Last week, a French cyclist ascended the legendary climb of Mont Ventoux for the 379th time from the Bédoin side and his 62nd ascent this year.
Lionel Tartelin, who has been nicknamed Ventouman, hopes to make it to the top 400 times by the end of the year, but this will be dependent on the weather.
Tertelin says that you don’t have to be crazy to go up Ventoux, you have to be crazy to go back. As to why he continues to climb Ventoux, he says it’s “a story between me and the mountain, a call to which I must respond.”
Another cyclist, a Belgian named Betty Kals holds the record for the most ascents in one day having climbed it eight times on 14 May 2015.
The climb is a regular feature in the Tour de France, having been first used back in 1951. It has been used 15 times since, including a stage finish in this year’s Tour won by Thomas de Gendt. Other riders who have taken stage wins at the summit include Chris Froome (2013), Jean-Francois Bernard (1987), Eddy Merckx (1970) and Charly Gaul (1958).
Elevation gain: 1,629m
Average gradient: 7.4%
Max gradient: 12%