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Chris Ward is only the 13th Briton to complete the Bicinglette challenge - and at 50, the oldest

London cyclist has become just the 13th Briton – and the oldest among them – to complete a challenge to ride up and down Mont Ventoux six times, greater than the height of Mount Everest.

Entrepreneur Chris Ward, who turned 50 in June, undertook the mammoth ride in memory of his father and to raise awareness for the Alzheimer’s Society charity.

Chris is the 97th person to complete the Bicinglette challenge set by the Club des Cinglés du Mont-Ventoux – literally, the Mont Ventoux Loonies Club.

Here’s a short film of his efforts – it does contain some swearing, so it’s probably best not to have the speakers on if you’re watching it in public. He’s also posted data of the ride, in September 12, to Strava, although his battery ran out prior to the sixth ascent.

On his website, Chris posted the Monday after completing the challenge: “Well I managed it. Much of that was because my wife Helen followed me up in a car from the bottom for the last ascent, starting at 11pm!

“And the only reason I started the sixth was because of all the support - much from total strangers – but fellow cyclists! – that I was getting through social media. Thanks very much.”

It’s far from the first cycling challenge he has set himself – others include riding the entire route of last year’s 100th edition of the Tour de France, where Chris Froome won on the Ventoux to help seal his overall victory.

While the total height gain during the ride was greater than the height of the world’s tallest mountain, it doesn’t qualify as an official Everesting ride because it did not stick to the same climbs and ascents each time.

There are three separate routes to the summit of Mont Ventoux, last year our own Vecchiojo wrote about riding all thee in a day – from Bédoin, Malaucène and Sault, the latter joining the Bédoin at Chalet Reynard, where the trees give way to the lunar landscape the mountain is famous for and Chris rode all three, as required by the rules.

He would have had to go some to break the record for the most ascents in 24 hours, though – set in 2006, that is held by Jean-Pascal Roux and stands at 11, all of them made from his home village, Bédoin.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

15 comments

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Beaufort [270 posts] 2 years ago
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His wife is hot.

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crikey [1251 posts] 2 years ago
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Have a word with yourself if that's the best comment you can think of.

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Bez [612 posts] 2 years ago
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Chapeau! Bicinglette is impressive. Hope the tweets helped a bit  1

I'm on the case next year, see how many I can do. Doubt I'll manage Bicinglette though...

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tomturcan [66 posts] 2 years ago
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Chapeau Chris, very impressive (if slightly daft)!

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gazza_d [472 posts] 2 years ago
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Hat chris. Very well done. Brilliant

Can I suggest for next time to stop the battery issue that you fit a hub dynamo & one of those USB charging modules *ducks*

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Das [243 posts] 2 years ago
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Great Effort, much kudos.

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Leviathan [2669 posts] 2 years ago
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Beaufort wrote:

His wife is hot.

Well it is rather sunny, he looks quite hot too.

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Colin Peyresourde [1815 posts] 2 years ago
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I did the Cingles this year and given that took me over 7hrs can only take my hat off to Chris. Double Le Bon courage.

Looks like he saves Malaucene for last from the profile (I haven't watched the video).

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Crimea03 [21 posts] 2 years ago
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Well done Chris, an amazing achievement!

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chris ward [4 posts] 2 years ago
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Thanks for comments - my wife will love some of them !? :). It was obviously long day and only achievable because Helen was there to help - although leaving the plugs to recharge the Garmin in the hotel left me slightly irritable for 10 minutes! My other stuff, tips etc is at www.workwhereyoulike.com. thanks

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DrJDog [413 posts] 2 years ago
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I thought I was a young looking 44 - he looks younger than me. Are you sure he's 50?

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Meanredspider [21 posts] 2 years ago
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Chapeau indeed. I did Alpe D'HuZes (6x up Alpe D'Huez in a day) earlier this year and that was tough enough and I'm only 49. Since my route was the same each time, my saw-tooth elevation profile looks neater!  3 Six times up Ventoux is very impressive though - I don't think I'll be aiming to do it.

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BazDunk [3 posts] 2 years ago
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I was 51 when I completed it last year, August 2013, number 75 on the Bicinglette completed list, but only 2nd person from Scotland to complete it and the first person from Scotland lives only 10 miles from me, therefore is Chris the oldest from England, apparently not as a Steve Howes completed it in 2011 at the young old age of 51, but is a Scot still classed as a Brit?

http://www.strava.com/activities/133219897

http://www.clubcinglesventoux.org/en/graduates.html?did=B&pid=4&pp=20

The Bicinglette was tough but that was superseded by completing the TransConti this year, and signing up again to do it next year, the route is going to be good me thinks!!  16

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chris ward [4 posts] 2 years ago
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Hi, I'm actually 51 as well (Road.cc got my age wrong somehow). It was Cingles organisers that suggested I was oldest Brit - but more than happy not to be if that was the case! Just happy to have done it...

As you say its tough - but i didn't think as tough as i thought it might be - looking for next challenge now - I'm interested in what made the TC harder?

cheers, Chris

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chris ward [4 posts] 2 years ago
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blessed with cycling genes - I'm actually 51 - but have the worse varicose veins!  1