SA’s miracle cyclist tackles world’s toughest solo fundraising ride a fourth time
THE many mountainbike racers in KZN have a champion they can look up to.
On July 2, Grant Lottering will attempt his fourth Im’possible Tour — a solo fundraising ride in the French Alps.
Lottering, Laureus Sport for Good ambassador and international speaker, also known as the “miracle cyclist”, will attempt to cycle over 40 mountains, climbing a staggering 44 700 m, over a distance of 1800 km, in under 96 hours, non-stop.
For his Im’possible Tour IV, Lottering will return to the La Marmotte Granfondo, the same race where he completed his first Im’possible Tour in 2014, and try to complete the demanding route not once, not twice, but 10 times non-stop.
At 174 km and 5 000 metres of climbing, the La Marmotte is considered one of the toughest amateur events in the world and comparable to the most challenging high mountain stages of the Tour de France.
The route includes the Col du Glandon (22 km), Col du Telegraphe (13 km) and Col du Galibier (17 km), and finishes on the summit of the famous Alpe d’Huez climb (13 km). Lottering will have to ride over each of these mountains 10 times within four days.
Lottering takes on these annual solo ultra-endurance rides with the purpose of raising funds for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.
Laureus financially supports over 20 registered community projects country-wide which use sport to help young people carve out a safe and successful path in societies burdened by the impact of HIV/Aids, unemployment, crime and strong cultural divides.
His 2016 Im’possible Tour raised R1,1 million for Laureus, thanks to corporate sponsors who “bought” each and every mountain along the route.
As a highly regarded public speaker, Lottering inspires audiences to recognise that their potential is unlimited and that we are all able to accomplish what others consider impossible so long as we truly believe and live our lives with purpose, commitment, focus and determination.
Lottering’s own story is living proof that when life takes a turn for the worse, you have a decision to make — do something with it or it will do something with you!
In 2013, Lottering survived a near-fatal cycling accident during a world championship preparation race in Trento, Italy, when he crashed into a rock embankment at a speed of 60 km/h, suffering severe internal and external injuries.
Doctors told him he would never cycle again, but Lottering refused to accept this prognosis, and decided he would return to the Alps in one year to finish the race that almost claimed his life.
Thus, the Im’Possible tour series was born, with Lottering’s fourth solo attempt taking place on July 2.
In 2016, Lottering successfully completed his third Im’possible Tour, cycling 962 km nonstop from Cannes to Les Saisies Ski Resort in the French Alps.
He cycled over 20 Alpine mountains, climbing 19 840 m during the monster ride, completing the challenge in the unbelievable time of 46 hours and 38 minutes.
Public support was massive, with over 7 000 followers on social media tracking Lottering’s progress through the remarkable (and sleepless) 48-hour challenge.
This year Lottering hopes to double the funds raised for Laureus, with the help of a number of generous corporate partners.
Im’possible Tour IV — The World’s Toughest Solo Fundraising Ride — is proudly supported by headline sponsors Mercedes-Benz South Africa, VO Connect and IWC Schaffhausen.
Lottering also thanked the race organisation and French Alps Sports Tourism for arranging his race entry with the front start group.
Find out more at www.grantlottering.com. — Supplied.
Grant Lottering will attempt his fourth Im’possible Tour — a solo fundraising ride in the French Alps, climbing a staggering 44 700 metres over a distance of 1 800 km in under 96 hours, non-stop.