I’m sharing here a publication I made on social networks to explain the project (the text is long, I translated it with a translator… ok it’s not the first time ).
I’d like to explain why I set myself the challenge of climbing the Ventoux 3 times in the same day, the challenge of doing it together, the challenge of making it a charity event.
You only have to open a map of France to see the contrast between Mont Ventoux and Saint-Malo, my home town. And yet, I’ve heard all about Mont Ventoux. My dad was from Nyons. In 1958, he saw Charly Gaul set the record for the climb (which stood for 31 years). On that occasion, he made his only ascent of the Ventoux by bike to the cheers of the crowds, a day that left a deep impression on him.
In February 2011, my dad suffered a thalamic stroke. He was so quick-witted and had such a brilliant memory. Overnight, he was a shadow of his former self. For months, he was unable to take the slightest initiative. It wasn’t until 1 year later that he began to recover.
By then, I’d lost all sense of my medical studies, and was in need of some fantasy… I discovered the unicycle, which required all my attention and made passers-by smile.
In July 2019, I went to Provence with my parents with the intention of climbing the Ventoux on a unicycle. We went to Malaucène, because it was the closest commune to Nyons. Once we’d set off, there was no question of putting my foot down, and 1h44 later I was at the summit. The hardest part was the descent to Sault; I wanted to do it without a break, but the pain in the support points made me give it up.
Afterwards, I realized that, for the purists, the climb from Malaucène wasn’t worth the one from Bédoin, so I had to come back!
I couldn’t come back with my dad, who died in early 2021. In July 2021, I returned to Provence with my mom, but this time it took me 1h40 to reach the summit from downtown Bédoin. Shortly afterwards, I learned of a challenge to climb all 3 Ventoux peaks in the same day…
In August 2022, I started talking to my unicyclist friends about it: to Martin, who knows Mont Ventoux best, and also to Maxence, who is a talented unicyclist, as well as being president of the Commission Nationale Monocycle.
I had envisaged a date at the end of July 2023 for this challenge, but then winter arrived and the euphoria died down…
At the end of January 2023, Maxence’s father was diagnosed with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. His father quickly lost the use of his legs, then the ability to eat and finally to breathe. With no known cure, he passed away in mid-March. Both cycling enthusiasts, Maxence and his father had planned to climb Mont Ventoux together.
Organizing this event on Mont Ventoux was an obvious choice for Maxence and me.
By organizing this event on July 29, I’m expecting the participating unicyclists to be buoyed by the cheers of cycling enthusiasts from all over the world, just as I was myself on my 2 previous climbs.
To show our support for the Institut du Cerveau - Paris Brain Institute and display our unity, we decided to create a cycling jersey dedicated to the event. We had Lauranne’s help with the logo and Alexis gave me Noret’s contact. I hope you like the design as much as we do.
Noret will produce 50 jersey by the end of July, and additional jersey can be produced for September/October if required. The price of the jersey is €60 (excluding postage), with profits going towards the organization of the event. Any surplus will be donated to the Brain Institute.
If you like the jersey and would like to support the project, you can pre-order it using this form (please note the size): https://forms.gle/wJeEeXwi8Sj5RGzc9
And we need your help to ensure that the fund raised by Maxence in memory of his father is more than just a symbol, and that medical research really does make progress:
Mont Ventoux Unicycle Challenge | Alvarum