Members of the MeadWestvaco Mont Ventoux Challenge

  • Jan Theelen, MeadWestvaco Venlo, Netherlands, Racebike
  • Sylvain Thibaut, MeadWestvaco Deols, France, Racebike
  • Celio van Gerwen, MeadWestvaco Uden, Netherlands
  • Santiago Casado, MeadWestvaco Hemer, Germany, Walking
  • Georg Reinhard, MeadWestvaco Trier, Germany, Mountainbike
  • John Sturkenboom, MeadWestvaco Uden, Netherlands, Racebike
  • Martijn van Diepenbeek, MeadWestvaco Uden, Netherlands, Mountainbike
  • Mark van der Cruijsen, MeadWestvaco Uden, Netherlands, Mountainbike
  • Steve Cooke, MeadWestvaco Bristol, England, Walking
  • Julien Rayée, MeadWestvaco Roosendaal, Netherlands, Running
  • Twan Beurskens, MeadWestvaco Venlo, Netherlands, Racebike
  • Peter Theelen, MeadWestvaco Venlo, Netherlands, Racebike
  • Chris Schuts, MeadWestvaco Venlo, Netherlands, Racebike
  • Jeroen Evertsen, MeadWestvaco Enschede, Netherlands, Mountainbike
  • Dick Klein Egelink, MeadWestvaco Enschede, Netherlands, Racebike
  • Ramil Nigmatullin, MeadWestvaco Moscow, Russia, Running
  • Patrick de Laat, MeadWestvaco Uden, Netherlands, Racebike
  • Michel Tanguy, MeadWestvaco Troyes, France, Racebike
  • Christophe Raby, MeadWestvaco Troyes, France, Racebike

Non MeadWestvaco members

  • Ronald van Heertum, Uden, Netherlands, Racebike
  • Marcus Gluth, MWV Contractor Hemer, Germany, Racebike
  • Heiner Korschewski, MWV Contractor Hemer, Germany, Racebike
  • Thomas Nicolai, MWV Contractor Hemer, Germany, Racebike

MeadWestvaco's Mont Ventoux Supportteam

  • Daniel Westphal, MeadWestvaco Hemer, Germany
  • Michael Hofer, MWV SHE SBS Europe, Austria

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Adress next years event

There is a new adress for the next years event. Here we will publish all the news about this event. The adress is
We hope you will enjoy this weblog as much as you did this one. So bookmark the new adress and keep informed over the MWV Alpe D'Huez 2009 Challenge.

See you over there,

Chris, Celio, Santiago and Jan

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Next years event

Next years event will be also in France, we will go to Alpe D'Huez which people who love the Tour de France immediately recognize. The date of the next year's event will be the weekend of 13 and 14th of June. If you want to be with us you should already put this date into your calendar.

We are working at the moment also on a website where we will inform you over the progress of this challenge. As soon as we have this site online we will put the adress on this site.

So if you missed the last years event and you want to join us next year, then watch the info on the internet and the info boards in your plant for the invitation which we will send around after the summer holiday's.

At the left side you see already a picture of our next years tour.

Friday, 13 June 2008

MWV ........ Challenge 2009

Hello everybody,

On the 27 June we start talking about the next years challenge. We are Santiago Casado, Chris Schuts, Celio van Gerwen an Jan Theelen. On this evening we want to set a date and place where we should go to next year. As it looks now the event will grow, we had already several messages from other people who want to join in the next years event, even from the United States we had some requests.

We will keep you all informed about the progress and hope to see you all back next year in the MWV .......... Challenge 2009!

So keep training, we will have a lot of challenges and fun next year!

Friday, 6 June 2008

Best regards from the Hotel

Hello Members of the MWV Mont Ventoux Challenge 2008, I've got an E-mail from the Hotel in Sault and they wanted to thank everybody for the nice team that we where. They also enjoyed our visit there and wood be glad to see us coming back. They also attached us a picture of the Hotel owners and employees.

For all the people who read this blog and think I want also go to the Mont Ventoux I can say from this side, If you go to this Hotel you will have a nice stay for a reasonable price.

Hôtel Le Signoret
Avenue de la Résistance
84390 SAULT
Tél /Fax:
E-mail :

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Cinglé (Crazy / Stupid guy)

What to add to the stories from my fellow cyclist, runners, supporters and walkers. Started couple months ago with the first thought about the Cinglé, 3 climbs to the Mont Ventoux. In my challenge 3 others joint for this crazy ride to the this top. Spinning, training and biking almost every other day since Eastern. May 4th the first tour in the south or Netherlands, 140 km cycling hill up and down again in parts of Belgium – Netherlands and Germany. Learned also Patrick used this one as training for the Cinglé. Finished this tour and was almost confident to beat the stupid “Kale Berg”.
Patrick, Chris, Peter and me myself and I started Saturday morning 8:00 AM out of small village Sault and we finished at 19:00 PM ( 11 hours later) the last climb out of Malaucene. Weather conditions below 21 °C with almost no wind, finishing on top foggy, raining, hurricane and 4 °C you need to be a little bit sick. I have died multiple times during the last climb but I DID IT!!, Yes, tripled the Mont Ventoux. To me the Cinglé is the single (single do it alone) not being crazy just need a shrink . I’m happy to complete this mission and would also thank my wife & kids, everyone who helped, organized, supported and lifted us up hill.
Even Tommy helped and pushed to complete my Mission.

See you next year for the MWV Challenge ………… Twan Beurskens

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

A smasher Challenge!

Some days passed since I climbed the Mont Ventoux and the experienced are hardly to be described.Special thanks to Jan Theelen for the brilliant organization of the Event as well as to Daniel Westphal (MWV Hemer) for the fact that I was allowed to participate to these Challenge as Non-MWV Member at all. In a new edition in the next year I would gladly participate again.Best regards,Heiner Korschewsk

Monday, 2 June 2008

Some nice pictures from our German members

The three musketeers going uphill!
In front off the famous Lavender fields
Yes, this is where they did it for! Congratulations Thomas, Heiner and Marcus.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Mont Ventoux experience.

