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82-year-old London cyclist battles hailstorms to conquer Mont Ventoux ride raising cash for children in Gaza

Despite severely inclement weather with fog so thick they nearly missed the famous Tom Simpson memorial, Anne Jones and her support team reached the summit of Ventoux on Friday after five hours of riding, raising £15,000 and counting

An 82-year-old cyclist from Lewisham has completed a summit of the famous Mont Ventoux climb in southern France to raise funds for a youth trauma hospital and a paracycling team distributing aid to communities by bike in Gaza. 

Anne Jones said on her fundraising page that although challenging herself to complete the 20.8km (12.9 mile) climb with 1,594 metres of ascent "might sound quite mad" given her age, she is also "no stranger to mountains" and would "rather use [her] time this way than wringing [her] hands in despair and anguish." 

"Over 11,000 Palestinian children killed is eleven thousand too many, just as each Israeli killed is one too many", said Ms Jones. 

"I protest as I can at this slaughter in full view of the world, so I am undertaking this challenge to raise funds towards some kind of physical healing of the wounds, and the emotional trauma."

Anne Jones - vis Amos Trust

(Amos Trust)

After completing the ride in five hours accompanied by a support team, an update on Ms Jones' JustGiving Page said: "The first 15km was relatively enjoyable through beautiful woodland (with cuckoo) and at cafe Reynard we were warmly welcomed - and a kind Belgian family donated 50 euros - but the last 7km was a battle through hailstorm thunder and fog such that we almost missed the Tommy Simpson memorial close to the top.

"The summit was one final massive push, a few photos and happiness at having made it in 5 hours. So grateful to Megan Chris Ann and Noel, also Trudy and Paul in their van."

> The steepest and hardest cycling climbs in the world

Ms Jones' fundraising efforts were in aid of the Amos Trust, with the money raised going to its partners in Gaza: Al Ahli hospital, a youth trauma centre, and the Gaza Sunbirds, a paracycling team based on the Gaza Strip that has pivoted to distributing aid to communities in Gaza by bike since the current Israeli–Palestinian conflict began in 2023.  

Ms Jones' fundraising page - titled 'Cycling ‘the beast of Provence’ to raise funds for Gaza's children' - can be found here on the JustGiving website. The total raised is £14,750 at the time of writing, with the page still open for donations. 

While we have of course reported on several classic editions of the Tour de France featuring the famous Mont Ventoux climb over the years, like Ms Jones' achievement there have also been plenty of summits outside of the professional peloton worthy of a special mention. In 2017, seven-year-old Miriam Goode became the youngest cyclist known to have completed the Géant de Provence, conquering the climb with her ten-year-old sister Poppy and their parents. 

In 2016 we reported on the French cyclist Lionel Tartelin, nicknamed 'Ventouman', who at the time had climbed Ventoux 379 times, completing over 60 ascents in 2016 alone. As far as we know Tartelin has at least doubled his tally in the eight years since, claiming to have completed his 824th ascent last year on his Facebook page. 

Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.  

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9 comments

Avatar
Clem Fandango | 3 weeks ago
4 likes

Bloody cyclists eh?

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to Clem Fandango | 3 weeks ago
3 likes

Clem Fandango wrote:

Bloody cyclists eh?

Shithouses the bloody lot of 'em, raising money for good causes and that. Despicable.

Avatar
perce replied to Clem Fandango | 3 weeks ago
6 likes

I bet the Telegraph could find a negative angle to this story.

Avatar
Clem Fandango replied to perce | 3 weeks ago
4 likes

I agree.

Avatar
David W replied to perce | 3 weeks ago
12 likes

perce wrote:

I bet the Telegraph could find a negative angle to this story.

WELFARE CLAIMING LYCRA LOUT ON DELIBERATE 'GO SLOW'

Furious commuters stuck behind benefits claiming grandma as she blocks traffic by cycling at 2.5mph for 5 hours! 

Avatar
mimbike replied to perce | 3 weeks ago
4 likes

perce wrote:

I bet the Telegraph could find a negative angle to this story.

Just how fast was she going on the descent then. Better check Strava.

Avatar
HLaB replied to perce | 3 weeks ago
2 likes

Yet another cyclist wearing out the tarmac on our roads (even though we're not French!)  7

Avatar
jaymack replied to perce | 3 weeks ago
4 likes

'Benefits claimant in Euro-jolly for foreigners'? Nope that's probably the the Daily Hate's banner headline. Personally I think she's a bloody marvel who reflects well on us all.

Avatar
perce replied to jaymack | 3 weeks ago
4 likes

So do I. Wonderful lady, full of admiration for her.

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