Clevedon cyclists take on tough Tour de France climb
PUBLISHED: 14:00 23 June 2018
A group of Clevedon cyclists recently travelled to Provence to tackle the fearsome mountain climb of Mount Ventoux.
Some say Ventoux is the hardest of all the Tour de France climbs and the reputation is deserved.
In 1967, Tommy Simpson collapsed on its slopes during a monstrous 211km stage of the tour.
He remounted after telling spectators to ‘put me back on my bike’ before finally succumbing to the affects of exhaustion 1.5km from the summit and eventually dying in a helicopter on route to hospital.
A memorial remains to him on the mountain which acts as a shrine to cycling fans from across the world.
Chris Froome has tasted success and failure on Ventoux. One of his most famous stage wins came on the mountain in 2013 which set up overall Tour victory.
In 2016 there were bizarre scenes when a bike problem and no support led to him running through the crowds in search of a working bike.
There were no such problems for the Clevedon riders, only sore legs. Two riders, Lee Edbrooke and Allan Paul, joined the exclusive Club des Cinglés by tackling all three routes to the summit in a single day.
Their 12-hour marathon ride saw them cover over 4,500m of vertical ascent.
Other riders completing ascents were Mark Taylor, Dave Yeomans, Rod Smart, Simon Philip, Darren Vine and Ian Bainbridge.
Valuable support was provided by Glynn Parfry and Rod White.
Back on local roads, Tuesday nights’ 10-mile time trials continue throughout the summer. In the latest round there was another win for Will Bjergfelt in 20mins 46seconds.
Joe Hawksworth claimed second in 22.10 with Andy Derrick closing out the podium in 23.30. There were good rides also for Alex Wahab and Jeremy Piggot both of whom posted PB’s.
Riders wishing to join the fun can check out the Clevedon and District Road Club website www.cdrc.cc or find us on Facebook.