2016 Tour de Fleece colourways: The Giant

There are a number of iconic mountains that have featured heavily in the Tour de France since it's inception. This year's Stage 12 finishes on the top of one of these quintissential peaks: Mont Ventoux.

Mount Ventoux by Jean-Marc Rosier from www.rosier.pro

Mount Ventoux by Jean-Marc Rosier from www.rosier.pro

Although geologically part of the Alps, Mont Ventoux stands quite isolated, rising out of the plains of Provence to a summit of 1,912 meters (6,273 feet) and dominating the local landscape. The top of the mountain is bare of trees and vegetation, inspiring comparisons to the surface of the Moon. This isolation makes it an interesting ecological niche, and there are some species that are unique to this peak.

From the historical side of the race, Mont Ventoux is considered one of the most grueling climbs on the Tour, and it has been included 15 times since 1951. Coming this year at the end of 185 km on Stage 12 and averaging between 6.6 and 10.1% for 11 km, this climb is sure to play a role in determining the final victor of the race. The mountain's challenges came into stark relief in 1967, when British cyclist Tom Simpson died within a half a mile of the summit from heat exhaustion brought on by dehydration, amphetamines and alcohol. Since then, there have been many great battles fought up the slopes of the Giant of Provence, but none have had such a tragic outcome.

The Giant on Merino d'Arles

The Giant on Merino d'Arles

For this colourway, I wanted to use a gradient to mimic the landscape that the riders pass through on their way from the lavender fields up to the mountain summit. A bright violet gives way to greens before passing into the bare rock hues of the summit. I'm hoping to spin some of this up to work a beautiful half-circle shawl, if I can get some good laceweight.

Don't forget, all these exclusive, limited edition Tour de Fleece colourways will be available in the shop update going live tomorrow morning at 10:00 am. Please note that there may be a bit of delay if the demand for a particular colourway is high, but I have plenty of the base and will get it out to you ASAP!