The road to Ventoux - Part 3

Mont ventoux from mirabel

Off for a couple of days to Dhaka, Bangladesh for a NEESAMA (North East England South Asia Mental Health Alliance) meeting to discuss research collaborations between Newcastle and South Asia (India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh).

So, while sitting at 38,000 feet heading from London to Doha on the second leg of my journey, I tucked into this article.

It was written by a reporter who has covered Le Tour when Mont Ventoux has been a stage, but has previously never ridden it.

Every June, there is a “Gran Fondo” (meaning “Big ride”) that finishes at the top of Mont Ventoux. There are two possible routes to ride – an “easy” one which is 71 miles with 9,800 feet of climb (following the road to the summit from Sault) and the “hard” one which is 87 miles long with 11,500 feet of climb (following the classic Tour route from Bedoin). The writer chose the harder route. His description of the ride was really good, though the bit that worried me was a statement that apparently between 3 and 10 people a year die cycling up the mountain! He also described the last 8km of the ride as being an absolute “hell”.

Oh well – my challenge is only to do both the “easy” and “hard” routes, plus the medium one as well for three ascents in one day – how hard can that be????

However, the best news of all is that I have my first sponsor! I have been promised £100 for the first ascent, £200 for the second and £300 for the third – quite a start towards raising money for Out of the Blues!!

If you want to sponsor me to become a “madman of Mont Ventoux”, then drop me an email at

Hamish McAllister-Williams