On 20th May, amateur cyclists George Stagg and Leo Russell set out to complete the extraordinary challenge of riding a total of 3200km across nine of Europe’s most famous and challenging mountains in under 20 days.
Breitling pledged their support for the mission, and this project partnership furthers the brand’s ambition to bring to life its #squadonamission concept, which seeks to bring together a group of individuals with a shared endeavour and common goal to take action for the greater good.
With many wishing to scale just one of these incredible mountains in their lifetimes, and professionals only audacious enough to climb a handful whilst on tour, these two 9-5 Londoners have decided to tackle all nine — in just one sitting. Their goal is to complete this self-supported endurance voyage in order to expose the depth of people’s physical and (more importantly), mental capacity.
Their ride will encompass 50,000 meters of elevation over the 3,200-kilometre ride, in under 20 days — cycling the equivalent of well over a marathon a day whilst climbing the height of Mount Everest over 5 and a half times.
Nine Mountains is a collective born from an intimate interest to explore the mind. Through the team’s love of cycling and exploration, they have started to appreciate its power. Having personally seen and experienced the difficulties of mental health, they are now taking on this challenge with a heartfelt desire to make a difference.
The team’s efforts are all in aid of the charity James’ Place, an initiative formed by Clare Milford Haven and Nick Wentworth-Stanley, who tragically lost their son James to suicide. In June 2018 they opened James’ Place Liverpool, a place where males experiencing suicidal crisis can go and seek help. Suicide is the biggest killer of people under 35 in the UK, which places George and Leo firmly within the demographic most likely to take their own lives.
"Our motivation is simple: to encourage conversation and raise awareness for mental health..."
In the cyclists’ own words: “as a collective we hope you can get involved, whether it’s asking a stranger how their day is or helping a dear friend through their darkest hour. Let’s start this journey together.”
The public can follow the duo on their mission:
- Instagram: @cyclingninemountains #ninemountains
- By following: live.primaltracking.com/ninemountains
- By donating at: justgiving.com/ninemountains
Leo and George wear the Breitling Superocean Héritage II B20 Automatic 42 on a rubber strap, built to withstand extreme environments whilst keeping its timeless aesthetic it is the perfect partner for adventure.