I arrived at Sault at Saturday afternoon, partly because of the terrible weather conditions during my trip. At arrival, most of the members where already busy with their challenge, and based on the stories afterwards about the weather conditions, I understood it was a REAL challenge….
A number of German contesters, who finished the climb earlier, asked me if I was really trying to run the mountain, and I noticed they thought one had to be nuts to try a thing like that….( every one who wants to climb the Mont Ventoux has to be bit crazy..)
After a nice diner, where I met lots of people I only knew by name, I went to bed early.
After al the stories about the weather conditions on the top, I wanted to be as fit as possible.
In the morning, the weather conditions seamed ok, 17º and a mild wind. Jan told me that the temperature at the top was approx. 10º lower as on the “ground” level.
I started running at 09.45 in Bedoin, and the first 4km where quite warm to run (I love cold weather and rain during running).
But at the first sharp curve left, I entered the woods, and noticed that the way up became steeper, and the challenge just started…
At the first service point, Chris, Peter and Twan provided me with water and sports drinks.
The whole race they took real good care of me and without this support and help it would have been impossible for me to finish… So thanks again, sportsmen..
Due to the steepness in the woods, I could not keep up the running pace. I decided to change to an old Indian way to cross a desert, the wolf run: 1’ running, 1’ walking.
I kept on running like that until the curve at the hotel at 15km; at this point it was a bit less steeper. The rain that started at aprox. 6km increased (lucky me…) and I felt the temperature dropping.
I entered the clouds, and the visibility dropped with every km. I kept on running and noticed the Ton Simpson memorial, and realized that the finish was nearing…
The last 600 meters where one of the toughest I ever did, very hard cold wind, heavy rain almost no visibility (I never saw the tower…) and a last very steep finish, but I was determined to finish running.
Luckily, the supporting team was waiting for me on the top, because at that point I wasn’t far away from under cooling….
I have noticed this day in my logbook with capital letters, not only for the personal challenge, but also due to the experience to share such a challenge with a group of equal minded colleagues. When one says a sport unites, I can conform that….
I hope this challenge will become a yearly tradition, and at the last diner, when we received our certificates from Jan, I found out I wasn’t the only one who hoped that.
Thanks Jan, for the organisation of this great event, and everyone else for the support and the good company, and I hope to meet you all again next year…
Julien Rayée

Friday, 30 May 2008

Mont Ventoux, Cinglé, 24-05-2008

At last, the day has started where it has to happen. I will go up three times the “naked mountain”. I’ve got a good night sleep, what the self-confidence helps. If I look back to all preceding trainings, with 2800 km in the last 4 months, then can in fact it cannot go wrong. And the 8 kilo’s of weight that I have less than 4 months ago will help me today very well. But it is still 3 rises on one day, and that is 68 kilometer uphill with 4360 meters height on a mountain that I never have seen before.
The legs feel good en Twan, Chris and Peter will ride also the Cinglé ( that’s how they call this and it means “crazy”) so I’m not alone. Our hotel is in Sault so we depart at )815 in Sault after we got our stamp on our Cinglé card. This is the easiest route of the 3 (26 km, steepness of 4,7 % in average, and 1180 meter of height difference) So I think let’s start easy.
One’s on the road Twan has some troubles like falling of the chain and getting his jacket in his front wheel, but after a while this is solved. It’s warm and the humidity is high but after we did the half way it gets less warm. We are riding in a tough speed to the Chalet Reynard and Peter who was a little behind us comes and overtakes us. He rides so hard that my heart rate gets above the 165/min. Let him go I thought, we still have two climbs to go and I have learned to listen to my heart rate meter. It is getting colder, foggy and the wind starts to blow. Where on 5 kilometers from the top and my temperature meter tells me that it is 9 degree Celsius. I don’t see Peter anymore and a few kilometers its only 7 degree and more wind, I’m really surprised of the change of weather conditions and with the idea that it only gets worse I’m afraid to get my heart rate above the 155/min. Just a few kilometers to go and Twan Chris and myself are not so far away from each other, but I can not see them the vision is only 10 meters and then everything is white, not from the rocks but from the clouds where we are in all the time.
I see some bikers who just started the descending, well descending it is more shivering with the teeth and max. 20 kilometers an hour. I really had imagine the descend differently. It gets colder only 6 degree left and I’m passing a Dutch guy with a cramp at about 1 kilometer from the top. Your OK? I should and he should I’ve got it cold and a cramp. I tell him to keep drinking and felt my self strong that I had no problems when I saw him. I said shouting because then wind drowned out every other sound. What came up in me in those last meters was very impressive. Yes I read about the wind but those clouds and the cold brrrr, I even didn’t see the Monument of Tom Simson. Suddenly I saw in a hairpin to the right all people standing on the left side of the road. I was thinking what are they doing there and I found out very short after that. I turned in to this hairpin and was almost blowing of the mountain with my bike under me. I crawl with my bike up against this wind in the direction of a white building and got in to a corner where the wind was less hard. I’m standing next to another crazy biker and ask him where the top is, well your there he says and I look up but I couldn’t see the tower. On the other side of the road I see our bus and Ronald call’s me to come with my bike but I didn’t dare to walk on my slippery shoes with this wind up to 150 km/hour. He helped me and ones in the bus I thought Wauw what an adventure.
Ones we are complete we descend with the bus to Bedoin to go fro the second climb (it was not safe enough to descend on the bike). Ones again I keep checking my heart rate and even that this was the hardest climb it goes very well. Twan Peter and Chris struggle more with these 21 kilometer, an average of 7,5 % and 1610 meters of height difference. This gives me a strong feeling. Ones again I almost get blowing of my bike on the top and at 4 degree Celsius I jump quickly in to the bus. From the bus I see that the shop is open and I buy a t-shirt with the three climbs on it. After an hour we are complete again and descend with the bus in direction Malaucene to start at the last climb of the day. After about 4 kilometers the weather gets better and I decided together with Peter to take the bike and drive down on the bike. Sometimes the wind pushes us almost of the bike, but this cannot stop the fun of descending.
Getting in to Malaucene we see a lot of bikers who started there climb in a summer outfit, “it is 24 degree down here so no problem” we now the real true. Having a plate of spaghetti in Malaucene, because this is good for the morality says Chris and then we go for the last time to the top. It is 16:30 as we leave the parking and with my 36 years of age I still feel good. In the beginning I’m struggling to find a good rhythm but when I at least found it nobody could stop me. Chris Twan and Peter struggle a little with the spaghetti, but still can ride the bike.
This climb has a difficult degree as the same as the one from Bedoin, while it is the last one it gets a total different story.
Almost on the top and 20 degree colder then in Malaucene is Jan next to the bus waiting for me. He says “stop other wise will blow of your bike after the last corner”. I was happy that he was there, I walked the last 50 meter true the bizarre weather condition to the top and could only think on one thing “Yes I did it and nobody is going to take this away from me”
The weather condition getting even more worse and we are getting worried about the others. We decide to drive to them and pick them up, it is really madness what we are doing. Just started driving down when we meet them on their way up. Come in the bus Jan every time said “you made it”” he said every time and I was 100% agree with him because it was irresponsible to continue the last 100 meters. “Safety first” was Jan’s devise.
From this side I want to thank everybody for this unforgettable day, and Ronald in special, can you imagine to be a cyclist and due to a injury sitting the whole day in a car looking to others beautiful moments. Also thank you Ronald for the great pictures you made.

