Prince Harry's pal puts his best foot forward in £1million cycle challenge

Dean Stott, 40, is a former member of the UK Special Forces

Thomas Whitaker

A daredevil pal of Prince Harry is aiming to smash a world record and raise £1million for mental health charities on a 14,000 mile cycle ride. Dad of two Dean Stott, 40, a former member of the UK Special Forces, plans to ride across South and North America in 110 days – averaging more than 127 miles a day when he sets off early next week. Speaking exclusively to HELLO! before setting off, Dean told how groom-to-be Harry was his greatest support.

"We have been friends since we trained together in the army ten years ago,"  he explained, "We were paired up during an intensive six week training course and have kept in touch ever since.

"We are pals and when I told Harry I was doing this bike ride he asked if I would consider raising funds for Heads Together. I was delighted to accept.

"I saw him last week at Kensington Palace and he couldn't be more supportive. He is an absolute credit to the military. I also saw The Duke of Cambridge at an event at St James's Palace earlier this month and the one piece of advice he gave me was to take lots of Vaseline!"

Dean, who was forced to quit the SBS (the naval arm of the SAS)  in 2011 after a horrific parachute accident, said he decided to undertake a challenge after getting bored of life as a civvy. "My knee is shot to bits after the parachute accident," he said "meaning I can't run anymore. I actually hadn't ever ridden a bicycle before 2016 but it is low impact on the knee."

After training for a year he is now ready to take on the challenge which will see him ride between eight and ten hours a day along the world’s longest road which stretches from Argentina to Alaska, with a production team trailing his every move.

At the launch party was Alison Baum, CEO And founder of Best Beginnings one of the Heads Together charities who will benefit. She told HELLO! "Dean is an inspiration. We can't thank him enough for what he is doing to raise awareness for mental health and funding the Heads Together charities. Together we can make a difference for future generations."

*To donate go to https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/PanAmericanHighway18

*For the full interview and more pictures see HELLO! Magazine on sale next week

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