Au Revoir Tour de Force – Bonjour Le Loop!

It’s official – Tour de Force has become Le Loop!

After years of enjoying a friendly, informal relationship with the Tour de France, our friendship is being formalized and we couldn’t be more excited.

As part of this development, we are changing our name to Le Loop. Along with the new name, we’re now sporting a whole new look with this snazzy new website! We really hope you like it. The new name will become active from Monday 17th July 2017. Why then? Because it is one day after the 2017 Tour de Force arrives in Paris, but is ahead of sales for 2018 opening as Le Loop on Wednesday 19th July.

Since 2006 the William Wates Memorial Trust and the Le Loop have enjoyed a wonderful, growing family of loyal supporters who will no doubt feel some nostalgia with the name change to Le Loop. We hope that all our Tour de Force Alumni as well as our friends and partners will feel very special and incredibly valued – you were in it from the start and have been instrumental in helping us reach this real turning point in our story. We couldn’t be more grateful.

Read on to learn about more about the change.

Vive Le Tour!

Why have we changed our name?

A.S.O. (the organisers of the Tour de France) gave us the opportunity to formalize our long-standing friendly relationship with them. They have been supportive of Tour de Forcesince it became a public event in 2012 but now we have been given the chance to make that friendship official!

By formalizing our relationship with Tour de France, we now enjoy a solid support from A.S.O. that really helps us to make our event the best it can possibly be and to raise as much funds for the charities supported by the William Wates Memorial Trust as possible.

Our new status with A.S.O. gives us a legitimacy that will appeal to new riders and potential corporate sponsors, helping us to raise even more money to support the most disadvantaged young people in the UK.

A.S.O. asked us to change our name to avoid the inevitable name confusion that could come from our new formal status. We were pleased to oblige given the incredible support we now enjoy from them.

Will the event change in any way?

No! Nothing will change in the way we operate – the event will still be the same event you know and love (or that you’ve heard of, but are yet to try!). Our team is the same and the Trustees of WWMT of course all remain.

Our hope is that our next chapter will attract corporate sponsorship that will help us make the myriad of small improvements we know will improve the tour – but fundamentally the tour itself and everything that makes it so special will remain unchanged.

Why did we choose the name Le Loop?

The Tour de France is referred to in France as La Grande Boucle – the big loop. It stood out as a name that captures the fun of our event and the French element.

It also refers to the journey that we all undertake on the roads of France during the tour, as well as a human journey for both our riders and our grant recipients. Our riders often tell us that their participation in this tour has changed their life, and it certainly helps to change the lives of those we support through charitable grants.

Finally there is a continuity about our event which is reflected in Le Loop. We ride annually, raise money for the William Wates Memorial Trust to help prevent what happened to William happening to others and in doing so keep William’s memory alive.

What do staff and trustees think about the new name?

We love it! It’s been a fun process and we’re really excited about this new chapter in our shared history, including all the potential we think it gives us for raising our game even higher.

What about the new logo?

We wanted to keep the colours of the Union Jack and the Tricolor, but to update the logo with something stylish and dynamic that works well with the new name Le Loop. We hope you like it!

Will we still have Lifers?

The new name Le Loop lends itself to some new terminology. Folk riding the full route will now be riding the Grand Loop. We think our riders will soon come up with a generic name for themselves but it will not be one we officially enforce.

Will any donations be effected by the name change?

No – all donations are made to The William Wates Memorial Trust, not the cycling event itself and so are unaffected by the name change of the event, which remains their biggest fundraiser.

Is the charity changing the way they do things?

No – but they continue to look for fantastic worthwhile projects that specifically target the UK’s most disadvantaged young people. As of 2017 they are also supporting a project in France in acknowledgement of our links to France through the Tour de France (this was already in process before the discussion began with A.S.O.).

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