Patrick de Laat.

Thank you Patrick great story and even a greater achievement. Who is next to tell something about his experience?

Thursday, 29 May 2008

My personal story

Thursday evening, 23:00 hour, driving away from home to pick up two other colleagues to go direction Mont Ventoux. I wandering how I'm going to make it, because 33 day's ago I had a second hart surgery and my doctor said that it was OK to bike the Mont Ventoux. But in my head there was a little voice that told me that this was not a good idea. Well if I want to test my heart this would be the perfect occasion.
So we picked up the two colleagues and started to drive to France. In the early afternoon we saw the Mont Ventoux for the first time and during the ride to it we got more and more impressed about the height of it. Because the weather forecast was not so good for the rest of the weekend we decided to drive up to the summit so that we could already enjoy the fantastic view.
It was fantastic and after a quick visit at the monument of Tom Simson we went down to Sault where we had our Hotel.
During this afternoon and following evening all the members dropped in and at 19:30 we enjoyed our first meal. Her a lot of people started to tell what there challenge would be, some wanted to climb ones and some wanted to climb it several times, 4 of them wanted even to climb it 3 times in one day. But for me was my challenge to climb it ones from Bedoin.
Saturday morning, the weather is OK, no rain, only a little fog. the Mont Ventoux was covered in clouds and at 8 o'clock several people started to drive up the mountain. I decided to join the group to do a ascend from the easy side. I was able to join the group over about a 5 kilometers and then I kept behind to ride my own speed, I didn't want to over stress my heart to much because I still was not sure if this was OK what I was doing. After a break in the Forrest a Deer jumped in 2 meters front of my bike and ran down the mountain, this was a good test for my heart I felt it knocking in my neck. The fog got thicker and the temperature got down when I came out the Forest and started in to the naked part of the mountain. The slope got steeper and steeper and my speed dropped down. "My god what am I doing here"was my thought "taking two day's of vacation, driving with 5 people 12 hours to France and 12 hours back and hurting my body on a mountain" I must have something wrong in my head. But I kept still going on and was thinking that I could make it to the top. When I came to the Tom Simson monument I knew that I was getting to the top, and I thanked Tom for this great moment. 1 Km to go and my complete body was screaming for rest. The wind got stronger and stronger but still it was to do. Last straight part, the wind got even stronger but still no problem, then the last corner, I knew this is it just 40 meters and then I'm on the top. I turned in to the corner and got hit by a enormous wind. "What is this? O god I can't hold my bike" I was blowing to the edge of the road and I clicked out of my pedals. I could grab a fence to hold me with one hand, the other hand had to hold the bike which started to fly in the wind like a flag. I just couldn't do anything as holding my self in this position. Then there was a Dutch men who helped me straight up and to the summit. I was so happy that I forgot to thank him and when I looked for him he already left the summit. This was the moment that I was breaking, I was thinking about the period of surgery that lay behind me and the emotion got to much at this moment. I will never forget the great feeling I had on this particular moment where I could share this with a lot of good friends, colleagues and my son Peter.
Thanks to the Doctors, my Colleagues, Friends , Family and specially my Wife Annemie who supported me I was able to climb the Mont ventoux again after this hard time. THANK YOU ALL!
My experience from the Sunday when I climb the Mont Ventoux from Bedoin, will be on this web log on a later stadium. From this side I want to ask the other members of the group to write down you personal experience and tell us on this weblog. Send it to me and I will publish it as soon as possible, please send also some picture with your story that shows what you experienced.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Some figures

  • 36 Climbs
  • 836 Kilometers climbing
  • 52ooo Meter in height
  • +/- 70 Liter of energy drinks
  • Several kilo's energy bar's
  • 72 Hours of fun
  • And a lot more!

From Ventourist to Ventousiast

This weekend the MWV Mont Ventoux Challenge 2008 has took place in the South of France. We where with 25 members who had all there own challenge. The forecast for the weather conditions where very bad and as specially on Sunday so that a lot of people decided to climb on Saturday and eventually on Sunday. There where four people who attempted to climb the Mont Ventoux from all the three routes and they started also on Saturday because to achieve this challenge in perfect conditions is a challenge on his own. The weather in the valley was good but the top was covered with clouds and the wind was blowing with wind speeds up to 150 km/h. But our members went on and at he end of the day several people climbed the mountain 1,2 and four of them even 3 times under terrible conditions.
Sunday did several people an other or there first climb, it started raining short after the start and the top was still in the clouds. The wind speed was a not so high as Saturday but still above 100 km/h. On Saturday it where the cyclist who climbed but on Sunday we had 3 people who walked, and one who was running the route, they all got to the top and by that they for filled there challenge. Several bikers started to and at the end we had a best time from 1:38 on the bike and a 2:05 by running. After our sports achievement we came together in the hotel and had dinner where everybody got a certificate. Here the first voices came up to do this on a yearly base, and the first idea's got born all ready. The weekend was a 100 % success and this due to all the members, we as "MWV Mont Ventoux Challengers" where a great team on the slopes of the Mont Ventoux. My thanks to all of them.
I went as a "Ventousiast" with 24 Ventourists to the Provence. I think I affected several people with the Mont Ventoux virus and a lot off them changed during this weekend from "Ventourist to Ventousiast", and will come back to him in the future.

Here yo see some first pictures which I had available, more will follow as soon as I have them. So keep regular looking on this web log!

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Ready to go!

