The Club des Cinglés du Mont-Ventoux (translated means “The Mont Ventoux Madman Club”) is an exclusive club, open only to people who complete three ascents of Mont Ventoux, from each of it’s three main roads to the summit Bédoin, Malaucène & Sault in the same day. This requires cycling 136 km with 4443 m of climbing!
If the sheer amount of climbing wasn’t enough, Mont Ventoux located in the French alps, is also notorious for the extra tests it throws at riders, most notably the wind. Ventoux is french for ‘windy’. The wind blows across summit at over 90 km/h 240 days a year, and nothing grows there, giving it a lunar-like landscape. Riders are often literally blown off their bike. It’s location in the Alpine region means the weather often turns suddenly. A warm, calm sunny day at the base can often be cold, windy and rainy one at the top. Even the descent’s are hazardous! Hitting speeds of 75 km/h riders have to negotiate hairpin bends, sheer drops by the roadside, and cars.
Widely regarded as one of the toughest cycling challenges in the world, anyone who sussesfully conquers the three climbs receives an individually numbered medal and certificate of authenticity. The 2012 Velo & Blue team will attempt to join this club on 30th April 2012!
Here BBC reporter Mike Bushell briefly explains the ‘Les Cinglés du Mont Ventoux’ challenge, providing an insight into exactly what our team face and demonstrates how hard this challenge is.