Meet the Team: Le Tour - One Day Ahead

1st July 2015

Meet the Le Tour - One Day Ahead Team


On Friday July 3rd these eleven amateur cyclists will begin one of the world's toughest physical challenges to raise funds for Cure Leukaemia. They will be riding all 21 stages of the Tour de France, one day ahead of the professionals. A distance of 3,344 kilometres and over 6,000 calories per day - a true feat of human endurance.

Here are some short biographies on each rider and the links to their fundraising pages. Each rider has committed to raising £50,000 for Cure Leukaemia so please do consider helping them towards their goal, please do show your support for this group of amazing individuals.


Geoff Thomas - Age 50

The inspiration for this event. The former England, Crystal Palace and Wolves footballer was diagnosed with blood cancer in 2003 and was given less than three months to live. Following treatment from Cure Leukaemia Co-founder Professor Charlie Craddock, including a stem cell transplant from his sister Kay, Geoff has been in remission since January 2005.

Later in 2005 Geoff rode the full Tour de France route to raise vital funds and he has continued to fundraise for blood cancer patients over the last decade.

To mark the ten year anniversary of his remission he  aims to raise £1million for Cure Leukaemia.

To donate to Geoff click HERE.




Doug McKinnon - Age 54

Doug, from Brighton, Sussex is an entrepreneur and the Chief Executive of Sigma Voice SolutionsMcKinnon was inspired to ride Le Tour - One Day Ahead, following a recommendation from a mutual friend of Geoff Thomas - Mike Grisenthwaite - who rode the Tour de France route in 2007. McKinnon jumped at the chance to be involved in the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and support Cure Leukaemia at the same time.

To donate to Doug click HERE.



Hayden Groves - Age 40

Hayden, from Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, is an award-winning chef, having been crowned National Chef of the Year, 2013.

Having worked in the food service sector for over 20 years, Groves was the youngest executive chef at Lloyds of London in its 300 year history and the first chef from food service to win the national title whilst working at BaxterStorey.

To donate to Hayden click HERE




Stephen Jones - Age 52

Stephen, from Solihull, is a Senior Regional Director for wealth management firm, Brewin Dolphin, having worked there for almost twenty years. Jones’ family have become used to him pushing himself in aid of supporting a good cause for many years, but being considerably taller than the average professional cyclist, at 6 foot 6 inches tall, completing some of the tougher mountain climbs of Le Tour will definitely be a challenge. 

To donate to Stephen click HERE



James Maltin - Age 39

James divides his time between London and Wiltshire and is an Investment Director for Rathbones. 'Le Tour: One Day Ahead' will be by far the biggest physical challenge of James' life, and he plans to fit in early morning training rides around Richmond Park to get himself in shape to complete the challenge.

James recently completed London 2 Paris: Inspiring the Revolution with a team from Rathbones to raise further funds for Cure Leukaemia.

To donate to James click HERE



Simon Gueller - Age 50

Simon is an award-winning chef who has won a Michelin Star at each of the three restaurants he has run over the past 16 years. He currently runs The Box Tree in Ilkley, where he has held a Michelin Star for the past 10 years.

A month before the grand depart, Simon had a serious accident on his bike which resulted in broken ribs and a punctured lung. Despite this setback he is still taking part and determined to complete the challenge.

To donate to Simon click HERE



Melissa Brand - Age 35

Melissa originates from Brook, Surrey, and now lives in Selly Oak, Birmingham. She is an Investment Analyst at the Solihull office of Prologis, a global provider of industrial real estate. Melissa started out as a triathlete, but decided to focus on her main strength, cycling, two years ago. With the Centre for Clinical Haematology on her doorstep, Melissa is extremely motivated to take on this once-in-a-lifetime challenge and demonstrate female cyclists are capable of riding long distances.

To donate to Melissa click HERE



Ciaran Doran - Age 49

Ciaran, from Derry, now living in Guildford, is the Group CEO for digital communications organisation Datasat. Doran was introduced to Geoff through his sister Maire, who used to work with Professor Charlie Craddock, the person Geoff attributes to saving his life. Hearing about Geoff’s completion of the Tour in 2005, Doran knew that Le Tour – One Day Ahead was the challenge he’d been looking for to mark his 50th birthday.

To donate to Ciaran click HERE




Helen Russell - Age 39

Helen is an amateur triathlete from Bromsgrove and works as National Officer for the union Managers in Partnership. She has competed in triathlon for nine years and represents Great Britain at an age group level. Helen, who lost her mum to cancer in 1999, has two key goals: raising as much money as possible for Cure Leukaemia and, as an advocate of equal rights for women in sport, completing the challenge to add credence to the campaign to introduce a fully-fledged women's Tour de France.

To donate to Helen click HERE



Dom Goggins - Age 30

Dom, from Salford, is a communications and public affairs manager for British Cycling. Dom lost a close friend to blood cancer and has spent many years raising funds for leukaemia charities including 21 marathons. In recognition for his charity fundraising, Goggins was honoured with carrying the Olympic Flame in the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay. Dom is also the son of former cabinet minister, the late Paul Goggins MP.

To donate to Dom click HERE



Trevor Clarke - Age 49

Trevor, from Rugby, competed as a grasstrack and speedway motorbike rider in his younger days. After suffering several serious injuries, many of which required surgery, he values health as the greatest gift. Trevor is a keen cyclist and some years ago rode from Lands End to John O'Groats in five and a half days unsupported. Having lost his mum and close friend to cancer, he is passionate about Cure Leukaemia's work and determined to help Geoff Thomas reach his £1million fundraising target.

To donate to Trevor click HERE



WATCH: The Le Tour team meeting blood cancer patients at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham:


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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