11 pm


Bazil Brush February 8, 2013 at 5:11 pm

Lars Boom (although would really have gone for Rolland or possibly Pinot)

shame JTL isn’t riding, no chance of a retrospective prize for last year’s pick??

Tom February 8, 2013 at 5:16 pm

Jon Izaguirre Insausti. Lets see if Euskaltel came to work or are just on a French holiday.

Espresso February 8, 2013 at 5:28 pm


BTW Great story about Moncoutie up there

Phil February 8, 2013 at 5:34 pm

Rein Taaramäe

Kristian February 8, 2013 at 5:34 pm

Roman kreuziger

Vlaanderen90 February 8, 2013 at 5:38 pm

Thomas Löfkvist

Ben February 8, 2013 at 5:40 pm

Andrew Talansky

Tom Knoblauch February 8, 2013 at 5:43 pm

Freddy Maertens

LWB February 8, 2013 at 5:46 pm

Laurens Ten Dam

Anonymous February 8, 2013 at 5:48 pm


Brian Mc February 8, 2013 at 5:49 pm

I’d like to say Dan Martin, but I don’t think the climb is steep enough for him. So I’ll go by default to the other Irishman. Come on Nico Roche!

Fondo Rider February 8, 2013 at 5:50 pm


Cimdraft February 8, 2013 at 5:51 pm

Rory Sutherland

Derek February 8, 2013 at 5:57 pm


Al February 8, 2013 at 5:59 pm

Fabio Andres Duarte Arevalo

ronan February 8, 2013 at 6:05 pm

Dan Martin.

Travis February 8, 2013 at 6:06 pm

Christophe Le Mevel

@CitrusCityCycle February 8, 2013 at 6:08 pm

Dan Martin, but no coverage here so not sure if too late…

J E February 8, 2013 at 6:12 pm


Sheezer February 8, 2013 at 6:16 pm

Pierrick Fedrigo

Nick February 8, 2013 at 6:17 pm

Nico Roche – He won’t have that many chances to shine this season and he’s looking sharp

Taylor February 8, 2013 at 6:25 pm

Jean-Christophe Peraud

TheBigBean February 8, 2013 at 6:37 pm

Jérémy Roy

DJMOHAN February 8, 2013 at 6:43 pm

Nico Roche . Looking in good form. Otherwise Dan Martin.

S McKinley February 8, 2013 at 6:45 pm

Laurens Ten Dam FTW.

Bruce Hildenbrand February 8, 2013 at 6:46 pm

Here’s a question for you inrng. Who is the first American to win on Mont Faron?

Mark Ince February 8, 2013 at 6:55 pm

Dan Martin

Ankush February 8, 2013 at 7:20 pm

I’m tempted to say Esteban Chaves from a breakaway but I think it will be Dan Martin who will go for the GC. I also like the odds of Rafael Valls but I will stick with the Irish.

Final choice – Daniel Martin

Jake Schoellkopf February 8, 2013 at 7:22 pm


Cube Farmer February 8, 2013 at 7:49 pm

Oliver Zaugg

Emil February 8, 2013 at 7:53 pm

Andrew Talansky

Scott February 8, 2013 at 8:04 pm

Pierrick Fedrigo!

Dude had Lymes disease and bounced back – I had the damn thing for 4 months or so too. Glad to see he’s back ok.

maximflyer February 8, 2013 at 8:17 pm

Davide Rebellin

Vitus February 8, 2013 at 8:22 pm

TEN DAM Laurens

Ben February 8, 2013 at 8:28 pm

Jarlinson Pantano

skiddleydiddley February 8, 2013 at 8:28 pm

Andy Schleck……….oh damn he didn’t make it this far!

Maxime Montfort then…..

cyclingmd February 8, 2013 at 9:00 pm

Evgeny Petrov (Rus) Team Saxo-Tinkoff :-)))

Justin February 8, 2013 at 9:21 pm

Carlos Quintero

Eduards February 8, 2013 at 9:22 pm

Roman Kreuziger

Sam99 February 8, 2013 at 9:32 pm

Thor Husvold

Sam99 February 8, 2013 at 9:32 pm


STB February 8, 2013 at 9:32 pm

Anthony Roux

Paddy Sweeney February 8, 2013 at 9:40 pm

Dan Martin

Simon February 8, 2013 at 10:07 pm

Dan Martin

David Leibowitz February 8, 2013 at 10:08 pm

Davide Rebellin

Anonymous February 8, 2013 at 10:18 pm


Chrisman February 8, 2013 at 10:19 pm


Gerald February 8, 2013 at 10:23 pm

Maxime Montfort

Matthew February 8, 2013 at 10:31 pm

Robert Kiserlovski

Chuck Mortinsky February 8, 2013 at 10:39 pm

Jon Izaguirre Insausti

Timo February 8, 2013 at 10:43 pm

Laurens te Dam, no beard no glory!

