REAL RIDER Last summer Amber Junker Brameld, 12, completed all three ascents of Mont Ventoux in a single day
Iride around three times a week with my family and my local club in Sutton, Surrey, where we’ll do routes including climbs like Box Hill. I’ve always been into bikes, riding regularly since I was about four. I’d ridden with my dad in France two years ago and rode up Mont Ventoux. Both my parents have ridden Les Cingles – completing the three different ascents of the mountain in one day – and I was determined to do it too. My mum was initially going to ride with me, but she had to look after my little sister so she drove alongside, spurring me on and reminding me to eat.
This challenge was something I felt I had to do. It means a lot to me because of my family links to it and because I wanted to show people that if I put my mind to something I can do it. In the weeks leading up to it I trained with my mum on Surrey’s hills. I also did a training trip to north Devon with my dad, where coach Rob Wakefield from Propello Bikes planned a route, which took in Porlock Hill. And I trained on a Wattbike every week, aiming to do 10km in less than 20 minutes. I used a rowing machine and went swimming to boost my stamina too. I was a little anxious on the day, part of me just wanted to get it over with. We started out early and I had some muesli and an apple before my first climb. The conditions were good and there was no wind, but it was getting warmer and by the middle of the second ascent, with the sun in my eyes and skies clear, I really felt the heat. I wasn’t prepared for that, but I kept going. I ate energy bars, but I’m not a big fan, so most of my fuelling came from dried apricots and a pizza in Sault before the final climb. Coming down that last descent after 13 hours it began to sink in that I’d done this, but even now I can’t quite believe what I’ve achieved.
Most of my fuelling came from dried apricots and a pizza in Sault before the last climb