At this moment I have everything packed on and in the car. We will leave our house in a few minutes to France. There is no way back, the challenge has started. From this side I wish everybody a safe and good travel, and I'm looking forward to see you all.

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Last week before the challenge

Yes, tomorrow starts the last week, the weather conditions have changed at the moment, it is raining in the region and this could mean that it is snowing on top. On the next website you find a forecast for the weather over the coming 10 day's in Bedoin or in Carpentras (Near the Mont Ventoux) At this moment it doesn't look so good but I don't care, I'm really excited to go for it. Today I've got some spare parts for my bike and prepared some materials that we will need. I also called for the shirts and it will be tricky if I get them on time. They are still in Portugal and will hopefully arrive next week. So don't forget to bring warm clothes with you, we could have wintertime next weekend.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Good conditions at the moment


Good news from France, an employee of MeadWestvaco Venlo was on holiday in France last week and visited the Mont Ventoux by car. He was on the top and he told me that the conditions were very good, there is still some snow on the slopes below the top but the road was clear and in good condition. There were also a lot of bikers who where trying to get to the top and it looked like they where suffering. I will ask him some pictures from the top to show you.
Yesterday I did some training in the hill from the Netherlands (yes even we as a lowland have hills) together with Chris and Peter. I would say we should be ready for it, it will not be easy but that should not be the problem. I hope you all are ready too.

The first pictures is fro a webcam near the Mont Ventoux and shows you the Northside.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Nice picture

Hello all,

If you look on You see on the right side the picture of the week "foto van de week" here you see how the road and mountain looks at this moment. The picture is taken on the 2nd May so 5 days ago. If you click on the picture you get it bigger.

Looks great isn't it?

Monday, 5 May 2008

Less then 20 day's to go

Do you get nervous to? Well I am. 10 Months after my first idea was born it is now only 20 day's to go. I personally had several challenges to go until now, but today I decided to take my bike with me to France and I will try to climb the Mont Ventoux. The doctors had no doubts about this and they even told me to do it, it would be a good test for me and it would give me my the trust in my body back. My time is no point for me I just want to get up, that is "MY CHALLENGE".

At the moment I'm working on a kind of agenda. As specially for the Sunday because what would it be nice if we all could get up in about the same time and have some nice pictures of us as a group. Some of them will then go for there third climb and others will be happy with the one they did (including me). I will send you all the agenda at the end of this week including the address of the Hotel in Sault.

At the moment we have also in France good weather what could help to get the snow back to water. Last week there was still some snow on the North route, this is the one that only the people who will go for three times will do. Yes nice sunny weather with little or no wind would be perfect. Let hope for that.

Here is as a bonus a picture of a sunrise on the Mont Ventoux, who would not like to see this with his own eyes? Well if the sky is clear and you don't mind to get out of your bed at 4:30 on Saterday we could go up to see the sunrise at 5:53. this is the time that the sun will come above the horizontal on the top. This actually means that we have be at 5:30 on the top latest. Of course just for them who likes to do so.

Monday, 28 April 2008

New member Sylvain Thibaut

We have a new member who is going with us to the Mont Ventoux. After two people canceled the trip due to privat circumstances I was able to ask Sylvain Thibaut, from Deols France, to join us. Sylvain asked some time ago if he still could join us but due to a lack at hotel rooms I couldn't confirm this to him. Yesterday I was able to send him an e-mail with the messages that he could join us. Today I got the message that he would be pleased to join us. Welcome Sylvain to our group.

Today Peter, my son, registered for the three times climb in 24 hours. The costs for this are 15 euros and for that he will get his stamp card, and after he did the climb a lifetime membership of the Club des Cingles du Mont Ventoux.

I will try to pick up training again on Friday or Saturday, maybe there is still time for me to get ready. If not then I will support you with bananas and my voice.

Friday, 25 April 2008

The route from Bedoin and Sault is open


Today I saw on the Dutch Mont Ventoux website that the route from Bedoin and Sault is open. Only the route from Malaucene is at the end still closed due to snow on the road. This side should be open in about two weeks if we don't get more snow over there. Lets keep our fingers crossed and hope that the weather gets better. What would it be nice if we had a nice warm sunny day on the 25th.
Yes it's less than a month to go, I'm looking forward to it.

I had yesterday my surgery and everything went well, I came home today and I'm still weak. They couldn't find the problem during the operation and as far as they said to me is everything ok and is it allowed to climb the Mont Ventoux at the end of the month. I don't now if I will, I'm a little confused because I really had a problem a couple of weeks ago. We will see, I will decide this in the coming weeks.

Monday, 21 April 2008

Amstel Gold Race for two members

Last Saturday two of our members has joint the Amstel Gold Race in the south of the Netherlands. It was Chris Schuts and Peter Theelen (my son). They where riding the 150 kilometer tour. The weather was in the beginning very good but the last 1,5 hour they had rain. They started at 7:40 and ended the tour at 16:20. The tour was very good organised, there where two posts where they could get drinks and food.
I had to look from beside the road and this was not as easy as I thought. But due to my heart problems it was not wise to join them. Good job guys, good practise for you 3 times goal on the Mont Ventoux.
If you want to see an impression of the Amstel Gold Race then is here a link where you can see Peter and Chris in several films.
I will have this Thursday (in 2 day's) my surgery in Krefeld, Germany. I will probably be back home on Friday. This means that I will join you to the Mont Ventoux in May. Friday I made the order for the clothes for all MWV employees from our challenge, the design was very nice but this is a surprise and you will see this when you are in France. You will not regret that you joint this challenge while after our tour you will have a special MWV collectors item. Only 23 pieces will be made.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Twan Beurskens

This is me (photo will follow), Twan married with Petra and we are happy with our 2 kids daughter Anouk (8) & son Thom (5) living in Tegelen close to the river Maas. I'm spending my time besides working for MWV as Technical & Development Manager with enjoying life. Like eating (all kinds of food), drinking nice glass of wine or good beer, playing Euphonium in a Brassband, play squash ones a week and prepare for the Kale Berg challenge. It will be my first challenge cycling up an mountain for at least 2 hours but I've already cycled "De Elfstedentocht" that's 240 km in one day on a regular bike (no race bike). I'm probably going to challenge the Kale Berg by approaching it from 3 different sides but for that I also need you. Who's is picking up the glove with me and go for it ........
Seeya & meet in France, Twan Beurskens.

