An Aberdeen man has smashed the world record for cycling the length of South America – with 10 days to spare.
Dean Stott, a former special forces soldier, has biked from Argentina to Colombia in 48 days and 54 minutes, smashing the previous record of more than 58 days.
The ride was part of efforts to raise £1 million for partners of mental health campaign Heads Together.
Dean is a close friend of Prince Harry, who he met while serving in the army for 16 years, who helped to set up the campaign which aims to raise awareness of mental health issues.
It was the Prince who asked Dean to use his bike ride as a vehicle for raising money for the charity.
From Panama, Dean told the Evening Express: “When I decided to do this, it was 2016 and Heads Together was in its infancy. I spoke to Harry about it and he asked if I would mind raising money for the campaign and I said ‘of course’.
“If I hadn’t been involved with the charities, I wouldn’t know how big an issue it was – I definitely chose the right campaign.”
A devastating knee injury, sustained while parachuting in a training exercise, forced Dean out of the military, where he struggled to adapt to civilian life in Aberdeen.
Following a stint as the head of a private security firm in the Middle East, Dean looked to spend more time with wife Alana and their two children.
The Peterculter resident said: “It has been a gruelling journey so far, and both a physical and mental battle.”
He is now continuing his cycle beyond South America, as he tries to break the record for cycling the Pan-American Highway.
Dean is hoping to complete the 14,000 mile journey through 14 countries, in less than 117 days.
The Highway runs from Argentina to Prudhoe Bay in Alaska.
He added: “I’m hugely proud to break the South American World Record and even more determined to smash the Pan-American Highway record too, raising money and awareness for the Heads Together charity partners and mental health issues overall.”
Dean has raised a total of £540,000 so far.