Thirteen staff members from Burnley College’s Sport, Business and the Services division are hoping the number proves lucky for them as their cycling team travels to the south of France to conquer the “Beast of Provence” to raise money for Cancer Research and My Life.
The iconic bike ride will take the intrepid cyclists through Provence to the peak of the famous Tour de France Mountain, Mont Ventoux, on Friday 1 July 2016. Some of the team will take their challenge even further, attempting to join only 9,500 cyclists in the world in “The Cinglés Club” (known in English as “The Mont Ventoux Screwballs”). This challenge means cycling up the mountain three times using the three traditional Tour de France routes from Bedoin, Malaucene and Sault, totalling 134 km within 24 hours.
The staff have trained for the gruelling trip by utilising the brand new Human Performance Centre at Burnley College. The state of the art strength and conditioning suite enabled the team were able to train using high-altitude cycling equipment to ready them for the tough conditions waiting for them near the top of the mountain. By analysing their performance using high tech equipment, the team will leave Burnley as prepared as possible for the challenges ahead.
Sports lecturer Paul Bentley who helped to organise the trip will be taking on The Cinglés Club challenge. He said:
“It’s a great privilege to be representing Burnley College and raising money for two amazing charities doing a sport we all love. For any cycling fan, taking on the Beast of Provence is the challenge of a lifetime but to be ascending three times and joining the rest of The Mont Ventoux Screwballs from around the world is a huge achievement. The support we’ve been given from the rest of the staff at Burnley College has been amazing and using the state of the art equipment in the Human Performance Centre has really helped us to gain the confidence in our stamina and fitness that we will need to push us up that mountain not once, not twice but three times!”
Head of Sports, Business and the Services Karen Pates said:
“Our staff have been working hard to train for this incredible achievement and the money they have been raising for Cancer Research and My Life will undoubtedly change lives. The team are setting a great example to our students about hard work and dedication and on top of that, they will achieve something only 9,500 people in the world have ever achieved before. What a way to put Burnley on the map!”