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2 weeks ago, in order to raise money for our charity of the year (Railway Children) a team from Granger Reis took on the serious challenge of cycling up Mont Ventoux in France. Alex Berman from our Energy & Industrial Practice recounts the experience…

On Monday 22nd June, I joined a five strong team of colleagues from Granger Reis to set about climbing one of the most notorious Mountains in cycling world- Mont Ventoux. 

Mont Ventoux is 22km long and has an average gradient of 7.43 %, ranging from 5% to 14%. The mountain achieved worldwide notoriety when it claimed the life of British world champion cyclist Tom Simpson, who died here on July 13, 1967 from heat exhaustion caused by a combination of factors. The ride is certainly not for the faint hearted. 

It soon became very apparent that this wasn’t a challenge that you could achieve without training. All members of the team were extremely dedicated, and trained throughout the winter months often in horrendous conditions. Hill repeats were the chosen activity for the weekend mornings, and the team sought out suitable hills throughout Somerset, Devon and Gloucestershire.

On the big day we set off at 7.30am to try and escape the 32°C heat. The climb was one of the most difficult things any of us had ever done. Visualise a hill so steep that you can only just keep pedalling, a slope so vertiginous that you aim for the next bend you can see, and just hang on for dear life.

Now imagine that going on for 22km, without the slightest rest or relief in the gradient, while the sun hammers down on your back and your face drips with so much sweat that you struggle to see through your stinging eyes. Where were the easy bits? Where were the breathers? It was more a case of suffering and soldiering on!

Each member of the team successfully made it up the mountain and achieved their personal goals. There was a kind of euphoria at the top, a feeling that came with the difficulty of the task. The ride was a huge success and the team managed to raise £2,427 for the Railway Children.

From all here at Granger Reis, we would like to say a huge congratulations to the team on completing this challenge, such a fantastic achievement. 

Bring on the ideas for next year?!