Introducing Ben Davies
Our New Lead Cyclist
We are over the moon to introduce Lead Cyclist Ben Davies – the newest member of our Le Loop team and one of the loveliest, smiliest guys you’ll ever meet.
Ben will ride with us on tour, offering sage advice and encouragement, as well as looking after the safety and well-being of all our riders out on the road. He’ll brief the group daily so that you know what to expect on each stage and will ride alongside you, sharing the beautiful tarmac and peloton chat of Italy and France. Like all our team, he’ll also leap in to help with a multitude of other tasks to make sure the Tour runs smoothly… he’s going to be busy!
Ben grew up on a bike, mountain biking as a teenager and getting into longer distance rides after uni. He’s competed in self-supported, ultra-endurance races for the past 7 years including the Transcontinental race (4,000 km, 2nd place, 2019), TransAm bike race (7,000km, 2nd place, 2022) and has also solo cycled the PanAm route: 24,000km from northern Canada to the southern tip of Argentina.
Ben’s a qualified cycling coach and holds down a ‘normal’ job as a programme manager at an engineering firm in Bristol. What Ben doesn’t know about riding long distances isn’t worth knowing!
He’s also done his fair share of big fundraising efforts and knows what it takes to raise significant amounts of money for a good cause; the charitable side of Le Loop was one of the reasons he was so keen to join us.
We asked Ben a few questions as a way to introduce him to our cyclists. Here are his answers…
Q: So you’ve seen the route, which stages are you most looking forward to?
Ben: The 2024 Tour route looks like it could be a classic and should be a real treat for Le Loop riders. There are highlights throughout but the Tour’s first Italian start is an immediate standout for me; three varied and no doubt beautiful stages before crossing into France on the Col de Montgenèvre on Stage 4 will set us up nicely for 3 weeks on the road.
Q: What are you thoughts on the route and how it will play out for the pros?
Ben: It is an intriguing route for the pros in 2024; there’s a little bit of everything – throw in the lottery element of the gravel and the potential different goals of the Giro, Olympics and Worlds and I am sure we are in for a treat.
Q: So what would be your top tips for us lesser mortals taking on the Tour de France route next summer?
Ben: My top 3 tips for anyone who is signed up and thinking about their preparation for this summer are:
- Balance – the temptation to dive straight into training now in December can be massive! Build into it and work your riding in around all of life’s other commitments.
- Consistency – alongside balance, try and build cycling into your routine. Consistency is a sure fire way to make fitness gains but will also help you work your preparation in around work, family & friends.
- Enjoy it! – training for Le Loop is a great excuse to get out on the bike, have some adventures and make the most of getting outdoors.
Q: One of the things that makes Le Loop different from the pro race is the charity element which is an essential part to the event. How do you see that enhancing the experience?
Ben: For us getting to ride a part of, or the entire Tour de France route is a privilege and will certainly be a massive physical and mental challenge. Doing this in support of the William Wates Memorial Trust and the charities it helps adds another layer of significance and will no doubt act as the inspiration to push us all forwards. I’m personally really looking forward to meeting the charity visitors on tour and hearing their stories – I’m sure it’ll give me a different perspective on the next tough climb of the tour.
Our UK based cyclists will have the opportunity to meet Ben at our Rider Event in February (details to be shared soon) and of course everyone will meet him on tour in the summer. In the meantime, here’s a quote from Rick Wates (WWMT Trustee) which sums up how excited we all are
“We’re incredibly lucky to have found someone of Ben’s calibre to lead out our peloton next summer. I have no doubt he will be a very popular new addition to the team and I’m really looking forward to riding alongside him.” – Rick Wates, Chairman of Le Loop and WWMT Trustee
Vive Le Tour!