We've changed our name...

... formerly ‘Tour de Force’

    How it Works

    We follow each year’s Tour de France route,
    one week ahead of the professionals. You can join us for a loop of between 2 and 21 stages.

    We cycle the same roads, often staying in the same hotels, with feed stops, luggage transfers and a team of mechanics,
    medics and physios to keep bike, body and mind together.

    Whether you’re a seasoned roadie who’s always dreamed of cycling more than 1 stage of the Tour de France, a keen weekend warrior
    who’s ridden a century, or a regular cyclist who’s up for a challenge, Le Loop has a place for everyone.

    By riding Le Loop you will not only realise your own dreams – you’ll be helping young people to achieve theirs.

    • You can choose to ride the Grand Loop (all 21 stages), a Semi Loop (9-12 stages – either the first or 2nd half of the tour) or one of the Petit Loops (from 2 to 7 stages)
    • Choose the Loop that suits you best – the flat(er) stages, the mountains, the sunshine stages or a full week or more taking on some iconic Tour de France climbs
    • Whichever option you choose, the event is extremely friendly and inclusive (no cut off times – it’s not a race) so no matter what your speed, as long as you’re ready for 180 – 200km days, you’ll be able to enjoy everything that’s wonderful about cycling in France, riding the very same roads that your heroes will ride one week later.
    • Le Loop is open to anyone who undertakes adequate training, meets their minimum fundraising target, satisfies our medical checks and agrees to our Terms and Conditions
    • Our camaraderie is the stuff of legend, as is our support.

    How much does it cost & how much do I have to raise?

    Cyclists pay their own tour costs to Le Loop and agree to raise a minimum sponsorship for the William Wates Memorial Trust (paid directly to the Trust).

    In July we release the first 100 places for the following year: all the Grand Loop places (40), plus 60 guaranteed places for the Semi or Petit Loop of your choice.

    A non-refundable deposit (£400 for the Grand Loop, £200 for Semi/Petit Loop) is required to secure your place.

    Once the tour route is released in October we divide the route into Loops. The basic cost for a Loop is £150 per night which covers food, accommodation, transport on tour and a small admin fee. Please note that specific logistics can mean small supplements which will always be listed in the booking notes (eg. TGV transfers or particularly nice hotels).

    Exact details are available on the Loop Options page so this table is as a guide only to give you an idea of how it works:

    Stages RiddenOvernightsCost to CyclistMinimum Sponsorship
    23£450£800
    34£600£1200
    78£1200£1200
    10 (including 1 rest day)12£1800£1500
    21 (including 2 rest days and a Paris supplement)24£3700£3000

    Sign up will be online on a first come, first served basis. A £200, non-refundable deposit (£400 for Grand Loopers) will be paid at time of sign up. The remainder of the tour cost will be payable in two instalments in January and March. For further information on payment, please see our Terms and Conditions

    What’s included?

    • Accommodation (Mostly twin share. Single supplements are available to buy in January)
    • All food (3 meals and the best feedstops you’ve ever seen)
    • Fully signed route, the stuff of legend
    • Mechanical, medical and moral support
    • Luggage Transfers
    • Coach transfers to the next stage start when the stages aren’t contiguous

    What’s not included?

    • Travel to and from France (but we’ll give you advice on the best travel routes)
    • Bike Transport (£30 each way if you want us to drive your bike there and back)
    • Evening massage (£10 or 10€ per massage if you’d like one – highly recommended)
    • Beer/wine/dinner drinks!

    Our Team

    Emily, our lead cyclist will be cycling with you and motivating anyone who needs some extra inspiration or a wheel to follow. Sarah will be in one of the support vehicles managing logistics during the tour. Kate is back at HQ in the UK dealing with any additional admin, social media and fundraising.

    We have up to two cycling volunteer doctors who are on hand to discuss medical concerns and prescribe any medication you need. We also have cycling specialist physiotherapists and massage therapists (£/€ 10 charge per treatment) with us who are on hand at lunch and in the evenings to treat injuries and give advice.

    Our mechanics are the best: the friendliest, cheeriest, speediest mechanics in the country who are on hand to help repair any problems that occur. We carry a good amount of spare parts but if you have a complicated problem or if your bike breaks beyond repair we carry very high quality spare bikes (courtesy of Trek who sponsor Le Loop) for you to borrow temporarily to keep you cycling. We will then try to get the necessary parts (at your expense) from a local bike shop or help you in any other way we can so that there is no reason to miss a mile on the bike!

    There will be at least five vehicles and 10 additional staff with you throughout the ride looking after all of your mechanical, medical and daily needs.

    A Typical Day

    We expect there to be between 50 and 100 cyclists on any given stage of Le Loop.

    Luggage logistics

    Luggage will be stored in our van and transported for you to the next hotel. Main luggage travels in our van and will be waiting for you on arrival at the next hotel. You will also be able to keep a day bag in one of our support vehicles with things that you might need during the day but don’t want to carry with you on your bike. You will have access to these every 40km or so at feedstops.

    We (almost) always sleep at the finish point of a stage. If the next stage starts in a location different to that of the previous stage finish, we will take you by coach transfer to the next start town. Your bikes will be transferred in our vans. You don’t need to worry about any of these logistics – we take care of it all.

    The Cycling

    Cycling will start at approx. 7.30/8.00am (where necessary you will be transferred by coach to the start of the day’s route, having usually slept at the stage end).

