At the wheel of his Mercedes-Benz Tourismo K, the coach driver adeptly masters one bend after the other, climbing higher and higher. “The Tourismo K with its length of ten metres drives like a car,” says Roux with delight. “Thanks to the coach’s tremendous manoeuvrability and its 350 PS, the ascent to Mont Ventoux could actually be the purest of pleasures if there weren’t so many cyclists.”
And indeed, before unclear bends or when there is oncoming traffic, he is unable to overtake those on bikes and has to slow the coach almost to walking speed. Then it is a case of shifting down and taking an attentive look upwards. Is anything coming the other way? Accelerate quickly, shift up, gently take the next bend and keep the speed up into the next incline. Only to brake a little later behind the next group of cyclists. “The cyclists are at their most dangerous when they shoot downhill at 80 km/h and cut the corners,” the coach driver knows from many years’ experience.