Mr "I'mPossible" Does it Again | Inspire
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Mr "I'mPossible" Does it Again

Laureus Sport for Good Ambassador Grant Lottering is attempting his third I'mPossible Tour – a solo, non-stop 1 000-km bicycle challenge through the French Alps in less than 48 hours.

It's a remarkable feat in anyone's books and has earned him the title "Miracle Man". After a near-fatal cycling accident in the Alps three years ago, doctors told Grant Lottering he would never ride again. 

Defying all odds, less than a year after the crash that almost killed him, Grant Lottering was back in the saddle and successfully completed his first I'mPossible Tour – the 174-km La Marmotte Sportive. In the process he raised more than R150 000 for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation that uses sport to nurture and develop underprivileged youngsters.

Grant's second I'mPossible Tour saw him complete a 418-km ride through the French Alps in only 19 hours and 31 minutes. And in August this year he's tackling the impossible yet again. "Since miraculously surving my 2013 crash, I live my life without limits," the super-athlete says. "To believe we can accomplish levels of success considered to be imposible, we have to believe we are possible."

We caught up with him before he left for France for his final leg of training.

What do you think about during your ultra-endurance rides?

Visualisation becomes key – during training I play a movie in my mind, "seeing" myself beyond where I am. After all, ultra-endurance is 70 % training and 30 % mental strength. During the ride I tap into my senses and meditate. It's quite a spiritual experience for me. I also listen to music – anything from ambient trance to upbeat dance music. But definitely not opera or country! 

Why the Alps?

I see the summits as symbolic. Many underprivileged youngsters face mountains every day – and I find it very rewarding that I'm able to raise funds for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation in this way. I also know how much cycling changed my life when I first discovered it at the age of 21. It taught me disicipline, focus and commitment. Sport has the power to transform and inspire, and I'm riding to make a real difference in youngster's lives. On the climbs I really pump up the music – it's a celebration of life and cycling in the Alps is such a privilege.

More details about your chosen route? 

I'll be cycling from Cannes to Les Saisies Ski Resort (an hour from Geneva) within 48 hours. It should be a world first for distance and elevation in this time limit, as I'll be covering 1 000 km and climbing 19 870 m over 20 alpine peaks. Riding at night in the Alps is extremely dangerous. There are no crash barriers and it's very easy to lose perspective because it's so dark. But during the day the scenery is mind-blowing and at night you see the lights down in the valley and hear cowbells. 

So you don't sleep at all during this attempt?

No. I need to ride through two consecutive nights in order to finish the route in 48 hours. I'll have eight controlled stops for a total of two hours to eat (Power Bars, rice cakes, raw oats and nuts, energy drinks and gels), change clothes and attach night lights.

Who is accompanying you?

I'll have a film crew, two support cars and a support team of six people for the duration of the ride. Mercedes-Benz South Africa is my official transport partner for this tour.

You obviously train extensively? 

Yes. I run my own programme and do a 300 km ride once a month. I then up it to 400 km in 16 hours, which forms part of my training to stay awake while cycling. But, as I say, 70 % is physical training, the rest happens in your mind. I also work with a nutritionist to keep my power to weight ratio, because you need to be light to manage those climbs.

How much has this third I'mPossible Tour raised so far for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation?

R1 million, which was raised through Mercedes-Benz South Africa and Dealer Partners during a Dealer Principal Conference dinner held earlier this month. 

* 100 % of all funds raised through Grant's I'mPossible Tour lll 2016 will go to the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.

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