'˜Climb of a lifetime' opportunity for Warwickshire cyclists

Cyclists from Warwickshire have the chance to take part in the '˜climb of a lifetime' to help raise money for charity.
The Air Ambulance Service. Photo by Karen Massey.The Air Ambulance Service. Photo by Karen Massey.
The Air Ambulance Service. Photo by Karen Massey.

The Air Ambulance Service, which has headquarters in Rugby, are appealing for cyclists to join their latest fundraising challenge.

The charity is organising a cycle ride up Mont Ventoux in France, which will raise money for the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance and its sister charity, the Children’s Air Ambulance.

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The challenge will involve cyclists tackling the mountain in the Alps three times by three different routes in just one day.

About half the places on the ‘Ultimate Ventoux Challenge’ have been filled and the charity are looking to recruit some more cyclists.

The 137km route includes more than 4,400 metres of climbing in unpredictable conditions. The mountain, known as the ‘Giant of Provence’, is 1,912m high and has long stretches of road at a 10 to 12 per cent gradient.

The challenge takes place from June 23 to June 25 and the charity will pay for the air fare and accommodation but entrants need to pay a £250 registration fee and commit to raise more than £750.

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World champion duathlete and triathlete Helen Russell, aged 41, from Evesham is among those taking part in the expedition.

She said: “The challenge, whilst tough is achievable for regular recreational cyclists so I would urge people to sign up.

“Also by cycling up Mont Ventoux three times in one day each rider that completes the challenge will receive membership of the prestigious Cingles Club. There is plenty of time to train for this amazing challenge.

“The mountain is definitely a bucket list ride which all keen cyclists would like to tick off so come and join us for the ride of a lifetime.

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“Also this year will be a special year to cycle the mountain as it is the 50th anniversary of the death of Tommy Simpson on the mountain so cyclists can be part of the commemorations that mark the anniversary.”

Helen chose to support the air ambulance as some of her cycling club members have been rescued by their crews.

She said: “I was surprised to learn that the service doesn’t receive any government funding and relies on public donations so I wanted to help raise funds to support this vital service.”

To find out more about the challenge click here.