24th November 2014

We are delighted to announce the names of the first five cyclists who will join Geoff Thomas on 'Le Tour – One Day Ahead' in July 2015 - the 3,300+ kilometre, once in a lifetime challenge of riding all 21 stages of the Tour de France, just one day ahead of the pros.

  • Ciaran Doran, from Guildford, Surrey
  • Dom Goggins, from Salford, now living in London
  • Hayden Groves, from Bengeo, Hertfordshire
  • Stephen Jones, from Solihull, West Midlands
  • Doug McKinnon, from Brighton, Sussex

The first five cyclists come from different backgrounds and have varied cycling histories and reasons for wanting to ride with Geoff and help raise £1 million for Cure Leukaemia. All have been inspired by Geoff’s 2005 conquering of Le Tour and can’t wait to embrace the challenge ahead. All five are extraordinary ordinary people willing to go the extra mile and looking forward to the unique opportunity to experience life as close to that of a pro-cyclist as it’s possible for a non-professional to achieve whilst making a significant difference to helping to find a cure for leukaemia.

Inspired to ride

Stephen Jones has known Geoff for many years and previously cycled from London to Paris with him to help support Geoff’s leukaemia charities.  As Senior Regional Director at wealth management firm Brewin Dolphin, Stephen will be leveraging his City contacts to raise awareness of the ride and raise funds for Cure Leukaemia.

Speaking about the challenge, Jones (pictured far left) said:


“Geoff’s achievements and commitment to raise funds to help find a cure for leukaemia over the past decade have been truly inspirational. I had the pleasure of first cycling with Geoff from London to Paris four years ago following the diagnosis of a mutual friend with leukaemia, and am proud to say Geoff is now a friend.


When Geoff told me about Le Tour – One Day Ahead, I immediately wanted to be part of the challenge and help make a difference to this fantastic cause.”

Award winning chef Hayden Groves has also been inspired by Geoff’s previous cycling exploits and as a ‘wannabe pro cyclist’ couldn’t resist the opportunity to complete the full Tour de France route in a style as close to a professional rider as possible.

Upon committing to Le Tour – One Day Ahead, Groves said:


"I’ve always loved cycling and used to compete regularly when young. Like many I dreamt of cycling the Grand Tours and being a professional rider but the opportunity to do so never arose and life and my career took over.


When I heard about Geoff’s challenge I knew this was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I had to be part of.


I called Geoff and we talked about his previous experiences and motivation to complete the ride again and I was so inspired that I signed up straight away.”

Not averse to participating in tough, physical, fundraising challenges Dom Goggins, who works for an International Aid Agency, has previously completed 12 marathons in 12 months as well as running ultra-marathons and completing ‘the most dangerous marathon ever run’ through the Democratic Republic of Congo; raising awareness of the conflict there, whilst simultaneously raising funds for a leukaemia charity.

Inspired by Geoff and wanting to make a meaningful contribution to the world, Goggins added:


“It was in 2012 that I first heard Geoff talk about marking the 10th anniversary of his remission from leukaemia in a spectacular way and when he said that he wanted to revisit the Tour de France I thought it was something that I would love to be part of.


Whilst I’ve completed many endurance challenges before, participating in Le Tour – One Day Ahead will be the first time I’ve done something of this scale as part of a group. I’m really looking forward to being part of a team and ensuring that collectively we all reach Paris together.”


Acknowledging the first five riders, Geoff said:


“I’m delighted that Ciaran, Dom, Hayden, Stephen and Doug have each committed to cycling Le Tour – One Day Ahead with me.


It’s going to be a tough challenge, but having such dedicated and confident riders alongside will help all of us achieve our goal – not just to complete the ride but to raise £1 million for Cure Leukaemia.”

Geoff is inviting riders to apply to be part of his peloton of just twenty riders who will join him for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience life as a pro-cyclist, with full rolling road closures and support crew and vehicles, one day ahead of the actual Tour de France. Together the group will aim to raise £1 million for Cure Leukaemia.

Entries for Le Tour – One Day Ahead are now open and to register for one of the final 15 places, or to find out more, visit: www.beforethetour.com

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The Trials Acceleration Programme (TAP)

How funds raised for Cure Leukaemia help save lives

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"Cure Leukaemia’s funding of the UK Trials Acceleration Programme (TAP) is a game-changer and increases the access for blood cancer patients to potentially transformative new therapies."

Sir John Bell
"Cure Leukaemia’s funding of the UK Trials Acceleration Programme (TAP) is a game-changer and increases the access for blood cancer patients to potentially transformative new therapies."

Sir John Bell