Sunday, 13 April 2008



Today I want to tell something about preparing for the climb. A lot of you will say we know this already but maybe for some is this new and help full.

  1. Choose the right gear on your bike. This means take care that you can go as light as possible. If you have a to heavy gear your muscles will explode on the way to the top. For those who never climbed before and so have no experience I would suggest a triple on your bike or a Compact crank with 27 at the backside.

  2. Listen to you body. If possible use a heart rate meter. Theoretically your max. heart rate is 220 - your age. This is a something that you can do for a short time. You should stay about 15 % below your max to reach the top. This is just theoretic, you should try it before going to the Mont Ventoux at which heart rate you can keep riding. For me is this 165/min. above this I can not normally talk anymore. But this is different for everybody.

  3. Make as much kilometers as possible (miles is also ok) and if you have the possibility to climb some hill's use this, this will help you to experience climbing.

  4. Take care that you are fit en healthy when you start the climb, so don't drink alcohol before climbing and take enough rest before. Celebrating is for after the climb!

  5. Take a good meal before the start, and take some food and drinks with you during the climb. Food: Bread, Candy bars, Bananas. Drinks: Water, Energy drinks (Extran or Isostar) two bidons should be enough, when it is very hot you would need some more. (we can provide you from the car)

  6. Warm clothes, even when it's warm you will cool down during the way back down. A raincoat because if you are wet you will cool down very fast in the wind on the mountain.

  7. Wear sunglasses even if it is not sunny. The insects that you will meet uphill will wait for you until you get down. Can you imagine to get a wasp in your Eye by 60km/h or faster?

  8. Watch out for test driving BMW's and Mercedessen, the mountain is also a test road for those cars and the road will not be blocked for this.

  9. Take you mobile phone with you and putt some numbers in from people who can help you if you get in trouble. There will be several cars with supporters on the hill.

  10. Don't over do your self, being part of is more important then the time. Remember in the summer in average ones a week the rescue teams has to get a person down after an accident. This is the last thing we want!

I was last week with my Cardiologist and as I already new he said that I have to go back to the hospital for surgery. Probably this will happen in Germany again and maybe already next week or the week after. I should have enough time then to recover to join you all to France. I will of course leave my bike in my garage. Even if this hurts quiet a lot.

So if you do not see any updates, I probably will be in the hospital or recovering.

I still do not have a little story from everybody. What is it, who sends me something about himself, it doesn't cost so much time and this helps me to keep our weblog alive?

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Top is open from Bedoin and Sault

Today I saw a article from some Dutch guys who had been at the Mont Ventoux on the 22-28 March 2008. They climbed him from Bedoin and from Sault. The route to the top was open, There was a lot of melt water on the road but that was no problem. The route from Malaucene is still closed at ski station Mont Serein (North side) due to snow. But this will change probably until we are there.

Today I sold my ticket for the Amstel Gold Race in Holland, I will definitely not ride my bike this spring. I hope to pick-up training in the summer or early autumn and maybe I will be able to climb the mountain somewhere in the Autumn.
For all of you keep training, you have less then 50 day's to go and you will need a good shape over there!

Saturday, 29 March 2008

Trouble for me!


Yesterday during my training my heart got in problems again. My heart rate went up to 210 /min. and this means I will probably have another surgery to fix this problem. It also means that I'm not going to ride my bike on the Mont Ventoux. This hurts me really.
I will contact my cardiologic on Monday and hope that I can have the surgery as soon as possible. But even then it will not be possible to climb the Mont Ventoux in May.
But for all of you the challenge goes on, and I will be in France to support you all in your personal challenge on the slopes of our mountain.

As soon as I now more you hear from me.


I also had from Daniel a message that he will not be able to climb the Mont Ventoux on his bike due to medical circumstances. He will also be a supporter on the side line like me.

Monday, 24 March 2008

Cincle, who is ready for this?

Two people from Venlo ( Twan and Chris) attempt to do the "Cinlcle" on the 25th of May (see my older posting in January). This would mean that they will start on Sunday very early and climb the Mont Ventoux from Sault to the top. Then they go down to Bedoin to join the rest of us in the climb from Bedoin to the top. And after that they have to go down to Malaucene and climb him for the third time from this side. After this they will go down to Sault to finish there challenge. I personally wanted to do this too, but after my surgery I don't think I'm ready for that. Who of the bikers of our group thinks also to do this? Are there more people who think this is possible and would try it? 136 Km ( the half of them are down hill) and 4390 meters of climb, if you think you want to do this, then read the instructions down here.
To get member of the club of "Cincle" you have to sign in at Mr. Pic in France.

Address: 13 rue Chateaubriand
Zip code: 42290

Send him an E-mail with the question what to do to get the card for the stamps, this card do you need to get alle stamps at the villages and top. After you finished this challenge you have to send Mr. Pic your card with stamps and he will send you your membership of "Le Club des Cinglés du Mont-Ventoux".
As far as I now cost the card about 14 euros.

So if there are more people who think to do this, start as soon as possible to get your stamp card and let me now that you will, I will bring you all in contact with each other so that you can make your own planning for that day.

"N'est pas fou qui monte au Ventoux, mais est bien fou qui y retourne." " You aren't crazy to climb the Mont Ventoux, but you are if you do it ones again."
This is a Provencal proverb.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Patrick de Laat

Hello Mont-Ventoux challengers,
I am Patrick de Laat, I am 36 years young, and I am working at AGI Media Uden as a printer. I’m married and have 2 daughters. We live in a cosy place Schijndel between Eindhoven and Den Bosch ( Netherlands )Riding my bike is one of my favourite hobbies, I ride several big tours during the year, together with other club members.. Beside bicycles I love spending time with my family, nice food and going on holidays. I hope we that we have a nice weekend and a big challenge . I wish everyone a lot of fun during the training and see everyone in May.

Thank you Patrick for your contribution, who is next?

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Bike in China

This week I'm in China for my work and if you did not see this you will not believe it. We have regular bikes, mountain bikes and race bikes in Europe. Here in China they have also transportation bikes. It is incredable how these people act on a bike. They can put 2 m3 of load on a bike and are still able to ride this thing. If they would go to the Mont Ventoux with a racebike they would be on the top as first.

