Alexander van Hout

When I was a little boy I had to stay at home during the summer because of scarlet fever. It was the summer of 1980 and because I had nothing to do while inside the house I was watching the Tour de France. It was the year Joop Zoetemelk won the event. Watching it infected me with the cycling virus. Not long after that I started cycling regularly and I even went on two cycling holidays to the “Dutch Mountains” in the Limburg province.

The last few years I cycled less and less, especially because of a two consecutive pneumothorax attacks 12 years ago. After the last one I developed a little bit of asthma and I started growing sideways. All over sudden I gained some weight, I still think all the beers, crisps and restaurants had nothing to do with it. The last years I regained my condition by cycling regularly in the summer. Climbing this mountain will be the end of this process. Technically speaking I should reach my perfect weight after claiming the Mount Ventoux only 54 times.

I am not sure my condition is good enough to climb the mountain once. So I do hope I have a bit of the personality from my all time favorite cycling hero Bernard Hinault. He always seemed to be so angry at the mountain, it shrank a little bit.

The charity we are cycling for is important as well. This illness in not unknown amongst my friends and family. At the time in the hospital 12 years ago I realized it must have been almost a mission impossible for my roommates to cure from their disease. That is why I support this goal, a lot more money will be needed for research.

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