VCC Rider Ryan Takes on the inaugural Velusso Devil Ride
This August Bank Holiday saw the inaugural Velusso Devil Ride in France take place, tackling an ominous 265km route between Mont Ventoux and Alpe d’Huez all in one go. Total climbing for the day? No less than 7,000m of ascent covering seven individual Cols. Not for the faint hearted.
Two groups of riders set out in the early hours of the morning shadowed by their own support vehicles allowing everyone to focus solely on the job at hand. And some job it was. Having crested Ventoux at sunrise, one by one the ascents were conquered until the end was in site. The distance and climbing, paired with the rising temperatures took their toll but all riders managed to tackle the slopes of the infamous Alpe, one by one fighting their own battles to reach the top, where the comfort of the final hotel lay in wait.
We caught up with one of those riders, Ryan, who summed up the day in his own words. “As I do, now and again. I do a lot of reflecting on some major stuff that I’ve done in the past and what I want to do in the future. I’ve always liked the idea of how far my body can take me and where I go in my mind. And this is why I took on the Velusso Devil Ride. I’m discovering that cycling is about connecting with yourself and with it is to be alive. To be immersed in a place, connecting with your friends, with history and culture in the making. This ride was all of that and more.
“One of my thoughts when we were riding up Alpe d’Huez – this mountain which didn’t want us crawling up it like fleas – was about realising all of these feelings, while fighting the Alpe trying to shake us off, one by one. Who was I to think that I could take it on.
“I’d like to personally thank, and speak on behalf of the riders too, Reeta and Max for all of their hard work and help, for always being there on the side of the road feeding and giving us plenty of drinks. I don’t think I would’ve made it without your support. It doesn’t go unnoticed.
“James Bowtell, thank you for your support always a word of encouragement and pushing me above and beyond. And the rest of the boys – friends for life you are all legends.
“I am so ready for the next challenge.”
The 2020 Velusso Devil Ride is being finalised for next summer and will follow the same incredible and demanding route that tests not only physical but mental strength over one of the toughest days in the saddle you will ever do. Are you up for the challenge? Register to your interest here.