This is an experience that I never forget my whole life. Crossing a road here is as dangerous as riding down the Mont Ventoux without brakes. The traffic lights are there to show people what nice collours they have. Red doesn't mean automatically stop, it's just a colour. Where ever green means drive and this they do understand.

We use the horn to make contact to others for a hazard or to say hi to a friend. Over here they use this button for everything. This is the button that is used the most of the whole car.

I wanted to do some training over here but I have to commit that I didn't, so the challenge for me is getting bigger and bigger.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Celio van Gerwen

Hello Mont Ventoux challengers,
My name is Celio van Gerwen and I am 44 years young. I ‘m married and have three daughters. I live in Aarle Rixtel a small village near Eindhoven. I’m working as KAM Manager for AGI Media in Uden . I have several hobby’s like making music and organize Disco Dance Party’s, working in the garden and cycling in the summer. In the winter I train in the gym twice a week, spinning. I am not going to climb the Mont Ventoux, because I’m not trained enough. I shall take care that everyone gets what he wants during his climb and support them. I look forward to meet everyone and hope that this challenge will bring us a lot of fun.

Concept drawing for shirts

Today we finished the drawing which we want to use on the shirts. We are still working on it to get this done and it looks that we will succeed in this (keep your fingers cross). One of my colleague Tim van Dijk has made an nice image what express our challenge. I want to thank Tim from us by this.
I could publish the image over here but then there is no surprise left so you all have to wait until the 23th of Mai in France.
Next week I will be away for my work to China, so I won't be able to update the site.
My training is not so good at the moment and I was already thinking to take a "riksha" in China and do the biking on that for my training but my wife said that this wouldn't be a good idea from me. So I will go ones again to the gym in the hotels.
I already know that the challenge on the Ventoux will be a real challenge for me due to the little time of training on my race bike this year. But this makes the Ventoux so special.

Monday, 3 March 2008

New participant

Last week in England I met Santiago Casado from the Hemer plant in Germany. When I told him from our challenge he got interested and today he send me his "YES I WILL JOIN" mail. This is nice and at this moment we are now with 32 people at the mountain.
Welcome Santiago we are very happy to have you in the group. We will make this to a great happening you will always remember.

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Visitor increase on the weblog


Friday the MeadWestvaco intranet was updated with an article from our tour. Immedialtly we could see an increase of visitors on the weblog, at this moment allready more then 1700 visitors. I also got a lot of comments from MWV people who liked what we are doing. This is good because if we would go for another challenge next year we would probably have even more people together

And the countdown goes on as you can see on the left. I suppose that everybody is hard at training, I have to commit that I did not train so much as I would like to do. Last two weeks I was in the UK for work and trained in a gym. This is ofcourse different then on the road on my own bike and today we have a storm over the Netherlands so training will be inside or for the hard ones outside and then it will be extra hard.

I'm still hope to get some info and pictures from some members to post it on the weblog, so if you did not send some info with pictures to me, think about it and if you would like then send me some info so that I can publish it on the weblog.

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Publication on the MeadWestvaco Intranet

To day I recieved this e-mail from the US:

Hi Jan,

I'm a communications coordinator in MeadWestvaco's Corporate Communications department in Glen Allen, Virginia. I've enjoyed receiving regular Google Alerts regarding the Mont Ventoux bike race. So, on Friday, February 29, we will feature the fast fact below on the company's employee intranet. I just wanted to let you know in advance.


So lets have a look on the intranet Saterday!!!!

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Georg Reinhard

I am Georg Reinhard born at 21.04.68 - Yes I will be 40 this year...,I'm married and have two children- Nina (10) / Lukas (11). I work at MeadWestvaco since 18.06.07 as Quality and Safety Manager in Trier. I started Mountain biking in 2001. I ride about 3000 and 500 km each year, in height I do about 55.000 to 72.000 meter /year (in the last year only 3300 km due to a lot of work). The region Eifel/Mosel/Hunsrück gives a lot of nice opportunities to do moutain biking which I use to ride, I’m very glad to live in this phantastic region. In the last 5 years I did every year several marathons (Erbeskopfmarathon -4x Halbmarathon/ Vulkanbike 1x Halbmarathon, 3x Marathon/1x Halbmarathon St. Wendel/ 1x Gässbock Halbmarathon nähe Landstuhl /1x Rad am Ring Halbmarathon and several smaller tours. I try to combinate my hobby with my holiday every year, Last year I was two times in the Alps (Kitzbühl and Dolomiten) or also on Teneriffa- There I drove some of course some nice and heavy tours. I'm happy to join the Mont Ventoux challenge.
Best regards,

Friday, 15 February 2008

Less than 100 day's to go

Yes, today we past the timeline of 100 day's. The counter is running down and the day of the challenge is showing up in the horizon.
Then I found today a new challenge that is done on the Mont Ventoux it's called "Bicinglette"
Probably you think "What in a name is this?" Well the challenges on the Mont Ventoux never end. The "Bicinglette" is a new challenge on our mountain. I heard from it today on the Dutch Mont Ventoux site that this would be a double "Cinglé" (read an older posting about the different challenges). Ok what is it?
A "Cinglé" is a climb of the Mont Ventoux from all 3 routes on tarmac (from Bedoin, Malaucene and Sault) in 24 hours. What is a Bicinglette well this is the same but than twice. Or in different terms 272 kilometre and 8886 meters of height difference. This is special for those who do not want to do a ride of road (they would do the forestières) and who are not tired after a Cinglé,.
For this challenge you should also sign in at Mr. le Pic. I would almost say that if you do so you should also sign in at a psychiatrist, but ok there are still some people who like to suffer. I will keep it this year at one climb from Bedoin and maybe a climb from Sault on Saturday but this depends on the weather conditions and of course my condition.
I'm still waiting on the story's from most of you, send me some info about your self and a picture please so that we keep this web log interesting.
In the meantime here two nice pictures of the view that we can have if the sky is clear.

I will be away from home the next two weeks, so I don't now if I will have the time to update the weblog. Only if you send me your profile I will publish, this is not so much work.
Otherwise next update in March!

