Mike Cotty first added his name to the short list of those competing the South Downs Way Double, an leg-burning 202 miles of rolling chalk downs and steep climbs, back in June of 2006.
Since then, there’s been a fair amount of traffic taking to the SDD, and it has been causing quite a stir among those riders who get their adrenalin fix from pushing their bodies to the limits over unfeasibly long distances. So it wasn’t long before Rob Lee, self-proclaimed enduro-nut, stepped to the plank. Lee raised the bar not only with an impressive time of 20h 55m 51s, but was also the first rider to do the whole thing unsupported. Meaning he has to carry all the food and water, or stop at taps along the route, himself.
So with his time of 22h 30m wiped from the top spot, Mike was undoubtedly keen to reinstate his place at the top. His previous ride was supported, so another attempt by Mike would have to be unsupported. Rumours first slipped out of the Cotty camp when an anonymous source tipped us off with a photo of Cotty spotted training, with luggage.
Unofficial commissar of all things SDD related, Exposure Lights Rory Hitchens revealed exclusively to BM that Cotty set of from Winchester Thursday midnight. Making the turning point at Eastbourne in under 10-hours, it looked like a record-breaking ride was taking place. And so it was to be. Mike returned to Winchester and recorded a time of 19h 52m 26s – the first rider to break under the magic 20h mark.
More on this breaking story soon…