Evesham cyclist climbed infamous Tour de France mountain three times in one day - The Evesham Observer

Evesham cyclist climbed infamous Tour de France mountain three times in one day

Evesham Editorial 2nd Jul, 2017   0

CARING Evesham multisport athlete Helen Russell took on one of cycling’s hardest challenges when she saddled up to ride up the infamous Mont Ventoux three times in one day

Helen put pedal to the metal to raise cash for The Air Ambulance Service and tackled one of the hardest climbs to be faced by riders in the upcoming Tour de France.

Mont Ventoux, in Provence, which translates as ‘The Windy Mountain’, stands at a height of 1,912 metres. On the day it wasn’t just the wind and the steep gradient that Helen had to battle against, as the temperature reached over 35 degrees Celsius.

Despite this Helen successfully rode the paved roads from three nearby villages to complete the monumental task.

After negotiating the 21.5km route from Bédoin facing a gradient of 7.5 per cent, Helen then saddled up for the 21km trip from Malaucène which offered a similar climb.

After covering a total of 138km and climbing more than 4,400metres, her charity quest was completed with a 26km journey from Sault to the summit, with a reduced gradient of 4.7 per cent.

As a reward for her efforts she will now be welcomed into the prestigious Club des Cinglés du Mont-Ventoux, and be one of the ‘Mad Men of Ventoux’, a title which recognises everyone who rides the three ascents in one day.

The kind-hearted Evesham rider is one of less than 100 English women have received the honour.

“The ride was definitely one of the hardest I have ever done, made tougher by the extreme heat,” she said.

“However, I knew that I had to keep on pedalling as every revolution meant more money for The Air Ambulance Service.

“I wish to thank everyone who has donated to my fund-raising and thereby helped to save lives.”

So far Helen has raised £1,400 of her £2,000 target for Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance through the ride and also a series of events, including Wattbike classes in Evesham.

The service does not receive any government funding, so relies on donations to fund its average of three missions per day.

Visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/helenrussell-montventoux to donate to her fund-raising efforts.

Alternatively, visit The Valley on Sunday, July 23 where Helen will be doing a turbo challenge for the charity.


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