British amateur cyclist Mike Cotty is set to ride a non-stop, 36-hour, 666km Les Alpes challenge over 17 Alpine mountain passes (including some of the highest roads in Europe) this August.
The solo ride is due to start on 5 August in Évian-les-Bains. Cotty will ride up famous Tour de France climbs, including the Col de la Madeleine, the Col du Glandon and the Col de la Croix de Fer. And, if he keeps to his schedule, he should be riding up – and down – the 2,645m Galibier in the middle of the night.
The highest point on the route comes after more than 450km of riding, when Cotty will tackle the 2,715m Col de la Bonette, last visited by the Tour in 2008. If the 34-year-old from Southampton makes it, his last climb should be perennial Paris-Nice favourite Col d’Éze, before he finishes up in Nice.
In the video below, Cotty outlines why he’s taking on the Les Alpes challenge:
Video: Mike Cotty on his 36-hour Les Alpes challenge
Cotty – who has a marketing contract with kit brand Mavic – has been putting the miles in. Earlier in the summer he rode 300 miles of hills in southern England in one go, in preparation for the Les Alpes challenge.
He has a habit of undertaking epic long-distance rides. In 2011, he rode coast to coast across the Pyrenees. “I just sort so many things out while I’m riding my bike,” Cotty told BikeRadar. “It’s a destresser, really. It’s freedom and escapism as much as just the nuts and bolts of trying to challenge yourself.”
You can follow Cotty’s progress via MapMyTracks.