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Meet Ventouman - the French cyclist who's ridden Mont Ventoux more than 360 times

A man's got to have a hobby ...more than 60 ascents this year alone...

A French cyclist is hoping to have climbed Mont Ventoux for the 400th time before the year is out – and has already made more than 60 ascents of the mountain nicknamed the Géant du Provence this year alone.

Lionel Tartelin from Cavaillon, southwest of Avignon, has earned himself the nickname ‘Ventouman’ through his exploits, reports

The website says that Tartelin made his 379th climb of the mountain, 62 of those coming during 2016.

He was hoping the Indian summer the south of France had been enjoying would hold up, but the current outlook isn’t good, with snow predicted for the next two days and temperatures below freezing.

As for why he does it? It’s a personal challenge, “a history between me and him, a call I have to respond to, a meeting at the summit.

Nowadays visited by the Tour de France every few years – the sight this year of Chris Froome running up the mountain after a crash has gone down in race legend – the bare upper slopes that provide no respite from the sun or the wind give Ventoux its fearsome reputation.

For British cyclists, it will always be associated with the death of Tom Simpson, who lost his life after collapsing on the mountain during the 1967 Tour de France – the 50th anniversary falls next year, and commemorations are being planned.

> Video: Mike Cotty & The Col Collective take you up Mont Ventoux

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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FatBoyW | 7 years ago

When I first saw the article it was without the last part of the headline. I was expecting some enormous number of ascents - anyway it's not the number it's the speed at which you do it that counts!

Or if you were The pirate was it the speed you did it up on?

I expect some  nutter Brit will now go and do it more than 400 times in one year on a Boris or a chopper or some such foolish thing!

tritecommentbot | 7 years ago

Reckon Python out-hards him therelaugh

Housecathst | 7 years ago
1 like

Rolling on a Mercier too by the look of it, goodman 

Dnnnnnn | 7 years ago

Doing it retro style too! The vehicles behind are much more modern than those brake levers...

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