An Epping mountain biker will be part of a team setting out to undertake all three ascents of the gruelling Mont Ventoux – renowned for its Tour de France dramas – twice in 24 hours.

THREE riders from the Blue Light Cycling Club (BLCC) will be ascending the Provencal moutain in July to raise funds for six national charities.

Formed in May 2020, BLCC is the only nationwide cycling club that supports emergency services and Armed Forces personnel.

The trio, three of the four BLCC founders, are Neil Turner, 51, from Epping, Dave Birch, 38, from Cubbington, Warwickshire, and 40-year-old Dan Bryant, from London. To complete the challenge, they will ascend almost 29,000 feet during rides of 85 vertical miles – all within the specified time limit of 24 hours.

Help for Heroes is one of the six charities set to benefit from the challenge and, only recently, received a cheque for £2,000 from BLCC as one of the club’s chosen charitable donations for 2022.

Mr Turner explained: “Six ascents, six amazing charities. Help for Heroes ensures those facing life-changing injuries have the best support and care they deserve. We chose this challenge as we needed something that frankly we may not achieve.

“We’re not the best cyclists you’ll ever meet, but we’ll be in a world of pain for just one day. Those who require the support of Help for Heroes face pain and the need to push through barriers every single day.”

Renowned as one of the most demanding climbs in the Tour de France, Mont Ventoux has seen more than its fair share of dramatic spectacles since it was first included in the race in 1951.

The mountain is legendary among cycling lovers after British Tour de France rider Tom Simpson died racing up it in 1967.

Such is the severity of the challenge that fewer than 400 people have ever achieved it.

The other five charities to benefit from the BLCC 24-hour Ventoux challenge, on July 2, are NHS Charities Together; the Fire Fighters Charity; the Coastguard Association; Care of Police Survivors (COPS); and Pancreatic Cancer UK.

To support Neil, Dave, and Dan in their fundraising efforts on Mt Ventoux, please visit their Just Giving page. For further information on Help for Heroes, or to get support, visit