Patrick February 8, 2013 at 10:59 pm

Laurens Ten DAMM!

InTheGC February 8, 2013 at 11:00 pm

I’ll go with Chaves.

Little Tom February 8, 2013 at 11:04 pm

Andrew Talansky

Paul February 8, 2013 at 11:05 pm

Fabio Felline

Anonymous February 8, 2013 at 11:15 pm

The Priest

mark ifi February 8, 2013 at 11:16 pm

Franco Pellizotti

Slyder Rider February 8, 2013 at 11:23 pm

Thomas Dekker – what the heck

JAS February 8, 2013 at 11:33 pm

Lars Boom (goes the dynamite).

muz February 8, 2013 at 11:50 pm

Jarlinson Pantano

Ablindeye February 9, 2013 at 12:01 am

Maxime Monfort to actually win something…go on, why not.

ave February 9, 2013 at 12:13 am

ten Dam

Matt Charlton February 9, 2013 at 12:26 am

Thibaut Pinot

Johnny February 9, 2013 at 12:29 am

Jean-Christophe Peraud

bryan February 9, 2013 at 12:30 am

The pitbull, Andrew Talansky

Håvard February 9, 2013 at 12:43 am

Pierre Rolland

Dylan February 9, 2013 at 12:56 am

Gustav Larsson!

Graham February 9, 2013 at 12:59 am

Dan Martin

Walen February 9, 2013 at 1:00 am

Przemysław Niemiec

Walen February 9, 2013 at 1:04 am

Jean-Christophe Peraud – it should be.

tyler February 9, 2013 at 1:22 am

Ten Dam!

Anonymous February 9, 2013 at 3:05 am

Bauke Mollema

Min February 9, 2013 at 3:06 am

Oops, that was me voting for Bauke Mollema. no point in winning a contest anonymously.

Martin Jones February 9, 2013 at 3:08 am


divporter February 9, 2013 at 3:17 am


jima February 9, 2013 at 3:57 am

andrew talansky strong team support

T-bone February 9, 2013 at 4:06 am

Dan Martin

Mike February 9, 2013 at 4:09 am

Maxime Monfort

Adam February 9, 2013 at 4:13 am

Brice Feillu

charlie February 9, 2013 at 4:26 am

Rafael Valls

ansel rogers February 9, 2013 at 4:41 am

Lance Armstrong

Micky D February 9, 2013 at 4:55 am

Put me down for Jérémy Roy.

Gregg Valeriano February 9, 2013 at 5:28 am

I pick Andrew Talansky. He’s the man.

Crankyheart February 9, 2013 at 6:49 am

I’m late to this party, so while I’m rooting for Kreuziger, he’s been named already. Instead I’ll pick Ruben Perez Moreno.

Nick February 9, 2013 at 7:39 am

Fabio Duarte

Sasha February 9, 2013 at 7:48 am

Dan Martin may finally step up!

AndersB February 9, 2013 at 8:34 am

Romain Feillu

Ollie Butterwick February 9, 2013 at 9:17 am

Monfort, for GC ranking.

jeffdreadnought February 9, 2013 at 10:06 am

Ten Dam

Syerforest February 9, 2013 at 10:31 am

Davide Rebellin

Wellsy February 9, 2013 at 11:06 am

Rory Sutherland

The Inner Ring February 9, 2013 at 11:12 am

A warning note if you’ve picked any Garmin-Sharp riders (Talansky, Martin, Dekker) as all their bikes were stolen overnight and they won’t race today.

Feel free to make another pick.

Anonymous February 9, 2013 at 11:14 am

Can anyone who picked a Garmin rider have a second pick now?

Anonymous February 9, 2013 at 11:15 am

Sorry just seen your post above. Ignore/delete my question.

The Inner Ring February 9, 2013 at 11:18 am

Yes and no worries for asking the question, “the rules” are informal here and it’s bad enough someone’s stolen the bikes, don’t want to let this spoil the competition here too.

Angus Macdonald February 9, 2013 at 11:35 am

Fabio Duarte

Ankush February 9, 2013 at 12:09 pm

I’m going for Thibaut Pinot now.

TomC February 9, 2013 at 12:21 pm

Jeremy Roy

Little Tom February 9, 2013 at 1:05 pm

Thibaut Pinot now Garmin have gone

Damo February 9, 2013 at 1:14 pm

Jarlinson Pantano

sima242 February 9, 2013 at 1:43 pm

Roman Kreuziger 😉

Tj Key February 9, 2013 at 2:12 pm


irk69 February 9, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Fabio Duarte

The Inner Ring February 9, 2013 at 3:51 pm

Too late for new picks, they’ve started the Mont Faron climb

The Inner Ring February 9, 2013 at 4:13 pm

Walen, divporter, taylor and Johnny win. Great choice… Péraud almost won a couple of years ago but was overhauled by Moncoutié for the win.

I have four packs of cards… so you each win one.

Email me with the address:

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