Take on cycling challenge with world champion in support of Warwickshire Air Ambulance

Helen Russell with the air ambulance crew

Helen Russell with the air ambulance crew

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The world champion duathlete and triathlete will be attempting to climb the legendary Mont Ventoux in France - three times, by three different routes, in just one day.

And now she’s calling on other keen local cyclists to join her for the ride of a lifetime from June 24-26.

Helen Russell, aged 40, from Evesham, will be taking part in Ultimate Ventoux Challenge to raise money for Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance and its sister charity, the Children’s Air Ambulance.

Both services are based at Coventry airport, with the local air ambulance flying an average of three missions per day and the Children’s Air Ambulance flying babies and children from general hospitals to life-saving care at specialist centres across the UK.

Success in the challenge will see Helen gain entry to the exclusive Club de Cingles du Mont Ventoux, which recognises the achievement of riders from around the globe who complete the challenge.

The 137k route includes over 4,400 metres of climbing in notoriously unpredictable conditions, where temperatures can reach 40c and wind speeds of 200 mph have been recorded.

The mountain, which is known as the Giant of Provence, is 1,912m high, with long stretches of road in excess of 10-12% gradient.

Helen, a winner of national, European and world age group championships in triathlon and duathlon, said: “Everyone with a passion for cycling should climb Ventoux.

“It’s the sport’s most iconic location, and Ultimate Challenge Ventoux is perfect for anyone who wants to really push themselves and see just what they’re capable of.

“The Tour de France is going up it once in July 2016, but we’ll be climbing it three times from three different sides in goodness knows what conditions.

“Doing the challenge for such an amazing cause is sure to spur us on to the top - again and again, ” said Helen, who last year raised £20,000 for leukaemia research by riding the route of the Tour de France a day ahead of the professionals.

To find out more about Ultimate Challenge Ventoux, click here or call 08454 130999 (calls cost 3ppm).