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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.

Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc editor Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined road.cc in 2013 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.