Four-time Formula One world champion Alain Prost has drawn comparisons between the physical and mental strength required to succeed in motor racing and cycling ahead of the inaugural Haute Route cyclosportive.
Frenchman Prost, who registered 51 wins in his F1 career, will ride part of the seven-stage event, which starts on Sunday and covers 730km from Geneva to Nice, tackling almost 17,000m of climbing across 15 Alpine Cols.
“Cycling is a way of life, almost a need,” said Prost. “I’m cycling four to five times a week, it’s of course great physical training but as well a much needed breath of fresh air. To take part in the first edition of this amazing race is a real challenge for me.
“There are a lot of links between a cycling race and Formula One. The training is really intense of course, but you need to be extremely strong mentally too. You can be really fit but if you’re head is not in the right mode, you will fail.
“I’m really looking forward to the start, the ambience, the relationships that we will develop in the pain or the joy at the top of the Cols.”
More than 300 participants representing 23 nations will tackle the first Haute Route, with the youngest rider in the peloton 20-year-old Joris Chavanne and the oldest, 70-year-old Philippe Vidal.
Fifty riders will carry a GPS unit on each day and can be tracked online at www.hauteroute.org