The Cypriot versus the Mountain of Hell

mountain biking athlete

George Kouzis, a daring Cypriot cyclist, defies the ordinary to pursue his passion for mountain biking. Despite facing challenges in Cyprus, he aims to conquer the treacherous Mountain of Hell race in Les Deux Alpes, propelled by community support and a burning Olympic dream.

What is the Mountain of Hell race in mountain biking?

The Mountain of Hell is a challenging mountain bike race that starts on a glacier in Les Deux Alpes and takes riders through icy terrains, rocky descents, and steep drops at high speeds. It’s a test of skill and bravery, attracting riders aiming to prove their mettle and secure sponsorships.

Defying the Odds: The Audacious Dream of a Cypriot Cyclist

“I live in fear,” reveals George Kouzis, a 19-year-old from Lakatamia with a penchant for living on the edge. His fear, however, isn’t of the ordinary kind. It’s the dread of succumbing to the monotony of a regular 9 to 5 life—an “accountant trap,” as he puts it. George’s anxiety stems from his youth, a time fraught with economic upheavals and environmental crises that have eroded the guarantees that previous generations took for granted.

“Life is to be lived, not suffered,” George proclaims, shunning the suit and office for his helmet and the thrilling slopes. A dedicated mountain biker since the age of six, George has shaped his life around his sport, even incorporating it into his mandatory military service by serving in the athlete division.

Cyprus: An Untapped Mountain Biking Haven

Despite his passion and commitment, George faces the stark reality of his chosen path in Cyprus, where the sport is underfunded and undervalued. The island’s terrain and climate are ideal for both amateur and professional mountain bikers; however, the lack of financial support and infrastructure makes it challenging for athletes like George to pursue their dreams. He manages to scrape by with earnings from coaching and sponsorships, but the road is anything but smooth.

Even so, George has made his mark on the international stage, competing in grueling events such as the Cross Country European Youth Championship in Italy and the European Championships in Serbia, where he learned valuable lessons about pacing and endurance. His victory in an international competition in Kos was a significant affirmation of his potential and a boost to his aspiration to one day represent Cyprus in the Olympic Games.

The Ultimate Test: The Mountain of Hell

The upcoming challenge for George is the infamous Les Deux Alpes race, known among the mountain biking community as “The Mountain of Hell.” A race that begins on a glacier and takes riders through treacherous ice, rock-strewn descents, and perilous drops at terrifying speeds. This event is not only a test of skill and courage but also a crucial opportunity for George to attract the sponsorships needed to continue his journey toward Olympic glory.

Out of the 700 riders who start this intimidating race, few reach the finish line intact. With the stakes so high and the risks equally daunting, the thought of an ordinary job still seems far more terrifying to George than the prospect of hurtling down the mountainous terrain.

A Community United by Ambition

Despite the looming challenges, George is buoyed by an overwhelming wave of community support. His journey is made possible by sponsors like Kona Bikes, his mentor Andreas Kolokotronis, and many individuals who have contributed to his funding campaign. The goal is €6,000, a figure beyond his reach but not beyond the collective effort of those who believe in him.

George feels a profound sense of responsibility to everyone who has invested in his dream. He is determined to make them proud and to earn his place among the world’s elite athletes. The Mountain of Hell is more than a race; it’s a chance for George to pave a new path for Cypriot athletes and to chase an Olympic dream that burns brighter than any fear.

Follow George’s journey to The Mountain of Hell on Instagram @kouz1s and the Facebook page ‘George Kouzis’. If you would like to support his dream, visit

What is George Kouzis’ passion and what does he aim to achieve?

George Kouzis is a passionate mountain biker from Cyprus who aims to conquer the challenging Mountain of Hell race in Les Deux Alpes. He also dreams of representing Cyprus in the Olympic Games through his dedication to mountain biking.

What is the Mountain of Hell race in mountain biking all about?

The Mountain of Hell race is a challenging mountain biking event that begins on a glacier in Les Deux Alpes. Riders navigate through icy terrains, rocky descents, and steep drops at high speeds, testing their skills and courage. The race is known for attracting riders seeking to prove themselves and secure sponsorships.

How has George Kouzis faced challenges pursuing his passion in Cyprus?

Despite Cyprus having ideal terrain and climate for mountain biking, the sport is underfunded and undervalued in the country. George has faced financial challenges and lack of infrastructure, relying on coaching earnings and sponsorships to continue his journey. He has also competed in international events to gain experience and recognition.

How is George Kouzis supported in his pursuit of the Mountain of Hell race and his Olympic dream?

George Kouzis is supported by his community, including sponsors like Kona Bikes, mentor Andreas Kolokotronis, and individual contributors to his funding campaign. His goal is to raise €6,000 to participate in the Mountain of Hell race, with the support of those who believe in his potential. You can follow his journey on Instagram @kouz1s and support his dream at

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