The road to Ventoux- Part 12

Hamish in Ventoux top

The Ventoux3 challenge is all about raising money to support research into mood disorders (depression and bipolar disorder) through the Out of the Blues charity. To make a donation go to

It is over two months since I last wrote a blog for the “Road to Ventoux”. This is mainly because I have just not got round to it. However there has been a little voice on my shoulder muttering… “just wait a little longer”. The reasons for this is to do with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Ventoux3 Challenge.

When the plan was hatched for the challenge, back in November 2019, the target had been to undertake the challenge in the May school half term in 2021. However, the reality is that this will not be possible in present circumstances. As a result, I have now taken the decision to postpone till May 2022. This is in part because in the summer it is getting a bit warm to do the challenge, and the weather at the top of Ventoux is too unpredictable in the October half term. In addition, I really hope that the world will be in a better place by May 2022!

So, what am I going to do to keep motivated for the next 16 months?? Well, I have really got into cycling virtually and there are now multiple apps that include the Ventoux climb, including the most popular platform Zwift. These apps also allow group rides: people all coming together in the virtual world from their own garages, basements or wherever they have their bikes set up on turbo trainers. This has led to the idea of a “Ventoux3 Challenge workout series” in which there will be a monthly event through the spring and autumn, culminating with three ascents of Ventoux in a day in December. The provisional programme is as follows:

21st February – Ascent of virtual Alpe d’Huez on Zwift (Tour of Fire and Ice)

21st March – Ascent of virtual Ventoux

19th April – Ascent of Alpe d’Huez X2 (tbc)

23rd May - Ascent of virtual Ventoux X2

17th October - Ascent of virtual Ventoux

14th November - Ascent of virtual Ventoux X2

19th December - Ascent of virtual Ventoux X3

Anybody who is interested in joining me for all or part of any ride, just let me know ( We will start on Zwift, but I am exploring the possibility of doing some of the rides on the RGT platform. I have a report that it may be possible to ride all three of the routes up Ventoux, rather than having to just do the same route (the hardest!) three times on Zwift. I will be exploring this option over the next month or two.

My coach – Ed Collins (see will be working hard helping me get into shape to take this on. Hopefully, doing the challenge indoors first will help to prepare me for the challenge IRL (“in real life”) – I will just have to prepare myself for the wind on the top of Ventoux.

I already have a virtual Ventoux cycling top – as I am proudly showing off next to the monitor showing the Zwift version of the route in the photo! Will be great to get the IRL version as well…..

Don’t forget the site that provides a wealth of advice around dealing with isolation, self-management of anxiety and depression, and how to stay safe at these difficult times. Please have a look at the site and share it with others – there is something there for everybody.

I wish everybody the very best and I hope you all stay healthy. Whatever your situation, try to make exercise of one sort or another a part of your daily/weekly routine. If you want to get involved in the Ventoux3 for Out of the Blues challenge in any way, then drop me an email at

Hamish McAllister-Williams