We've changed our name...

... formerly ‘Tour de Force’

    About Us

    Meet The Team

    Le Loop is run by Sarah and Kate with lots of help throughout the year from Emily (our lead cyclist)
    and all the Trustees of the William Wates Memorial Trust.

    We are joined on tour by an incredible team of around 30 staff: mechanics, signers, drivers,
    physios, masseurs and medics. They are the best in the business!

    Sarah Perry will be with you in France, managing logistics and making sure that everything goes smoothly and everyone has a fantastic time on tour.

    She has spent the last 18 years working in travel; leading groups, managing events and trying to be outside as much as possible.

    Sarah has cycled with groups and on her own in some brilliant and fascinating places (China, Cuba, Egypt, Jordan, Kenya, Russia, Vietnam…) but deep down knows that France is the best.

    Kate Norris works with Sarah on pre event organisation and in particular with the fundraising. A lot of you will be speaking to her during the year.

    She has worked organising events and travel for over 20 years and is as comfortable on a road bike as she is on her mountain bike or tourer. She often rides a few stages of the tour with us each year.

    Emily Chappell is an ex-London Courier, world class endurance cyclist, writer and active campaigner promoting cycling, largely through the Adventure Syndicate which she co-founded.

    In fact, she’s so impressive that she’s earned herself her own page!

    Rick Wates is a Trustee of the William Wates Memorial Trust and enthusiastic Chairman of Le Loop. The other family Trustees of WWMT are Andrew and Sarah, William’s parents, and his brothers Tim, Jonny and Monty.

    Will’s family are deeply committed to all aspects of Le Loop and actively participate in the event (with varying degrees of athleticism).

    The Le Loop Ambassadors are a special group of cyclists who have participated in previous years’ events.

    They have all taken part in both the cycling and fundraising aspects of the event with massive enthusiasm and are ready and willing to share that enthusiasm with you – as well as their experiences, knowledge and honesty!

    If any of our cyclists would like to be put in touch with a Le Loop Ambassador to ask questions before or after signing up (or even head out for a spin), Kate and Sarah will be delighted to put you in touch with one of them.

    Our staff – mechanics, drivers, signers, medics, physios and massage therapists – are the best in the business and return year after year to work on the Tour. They are endlessly cheerful, professional and enthusiastic and play a major role in helping you keep body and mind together … not to mention keeping your bikes in good working order.

    Email: info@rideleloop.org

    Tel: 0131 3000796

    Post: Le Loop, 41 Rew Rd, Ashburton, TQ13 7HA

    General Enquiries

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    On Behalf Of:
    The William Wates Memorial Trust
    Registered Charity Number: 1011213

    Press

    If you’re interested in our story please contact Kate: info@rideleloop.org, 0131 3000796. We can provide:

    • high resolution print quality images
    • personal stories on riders past and present including interviews
    • contact with the William Wates Memorial Trust and supported charities
    • Story ideas

    If you’d like to be on our email list for receiving our press releases, drop Kate a line

    France Bike Rentals  provide the best rental bikes available in Provence, Alps, Pyrenees, France and … now Europe. With a full fleet of over 500 superb road bikes, e-road bikes, triathlon bikes, touring bikes and hybrid bikes, they’ve got the whole lot covered. They’ll even deliver right to your door.

    Le Loop is thrilled that France Bike Rentals (FBR) is now our official bike partner – supplying a fleet of back-up bikes for our riders to use in case of a serious mechanical on tour.

    If you’re heading to France and don’t want to ship your own bike out (whether for Le Loop or any other holiday or cycling event) FBR will sort you out.

    On Your Bike is our favourite bike shop for everything! Not only are they the most efficient, friendly bike shop in London, but they also offer discounts to Le Loop cyclists on kit, services and bike fits. They handle all of our bike pick ups and drop offs in London and get rave reviews every year from the cyclists who make the most of their offers. They’re the only place in London for reliable road bike hire so check them out if you have friends visiting who you’d like to take out for a ride. Once you’re a signed up rider, you can find out more about their offers in the Rider Zone.

    Vegware is a brilliant company that produces compostable food service packaging – low carbon, made from renewable or recycled materials, and all can be recycled along with food waste. We’re feeding around 80+ riders every day, at 4 feed stops a day, for 21 days and we really didn’t want all that rubbish going into landfill …  so we were delighted to discover Vegware. Being an ethical and altogether sensible and lovely company, they’re massively supportive of community projects and fundraising, so we were thrilled when they agreed to donate all the products we need for serving food and drink on tour. Thank you Vegware!

    It is with great pleasure that we have continued our kit collaboration with Morvélo. For those of you who don’t know Morvélo, they are a team of designers with a passion for cycling. They produce really great, top quality technical kit that is also beautifully designed. Our riders have never looked so slick!

    A winter training camp in the sun isn’t going to suit every budget, or squeeze into everyone’s holiday allowance, but each year we hear from riders who head South for some winter sun and training miles where they’re guaranteed to be wearing fewer layers and suffer less rain and gloom.

    We spent some time researching and meeting with companies in Mallorca and we particularly liked the set up at Sun Velo which seems like a great fit for our riders. They understand what Le Loop is all about and will really help you to build up your training, no matter which week you sign up for or whether you’re a novice or an expert. Plus they’re offering a nice little discount on bike rental while you’re there. So if you’re up for some winter/spring training, read on for more info …

    Liz and Phil are the brains and beauty behind Velo Vixen, who not only sell gorgeous cycling kit for women, but champion women and cycling in every way possible. They’ve been friends & partners with us since the beginning and Phil has even ridden all 21 stages with us. They also sell particularly nice pants!!

