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.
If you’re interested in our story please contact Kate: email@example.com, 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 …
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!!
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.
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
Paul Andrew – new to Le Tour with Le Loop – taking on the whole of the 2nd half of the tour.
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.
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 – so we have decided to increase our 2022 participation cost by £5 per day, per rider.
We will spend this extra budget specifically on making greener operational decisions and actions.
Over the next few months we will undertake a review of all our operational practices in conjunction with staff and a group of alumni cyclists, to decide what additional measures we can put in place for the 2022 Tour to reduce our impact on the environment.
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’re going to think more about how we can invest more 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. More money means more time and that removes many of the barriers to greener practices.
If any alumnus would like to volunteer to be a part of the consultation, please get in touch with Sarah.
Naturally, we’ll be sharing these new measures with our cyclists in due course. These are some of our current commitments already in place:
- 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.
- A Trustee 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.
- 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.