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 23 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 25 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.

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

Canyon works hand-in-hand with the best athletes on the planet to produce an array of award-winning bikes that embody a pure passion for riding. With a strong reputation for true innovation, implementing leading technologies, clean and clear design as well as the highest standards in quality and service, we are over-the-moon that they’ve agreed to become our bike partner.

As a pioneering direct sales brand, Canyon products are exclusively available online at canyon.com

Canyon provide our fleet of back-up bikes on tour so that whatever happens, you won’t miss a mile. Having a mechanical never felt so good!

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!

On top of that, Morvélo have an outstanding approach to sustainability … and that’s something we take seriously at Le Loop. They recycle materials in creative and imaginative ways, they refurbish and repair your kit, offset carbon with tree planting and much more. We’re impressed. Learn more here.

They’re also the same team that’s behind The Overland. Check them out!

The Dartmoor Classic Sportive is an annual cycling challenge, organised and expertly run by Mid-Devon Cycling Club.

There are three route options to choose from; the Piccolo at 38 miles, the Medio at 68 miles or the Grande at 110 miles – ie an ideal pre-tour spin!

We’ve enjoyed a really friendly relationship with the Dartmoor Classic for several years, and in 2020/21 the WWMT was their chosen charity partner, raising over £4,000 from participant donations.

Rocacorba Cycling is a premium cycling destination located in Banyoles just outside Girona, Spain. Home to professional cyclist Ashleigh Moolman Pasio, Rocacorba Cycling offers fully customised cycling packages to meet all your needs. The quiet surroundings and comforts of the renovated 17th Century Villa, Can Campolier, are the perfect location to explore the climbs and coastline of Catalonia. Let the experienced team help you prepare for all aspects of your Le Loop.

Read more about our experience of Rocacorba Cycling.

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!!

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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.

2020-22 Blogs, Vlogs & podcasts

As more and more folk use Instagram and facebook to ‘mini-blog’ while on tour, you can find lots and lots of posts by searching #leloop2022 and #rideleloop

Here are a few we’ve enjoyed this year:

@jmacgiro
@butchkeahiolalo (don’t be intimidated by his descents!!)
@katemccombe1
@dcwilsn
and over the years @geodeano

Grand Looper Mike Googe wrote a super Blog called ‘A Loop Around France‘. For him, this ride was about “making memories and having amazing experiences”. He achieved both in spades!

Mel joined us to ride the Mountains Week for what was to be her biggest cycling challenge to date. She’s a regular podcaster (though not usually on cycling) so put together this great (30 minute) podcast of her experience on tour with us in 2022 which gives a great flavour of what is involved in riding a week on tour! Mel’s Podcast

Having ridden the full Grand Loop more than once before, John Griffiths came back to ride the Pyrenees Loop this summer. Download his blog here: John Griffiths’ blog

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

Paul Andrew – new to Le Tour with Le Loop – having signed up for 1/2 the tour in 2020 and then 2021 (both events cancelled), he’s decided to up his game after 2 years of training and is taking on the whole tour. Bravo!
https://thegrandlooppaulandrew.wordpress.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 2022

Back on the road again after a 2 year hiatus and it feels GOOD. A stunning route, glorious weather and a record-breaking fundraising year.

Tour Report 2019

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

A Greener Tour

It’s important to us that we behave ethically and environmentally to the best of our abilities and we know how much that matters to you too.

Of course, the nature of our event presents plenty of challenges and constraints, both with logistics and time. But we have a committed, principled team of staff and we invest time in ‘doing the right thing’ – e.g. recycling waste even when hotels don’t have facilities for this. We want to make sure that everything we can do better … we do do better.

During the 2022 Tour we made many improvements and changes to event operations. In 2023 we will be adding even more initiatives to become a greener event. These are some of our current commitments already in place:

Travel

  • 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.

Office

  • We operate a paper-free office. No Le Loop materials are printed or posted to cyclists unless requested.
  • Ethical banking.

On Tour

  • We partner with Vegware to ensure that all our feedstop plates, bowls, cutlery and cups are biodegradeable.
  • We only use recycled/recyclable/biodegradable bin bags and wetwipes.
  • Recycling bins are alongside waste bins at all feedstops.
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