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17 cols and 16,000m of climbing beckon

Mike Cotty, former Cannondale marketing bloke and quietly insane ultradistance road cyclist has finally admitted what he’s been training for all summer: a 666km non-stop traverse of the Alps featuring 17 cols and over 16,000m of climbing.

Here’s a bit of a teaser video:

Mike will start on August 5 in Evian Les Bains and over the following 36 hours will cross many of the most famous cols of the Tour de France: Col de la Colombière, Madeleine, Glandon, Croix de Fer, Télégraphe, Galibier, Izoard, Vars, Bonette and Madone. The journey is equivalent to four consecutive mountain stages of the Tour de France and the ascent is almost equivalent to climbing Mount Everest twice.

Scared yet? You should be. Here’s Mike’s nominal schedule:

And here’s the elevation profile:

You'll be able to follow Mike's progress here and on his website's event page as there will be a live tracking device on his support vehicle. 

We look forward to vicariously suffering with him, starting Monday.

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.