Former England, Palace and Alex midfielder embarks on epic tour to try and hit £1 million mark.
With Over £840,000 Raised, The Tour 21 Team Begin Epic Challenge In France
- Cycling event, The Tour 21, which will see 18 amateur cyclists riding the full 2021 Tour de France route one week ahead of the professionals, has begun on Saturday 19th
- The team has raised over £840,000 towards their £1,000,000 for national blood cancer charity Cure Leukaemia, the first ever official Charity Partner of the Tour de France in the UK.
- This is the only charity event of its kind with an official partnership with the Tour de France in the UK.
- The team will be led by former England footballer, blood cancer survivor and Cure Leukaemia Patron Geoff Thomas and it will be his final Tour de France challenge.
- Geoff and fellow cyclist Mike Hopkins were awarded MBEs before setting off to France
- Registration for The Tour 21 in 2022 and 2023 is available via thetour21.com.
A team of 18 amateur cyclists have begun riding the full 21 stages of the 2021 Tour de France route, one week ahead of the professionals setting off from Brest, Brittany for Stage 1 on Saturday 19th June. The Tour 21 aims to raise in excess of £1,000,000 for national blood cancer charity Cure Leukaemia and the team has raised over £840,000 towards that target.
The team originally had 25 members but 7 unfortunately had to drop-out of the event due to the self-isolation requirements of the French government due to COVID-19. The majority of the team had their second vaccinations more than 2 weeks prior to the event and could therefore travel to France without the need to self-isolate. With confidence the event would go ahead as planned the team’s fundraising has accelerated in the last 10 days with over £100,000 raised for Cure Leukaemia in that time.
Cure Leukaemia, which was announced as the first ever official Charity Partner of the Tour de France in the UK for the next three years, recorded a £1,700,000 fundraising shortfall in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and The Tour 21 team aims to help the charity address this shortfall in funding by completing all 3,384km of the world’s most famous and prestigious professional cycling event.
All funds raised by The Tour 21 team will be invested in the national Trials Acceleration Programme (TAP) which has been solely funded by Cure Leukaemia since January 2020. TAP is a network of specialist research nurses at 12 blood cancer centres located in the UK’s biggest cities and a facilitatory hub based at the Centre for Clinical Haematology in Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital. This network enables accelerated setup and delivery of potentially life-saving blood cancer clinical trials to run giving patients from a UK catchment area of over 20 million people access to treatments not currently available through standard care.
Ex-England footballer, blood cancer survivor and Cure Leukaemia Patron Geoff Thomas, 56, will be riding his fifth and final Tour de France challenge and before departing for France it was announced that both Geoff and his teammate Mike Hopkins, the Principle of South and City College Birmingham, had been awarded MBEs.
Speaking about the challenge ahead Geoff said:
“After so many hurdles, we are so happy to be on French soil and starting this fantastic event. We are firmly focused on ensuring we raise and surpass £1,000,000 because every penny will directly benefit the 38,000 people who are diagnosed with a form of blood cancer in the UK each year. We know the road ahead will be strenuous but knowing that we are getting ever closer to that £1,000,000 target will be our motivation. I hope that the public can really get behind us in the coming 3 weeks to ensure we can surpass that target because every penny raised will directly help save lives.”