Thursday, 14 February 2008

New Member

Today Georg Reinhard from MeadWestvaco Trier has decided to join us on the Mont Ventoux. As you all now there was one place free due to the canceling of one of the members. We welcom Georg and look forward to meet Georg on the slopes of the Mont Ventoux.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Chris Schuts

Hello Fellow Mont-Ventoux visitors. My name is Chris Schuts, age 38 and working at the shipping department at Meadwestvaco-Venlo.
It all started only two years ago, I was gaining weight at high speed because I had to quit playing football at the doctors request.
I bought a bike together with Jan and we started to make a few rounds, in the beginning we often had to stop for a break but slightly and with small steps we could stay longer on the bike.
Then Jan came with the idea to climb the Mont-Ventoux (I never heard of this bump before).
Because we spend a part of our summer holiday together we were able to do so last summer. We made it to the top together with Peter the son of Jan.
I is a very special feeling I can say now and I am really facing up to do this challenge again together with you all.
At this moment I am building up a special bike to climb the "Bump".
Building up bikes became since two years a hobby and I spend a lot of free time working on bikes it always gives a great satisfaction if you build up a bike with limited money and very light weight(less is more).
I am Really looking forward to meet you all and hopefully make this challenge a real success.
Train and watch your eating and drinking and stay well see you all soon.

Thank you Chris for your story, Who will be next? Please send me the info with a picture and I can update the weblog!

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Started my training today

Today I started my training after 6 weeks. It is now almost 8 weeks ago that I had my heart surgery. I was told that I could start training again after 3 weeks but this was a mis calculation. I had to wait a little bit longer. At the moment I have no complains anymore so that I started the training today with a ride of one hour. It feels good to be back on the bike again. On the 19 april I going to ride the Amstel Gold Race in the south of Netherlands so it get's time to start training otherwise I will suffer at this tour (150 km).
Today I found a interesting site about the Mont Ventoux in English. There is a lot of information on this site to read.

As you all see there have been some members who sended some info about themselves with a picture. I still hope to get from all off you some info so that we all see who is participating. Please send me some info. This will also helps me to keep this weblog alive.
Also if you want to share something with us, just let me now.

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Le Mont Ventoux by Wikipedia

Mont Ventoux (Occitan: Ventor in classical norm or Ventour in Mistralian norm) is a mountain in the Provence region of southern France, located some 20 km north-east of Carpentras, Vaucluse. On the north-side, the mountain borders the Drôme département. It is the largest mountain in the region and has been nicknamed the "Giant of Provence", or "The Bald Mountain".
As the name might suggest (venteux means windy in
French), it can get windy at the summit, especially with the mistral; windspeeds as high as 320 km/h (193 mph) have been recorded. The road over the mountain is often closed due to high winds. The real origins of the name are thought to trace back to the 1st or 2nd century AD, when it was named 'Vintur' after a Gaulish god of the summits, or 'Ven-Top', meaning "snowy peak" in the ancient Gallic language. In the 10th century, the names Mons Ventosus and Mons Ventorius appear.
Mont Ventoux, although geologically part of the
Alps, is often considered to be separate from them, due to the lack of mountains of a similar height nearby. It stands alone to the west of the Luberon range, and just to the east of the Dentelles de Montmirail, its foothills. The top of the mountain is bare limestone without vegetation or trees. The white limestone on the mountain's barren peak means it appears from a distance to be snow-capped all year round (its snow cover actually lasts from December to April). Its isolated position overlooking the valley of the Rhône ensures that it dominates the entire region and can be seen from many miles away on a clear day. The view from the top is correspondingly superb.

Jean Buridan climbed the mountain early in the fourteenth century; Petrarch repeated the feat on April 26, 1336, and claimed to have been the first to climb a mountain since antiquity, which has been widely repeated since.
15th century saw the construction of a chapel on the top, dedicated to the Holy Cross.
1882, a meteorological station was constructed on the summit, though it is no longer in use. In the 1960s a 50m-high telecommunications mast was built.
Flora and fauna
Originally forested, Mont Ventoux was systematically stripped of trees from the
12th century onwards to serve the demands of the shipbuilders of the naval port of Toulon. Some areas have been reforested since 1860 with a variety of deciduous trees (such as holm oaks and beeches) as well as coniferous species, such as Atlas cedars and larches. A little higher, junipers are common.
The mountain comprises the species boundary or
ecotone between the flora and fauna of northern and southern France. Some species, including various types of spiders and butterflies, are unique to Mont Ventoux. It is a good place to spot the Short-toed Eagle (Circaetus gallicus).
Its biological distinctiveness was recognised by
UNESCO in 1990 when the Réserve de Biosphère du Mont Ventoux was created, protecting an area of 810 square kilometres (200,150 acres) on and around the mountain.
Road Racing
road bicycle racing enthusiasts, the mountain can be climbed by three roads.
South from
Bédoin: 22 km over 1610 m. This is the most famous and difficult ascent. The road to the summit has an average gradient of 7.6%. Until Saint-Estève, the climb is easy, but the 16 remaining kilometres have an average gradient of 10%. The last kilometres have strong, violent winds. The ride takes 2-3 hours for trained amateur individuals, and professionals can ride it in 1-1.5 hours. The fastest time so far recorded has been that of Iban Mayo in the individual climbing time trial of the 2004 Dauphiné Libéré: 55' 51". The time was measured from Bédoin for the first time in the 1958 Tour de France, in which Charly Gaul was the fastest at 1h 2' 9".
North from
Malaucène: 21 km over 1570 m. A little easier than the Bédoin ascent, better sheltered against the wind.
East from
Sault: 26 km over 1220 m. The easiest route. After Chalet Reynard (where the "lunar landscape" of the summit starts), the climb is the same as the Bédoin ascent. Average gradient of 4.4%.
Every year there are amateur races to climb the mountain as quickly and often as possible in 24 hours. On
May 16, 2006, Jean-Pascal Roux from Bédoin broke the record of climbs in 24 hours, with eleven climbs, all of them from Bédoin
Tour de France
Mont Ventoux has become legendary as the regular scene of one of the most gruelling climbs in the
Tour de France bicycle race, which has ascended the mountain thirteen times since 1951. The followed trail mostly passes through Bédoin. Its fame as a scene of great Tour dramas has made it a magnet for cyclists around the world.
The mountain achieved worldwide notoriety when it claimed the life of
British cyclist Tom Simpson, who died here on July 13, 1967 from a combination of amphetamines, alcohol and heat exhaustion. He began to wildly weave across the road before he fell down. He was delirious and asked spectators to put him back on the bike, which he rode to within a half mile of the summit before collapsing dead, still clipped into his pedals. Amphetamines were found in his jersey and bloodstream. There is a memorial to Simpson near the summit which has become a shrine to fans of cycling, who often leave small tokens of remembrance there. In 1970, Eddy Merckx rode himself to the brink of collapse while winning the stage. He received oxygen, recovered, and won the Tour. In 1994, Eros Poli, not known for his climbing ability, stole away at the beginning of the day's stage, built up a substantial time gap from the peloton, and was first over the Ventoux and eventual stage winner despite losing a minute of his lead per kilometre of the ascent. The last winner on the Ventoux was the French climber Richard Virenque.

