Stobart Ford's Matthew Wilson will swap his Ford Focus RS WRC for two wheels next week as he tackles an epic 700 kilometre bike trek across some of the highest peaks in the French Alps.
Wilson, along with co-driver Scott Martin and trainer Barry Johnson, will be starting the Route des Grandes Alpes on the shores of Lake Geneva on Monday with the aim of finishing, less than a week later, in Antibes on the Mediterranean coast.
On the way to the finish they will be cycling over some of the same mountains that the Tour de France competitors will climb less than a fortnight later, regularly reaching altitudes of over 2000 metres as they cross famous Alpine passes like Col de l'Iseran, the highest paved mountain pass in the range, and Col de la Bonnette which reaches 2715 metres.
Last summer Wilson and Martin conquered the 1000 kilometre Land's End to John o'Groats ride and recently completed the 112-mile Fred Whitton Challenge, which covers some of the toughest climbs in the Lake District.
With cycling forming a big part of their training when getting ready for the rallies the pair will be well-prepared for the journey.
“We do a lot of cycling as part of our training, so it will be good to put all of that work to the test,” said Wilson, who recently finished fifth on Rally Poland, round eight of the 2009 World Rally Championship.
“There has been a lot of preparation put into the ride, especially with a hectic last few days of training and packing after we got back from Rally Poland.
“Barry keeps coming up with these great challenges for us and I am really looking forward to kicking off this one and experiencing some of the climbs that the riders will face in the Tour de France later this month.”