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Former Red Arrows pilot takes on daring mountain cycle for Jon Egging Trust

Squadron Leader Duncan Mason will be cycling up a 6,273 ft mountain three times in a day in memory of a Red Arrows pilot Jon Egging, who was killed in 2011.

Sqn Ldr Mason oversees the operation of 12 historic aircraft from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight in Lincolnshire and was also a member of the Red Arrows from 2003 to 2005.

With 23 years flying experience, he is not a stranger to daring adventures but he says this one “is going to be very tough”.

Duncan has been a pilot for 23 years.
Duncan has been a pilot for 23 years.

Duncan will cycle up Club des Cingles du Mont Ventoux’ in the south east of France. To gain membership to the club, he must climb the Ventoux on his bicycle by each of the 3 routes up in a single day.

Suitably named Venteux (French for windy) can reach wind speeds as high as 320 km/h (200 mph) as the summit. The wind blows at 90+ km/h (56+ mph) 240 days a year.

Duncan said: “I have climbed the mountain before, but only once in a day and that was pretty tough going. The rough translation of Club des Cingles is Club of Madmen, and for good reason!

“The Mt Ventoux has defeated many riders, so the aim of this challenge is to complete the three ascents within the rules of the Club de Cingles whilst raising money for The Jon Egging Trust.”

Duncan will cycle up Club des Cingles du Mont Ventoux' in the south east of France three times.
Duncan will cycle up Club des Cingles du Mont Ventoux’ in the south east of France three times.

Duncan is also a Trustee of the trust, which was set up by Jon’s wife Emma after he tragically died in an accident whilst he was flying with the Red Arrows at the Bournemouth Air Festival.

He was on the ground at Bournemouth waiting to take off in his Spitfire for a display when the accident happened.

As well as being a trustee, he has already cycled from Lands End to John O’Groats, as well as partaking in the Coast to Coast cycle last year to raise vital funds for the Trust.

Duncan has already raised over £2,700 for the cause on his Just Giving site.

“In the knowledge that my challenge is going to take many hours of training and then seven to eight hours of climbing on gradients between five and 14% with no respite, please give as generously as you can to help this brilliant cause,” Duncan added.

“None of the money you donate is going towards travel or equipment, I am going to make my own way out and back and use my own kit, so every penny you give will go to the charity. Thanks in advance for your support.”