Monday, 28 January 2008

Thomas Nicolai

My name is Thomas Nicolai, I'm 40 years old, married but no kids. I'm living
in Dortmund but not related to that soccer team (my favorite would be Schalke 04).
I'm working for a logistic company called "Agility Logistics" as a Key Account Manager
and of cause MeadWestvaco is one of my Key Accounts. My office location is Dortmund but my responsibility is throughout Germany and when necessary Central Europe (that is Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg and Poland).
My hobbies are: Badminton (with more than 30 years of experiences), Cycling, Jogging and I like to watch almost every kind of sports on TV.
What do I expect from our event? I expect an interesting and challenging climb up the mountain "Mont Ventoux" and get an idea of the performance of the pro-teams during the Tour de France. I hope to get to the top in a reasonable time, without breakdowns and damages (which definitely counts for all participants).
My challenges for 2008: Get my bachelor degree done and complete as many sport events completed as possible.
I'm looking forward of meeting you and the complete MeadWestvaco Team and I wanted to thank Daniel for giving me the opportunity to participate.
See you soon, Thomas.

Friday, 25 January 2008

One free place

Today one of our members, Jacques Boquet, send me this mail.
"Unfortunately I will not be able to attend the Mont Ventoux Challenge. ( but I checked it in my calendar... so I may still pop up unexpectedly..)
I have been several times at Mont Ventoux ( including the brevet "Cinglés" du Ventoux...., "Crazy" of the Ventoux ).
For those interested in Mountain Biking ( VTT ) the best is to avoid the asphalt road as illustrated by the small brochure that everyone can obtain at the Bedoin Syndicat d'Initiative.. ( Summary attached ). The very end of the climb must still be on the asphalt road. I did this with a friend a couple of times, we were the only ones in the local woods for more then 2 hours ( don't forget your Camel Back ) then joined back on the regular road. For any is interested in more info's you have my E Mail address.... Good Luck !! Jacques" The E-mail from Jacques is
This means that we have one place free for one more person. I will not cancel the hotel room at this moment, I will wait a while so that if we find another person to join we can offer him this room. So do you now somebody who wants to join let me now we have one room available. The first one who reacts gets it.
I've got from Jacques two files with some info about mountain bike routes. I can't post them on this weblog so I will send them to all the members who go on a mountain bike. It's up to you if you take these routes or the tarmac road.

Jacques I hope you will find the time in May to pop-up as you wrote. You already know what your going to miss, A LOT OF FUN on the best mountain to ride.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Daniel Westphal

Hi everybody,

I'm Daniel Westphal from MWV Calmar in Hemer. In October 2000 I joined Calmar as supervisor warehouse and distribution logistics. At this time Calmar was under ownership of SAINT-GOBAIN France. Since 2006 Calmar belongs to the MWV group. We are producing first class trigger and fine mist sprayer and dispenser pumps. Right now I'm 44 years young, married and my daugthers are 13 and 15 years old.

In 1983 I bought my first race bike, in 1984 I was able to ride 20 kms less then 30 mins but nowadays I'm happy if I'm able to go 20 kms at least... ;-)) So the MWV Mont Ventoux challenge is a real one for me. My aim is according to the Olympic principle: to take part is anything. Therefore I decided to climb by mountain bike and if possible to ride the total distance without pushing my bike uphill.

I'm very glad to meet all of you in May and I'm sure, that this event will bring all of us a lot of fun!
Thank you Daniel for your contribution. Who will be next?

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

What do you need for the climb?

Because we are very early in the season when we climb the Mont Ventoux we will need to be prepared for all kind of weather conditions, just look at the pictures in an earlier posting. I made a list of things you should consider to bring them with you.

For those who climb the Mont Ventoux with bike is a helmet a must. If you ride up the mountain it would be no problem to ride without (you must get the heat out off your head) but if you ride down hill you must wear a helmet. The most important thing is that we will have fun without incidents. In high season weekly the fire brigade has to go up the mountain to get to people down who had an accident with high injury's. We don't want this! As you all now SAFETY FIRST!

So what will we need:

  • Helmet

  • Drink bottles ( bidons) you should try to take 1,5 to 2 liters of energy drink or water up.

  • Light rain jacket ( for rain but also for the cold wind on the top)

  • For the bikers you have leg warmers and arm warmers

I don't now what runners could wear when it's cold but they will now it self I think

  • Something to eat during the climb (maybe some bananas to buy in Sault, or a energy bar)

  • Your usual repairer equipment for bikers

  • If we will have fly's in the Forrest a lotion against them could be helpful

  • Shoe covers

  • Gloves

  • A bandana or thin cap to protect the head against cold and sun.

  • Sun cream (the sun can be very strong on the top, there is a lot of reflection)

  • A little photo camera

  • Sun glasses

  • And mandatory is a very,very, very GOOD MOOD

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

New supporter, welcom Charlotte

Welcome Charlotte, we are pleased that you come to the Mont Ventoux where you can support us in our challenge.

Today I had a phone call with Jaques Boquet and guess what, he is a "Cincle" and as you now this means he did the Mont Ventoux from all 3 sides in less then 24 hours. Look at this site in the list of "Cincle" he is number 790. Click on the arrow at "Lauréats"and choose "liste"
We have a PRO in our team. Jaques was not sure if he could make it that weekend so maybe he will not be there, I hope he will find a way to join us because he has a lot of experience in climbing the Mont Ventoux. He also did him with the mountain bike over a mountain bike route. If somebody wants info from him you can always ask him by mail. You will find his mail address in the MeadWestvaco address book.