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.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.