    We just can’t get enough of the Bruce Doscher cycling posters. He catalogues every stage of the pro ride in his beautiful graphic prints, live each day! He has been a great supporter of Le Loop & Tour de Force, donating posters for prizes and offering special deals to our riders that include a donation to WWMT.  And in 2015 he cycled all 21 stages with us. Cheers Bruce!

    The Tour of Wessex is a 3 day sportive at the end of May each year. Each day is around 100 miles (with a shorter option each day), back to back, so it makes the perfect training weekend at the perfect time ahead of the Le Loop. To join the Le Loop team, simply sign up to the Tour of Wessex and quote ‘Le Loop’ as your team name. We will have a stand at the event too, giving us the perfect Le Loop hub for all riders. Wear your Le Loop/Tour de Force jersey with pride and we look forward to seeing you all there.

    Please follow this link for our Terms and Conditions.

    No one tells this story better than the riders themselves.

    We love to share all the riders’ blogs and vlogs (that’s a video blog, to anyone over the age of 40!). They make for great reading, so settle down with a cup of tea and a biscuit and enjoy! For blogs/vlogs from earlier years, check them out here: Earlier Blogs

    Do you have a blog? Contact Kate with the link and we’ll include you below.

    2020 Blogs & Vlogs

    David Clinton – last rode the tour with us in 2013, but he’s coming back for more this year! http://daveonletour.com

     

    2019 Blogs & Vlogs

    Charles Hyatt – Grand Loop: https://www.facebook.com/charles.hyatt.77

    Simon Pope (Grand Loop – last completed in our inaugural tour in 2012). New to Instagram for the Tour, Simon’s been posting some great little videos that we’re really enjoying. Give him a follow: https://www.instagram.com/si_pops1/

    Tom Bukowski (First Half) – Another one for beautiful pictures (and incredibly flattering words): https://www.instagram.com/tom_bukowski/

    Tony Brown (Grand Loop – all 21 stages … again. Previously completed in 2015): https://tonyontdf2019.blogspot.com/

    Roly Kitson (Grand Loop – another repeater. Previously completed in 2017) https://rolykitsontourdeforce.wordpress.com/

    Mike (Deano) Dean – repeat Grand Loop offender: https://www.facebook.com/DeanoTDF/

    Deano’s also got a great ‘tip of the day’ on Insta, well worth a look for any wannabe Loopers!: https://www.instagram.com/geodeano/

    Jimm McElroy – 2nd Half https://columbusveloproject.com/author/jimm_mcelroy/

    John Griffiths – another of our loyal Alumni who just can’t keep away: https://johnstourdeforce.com

    Condor Team – 4 sassy women from the most excellent Cowley Road Condors cycling club are taking on Le Loop. Cheryl and Jo are riding all 21 stages, with Jenn and Becci joining them for the Mountains Week – riding all the Pyrenees and Alpine stages. They plan to blog here: https://www.letourdecondor.co.uk

    Kenneth Hayes – Grand Loop – he’s started a vlog on Youtube and hopes to keep it going throughout the tour. Subscribe here.

    Riders’ Blogs – the showcase!

    No one tells this story better than the riders themselves.

    Tour Report 2019

    From the Brussels Grand Depart to the Paris finish, this has been a sun-drenched, glorious Tour!

    Tour Report 2018

    With a stunning coastal Grand Depart, our first weekend of the Tour had a holiday feel, and temperatures that made that Atlantic look all the more welcoming – but we had some cycling to do!

    Tour Report 2017

    The 2017 Tour de France route saw a German Grand Depart and a very ‘European’ tour, with riders gathering in Dusseldorf to cycle on through Belgium, Luxembourg and finally into France.

    Tour Report 2016

    Departing from the iconic Mont St Michel, the 2016 tour was dominated by the first week – the longest and highest stages for a first week of the tour in memory.

    Tour report 2015

    Tour de Force 2015 was largely about heat – lots of it!

    Tour report 2014

    The 101st Tour will forever be remembered … for the WW1 commemoration as much as the Yorkshire Grand Depart.

    Tour report 2013

    The sun shone on the epic route of the 100th Tour de France route and we had a ball!

    Tour report 2012

    2012 was the first year that the Tour de Force (now Le Loop) operated for the general public.

    Tour report 2006/10

    The Tour de Force (now Le Loop) was run in 2006 and 2010 exclusively for friends and family of the William Wates Memorial Trust.

    It’s important to us that we behave ethically and environmentally to the best of our abilities.

    These are some of our commitments:

    • We partner with Vegware to ensure that all our feedstop plates, bowls, cutlery and cups are biodegradeable.
    • In 2020, for the first time we will also buy only recycled/recyclable/biodegradable bin bags and wetwipes.
    • Recycling bins alongside waste bins at all feedstops.
    • All staff are offered the option of travelling to/from the event by train instead of plane, even if it costs more.
    • We research and advise cyclists on train travel options to get to/from their Loops and give personal help if necessary.
    • We provide bike transport from/to the UK to make train travel easier and to reduce plane cargo.
    • One of the Trustees of the William Wates Memorial Trust has committed to offset the carbon used during each year’s event.
    • We operate a paper-free office. No Le Loop materials are printed or posted to cyclists unless requested.
    • Ethical banking.
    • If you have any questions or suggestions relating to our green policy, we’d love to hear from you: info@rideleloop.org

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