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More than 1,000km of non-stop riding over 21 mountain passes in "toughest challenge yet"...

British cyclist Mike Cotty will next week embark on what he describes as his “toughest challenge yet” – the Road to Mont Blanc, comprising 1,000 kilometres of non-stop riding over 21 mountain passes with more than 23,000m elevation gain.

Starting on Monday 4 August at 1pm CET, the journey of the Mavic and Cannondale brand ambassador, who last year rode non-stop against the French Alps, will take him across the Dolomites, the Eastern Alps and the Swiss Alps, and he has released a trailer video showing some of his preparations.

Writing on his blog, Cotty said: “Quite how I’ve actually made it to this point sometimes eludes me. In some respect I guess it’s all part of the evolution of growing old, the years roll by and it’s only when you take a second to breathe that you can retrace the road at which you’ve travelled along with your own reflection that makes you realise just how much of your soul belongs in the heart of what you truly believe in.

“Exploration opens up a whole new world beyond physical and mental expectations of one’s self. Despite years of training, sacrifice and preparation there really is no certainty as to where or when the limit will occur. For me, that is the essence of exploration. It’s a beautiful metaphor for life. I mean, if you don’t try how will you ever know?”

Updates will be provided via Mavic’s Facebook page and Twitter feed, and you can also follow Cotty’s progress live on Map My Tracks.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.