10th Dec, 2016

Triathlete to tackle mountain three times for Coventry charities

Coventry Editorial 21st Feb, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

A WORLD CHAMPION triathlete will tackle one of the toughest challenges in cycling to help raise funds for the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance (WNAA).

Team GB athlete Helen Russell will attempt to climb the legendary Mont Ventoux in France not once, not twice, but three times using three different routes in just one day.

And now, Helen is calling on other keen local cyclists to join her for the ride of a lifetime from Friday (June 24) until Sunday (June 26).

The 40-year-old will be taking part in the Ultimate Ventoux Challenge to raise money for WNAA and its sister charity – the Children’s Air Ambulance.

Both services are based at Coventry airport – the local air ambulance flies to an average of three missions per day.

Success in the challenge will see Helen gain entry to the exclusive Club de Cingles du Mont Ventoux, which recognises the achievement of riders from around the globe who complete the challenge.

The 137 kilometre route includes over 4,400 metres of climbing in notoriously unpredictable conditions, where temperatures can reach 40 degrees celsius and wind speeds of 200mph have been recorded.

The mountain, which is known as the Giant of Provence, is 1,912m high, with long stretches of road in excess of 12 per cent gradient.

Helen, a winner of National, European and world age group championships in triathlon and duathlon, said: “Everyone with a passion for cycling should climb Ventoux.

“It’s the sport’s most iconic location, and Ultimate Challenge Ventoux is perfect for anyone who wants to really push themselves and see just what they’re capable of.

“The Tour de France is going up it once in July 2016, but we’ll be climbing it three times from three different sides in goodness knows what conditions.

“Doing the challenge for such an amazing cause is sure to spur us on to the top.”

Last year, Helen raised £20,000 for leukaemia research by riding the route of the Tour de France a day ahead of the professionals.

Call 08454 130999 or e-mail jo.payne@theairambulanceservice.org.uk to find out more about Ultimate Challenge Ventoux.