    We ask that the first 40-50km is cycled at group pace – this creates a great team spirit on the event and lets you cycle with different people for a short time and get to know your fellow cyclists. After the first stop you are free to cycle the rest of the day at your own pace, with rolling stops. In the unlikely event of an emergency or if there is a very good logistical reason, we may ask you to wait at a certain point and we expect the group to cooperate with these requests.

    We acknowledge the desire to cycle at your own pace and will do everything possible to accommodate all ability levels on the Le Loop. However, we must stress that this is not a race but a friendly event which hopes to cater to all levels of amateur cyclist who have completed adequate training.

    The hope is that stronger cyclists will support weaker ones and that everyone will feel included and valued.

    Food

    Breakfast and dinner will be provided in the hotels each morning and evening.

    There are 4 feed stops a day, every 40km or so. Every stop provides water and squash for flavour.

    1st Feedstop – 40km:  2nd breakfast – bananas, cake, dried fruit, peanuts

    2nd Feedstop – 80km:  brunch – sandwiches, biscuits, fruit

    3rd Feedstop – 120km:  lunch – pasta, couscous, noodle or ride salad with cheese, tuna etc. Cakes, or tarts or biscuits

    4th Feedstop – 160m:  tea – treats! Patisserie or chocolate milk or sweets plus crisps, nuts etc. More bananas

    We provide everything you need in terms of food and hydration (energy gels and re-hydration drink tablets are available for purchase).
    We advise you rely on proper food as much as possible (rather than too many gels which can be problematic for your stomach over multiple days) and so this is what we focus on providing.

    Post ride

    On arrival at the evening’s hotel, your bike will be stored securely, rooms will be allocated and dinner times will be posted. Bikes that need mechanical attention will be handed to our team of mechanics to work on overnight and you can get a sports massage from our team of physios and massage therapists (for a 10 Euro charge).

    Is it for me?

    We have riders of all ages (over 18), shapes and sizes. Some are seasoned roadies who think little of a 100 miler ride, others are real ‘tryers’ with very little cycling experience when they first sign up but who take the challenge head on. Of course, most of our riders are somewhere in between – which is a big range!). We strongly maintain that if you take it seriously and put in the work, there’s a place for everyone on tour.

    We’ll give you tonnes of support through the year of your preparation. Most importantly we encourage every rider to come to one of our brilliant Spring training weekends – the perfect chance to ride in a group, meet fellow riders and gauge just how much work you still need to do (and we’ll help you plan that too).

    The field of riders on any given day can be very widely spread. We neutralise the first 40km every day to give everyone a chance to chat and gently warm into the ride. After that, you’re free to go at your own pace. You’ll soon find the riders who are a similar speed – and if you drop off the back of a group, it won’t be long before the next group catches you up and gives you a wheel.

    On a huge mountain day, it’s not unusual for our riders to be out until 9, 10pm in order to complete the stage. We’ll be right there with you, supporting you all the way (for as long as you are not a danger to yourself!).

    If, for any reason, you are trailing wildly behind the rest of the pack, we may take the decision to pop you in a support van and leapfrog you ahead along the route. This is very unusual and only done in extreme cases, and even then very reluctantly. We know how important this ride is to you and our priority is to support your effort, while looking after everyone’s safety too.

    Teams

    We encourage teams (corporate groups of colleagues, cycling club groups or even just a gang of mates) to take part in Le Loop. Teams have some unique advantages:

    • you can choose to fundraise individually, or as a group with a combined target
    • you don’t all have to cycle the same loop – team members can come and go throughout the tour providing fresh legs and morale boosts
    • a group of 7 or more riders can include one guaranteed (coveted) Grand Loop place
    • we’ll help you pull a team together. We can provide materials that help spread the word (email template to potential riders, flyers etc) and we’ll even come along to talk to interested riders to explain the event in more detail
    • in some cases we can provide team-specific training sessions with our lead cyclist Emily

    Here’s what previous teams have to say:

    “… a job needs to be about more than just roles – it’s about meeting people, experiencing new things and personal growth. Le Loop provided all of this and more. It gave the individuals and the business great memories and far greater character. Relationships within the business are stronger, mutual and self-respect have been enhanced and life is more fun.” – Tom Hall – Team Alitex

    “We had a superb time on our Pyrenean adventure. We cycled Le Loop for 3 days – for us the teamwork and camaraderie built in the months before we rode and the shared experience is one that will never leave those who were on the team – we shared something special, there will always be a knowing nod that we did something different and special together. In fact we can’t wait to do it again.” – Hugo Raymond – Team Aon

    “All of us had the experience of a lifetime … Why is the Le Loop a good event for corporate teams? The answer is simple: it is just a wonderful way of team building.

    The whole ethos of the Le Loop is about supporting your fellow rider. Everyone is a different standard and everyone has times when they find it tough. To take on this challenge as a team gives an even greater sense of achievement. The satisfaction of colleagues achieving something they thought out of their league is just enormous.

    OPTA Corporate TeamWhy Le Loop rather than other team building events? Firstly, whilst the challenge is undoubtedly tough, it is achievable by anyone who is reasonably fit. Secondly, the event is superbly organised and managed and it is at a human scale. Lastly, the charity is personal; you will get to know the family who set it up and the beneficiaries of the money raised. It is a very special event.” – David Johnson – Team Opta

     

     

    Interested? Get in touch with Sarah to discuss your team and get you signed up: sarah@rideleloop.org

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