Towering above the villages and fields of rural France, Ventoux is capped by a dramatic limestone landscape barren of trees. There are several approaches but Miriam and her dad left from the village of Bedouin, scene of many a Tour de France stage, at 6am in order to complete the ride before the blistering heat set in.
Renowned as one of the most gruelling stages in the world-famous cycling race, the ride up Mont Ventoux has an unforgiving average gradient of 8%, with several steep ramps. One of the main features of the ride is that there are no flat stretches and no downhill sections on the way to the weather station that marks the summit.
The total climb is 1600m over 21km of road. The pair completed their ride in just under three hours, with a short stop at Chalet Reynard to take on food and top up water bottles before setting off for the summit with an inspirational playlist blasting from Miriam’s phone.
Miriam beat her dad to the top by a couple of minutes and celebrated with a traditional ‘bike-lift’ at the summit before setting off for a very speedy ride to the bottom.
It’s been a busy summer for the Sixth Former who was also lucky enough to work alongside adventurer and poet Anna Maria Murphy as part of Kneehigh Theatre’s Rambles Programme.
Anna has travelled the length and breadth of Cornwall collecting stories which have been transformed into stage productions for the renowned theatre company. As part of the Hall for Cornwall Youth Theatre, Miriam starred in these evocative reimaginings at Kneehigh’s Asylum hosted by the Lost Gardens of Heligan this August.
Miriam said that their three-night run “was great fun and provided a fantastic insight into the story-telling process.”
Spots in the group are highly sought-after and all HFC Youth Theatre places are currently allocated.