We've changed our name...

... formerly ‘Tour de Force’

Le Loop Q&A

We follow the exact route of each year’s Tour de France, with the following exceptions…

We cycle in and out of hotels rather than the exact town-centre start and finish points. This might mean a 2 – 5 kilometre difference at the start or end of each stage (depending on how close to the finish we can find accommodation).

If there is a morning transfer (to a stage start 20 or 30km from the previous stage end), we’ll start from a car park or open area where we can lay out the bikes and park our coach (again, not necessarily the exact start point).

If there is a section of road which we think is unsafe for cyclists, we’ll re-route around on smaller side roads. In reality, this is very rare and probably amounts to a total of 10 or 15 kms each year.

It goes without saying but we have to abide by local traffic lay outs. So if the Tour go the wrong way down a one way road, we don’t! These detours are very small.

Occasionally we come to a closed road (road works, accident, village fete) and in these cases we just re-route around and rejoin the Tour route as soon as possible.

The only exception to the above rules is stage 21 going into Paris. The tour often uses roads which are too big and fast for us – and we don’t think you’d want to cycle multiple laps of the central Paris Loop. So we start in (or pass through) the right place but then necessarily alter the route. We always finish by passing the Eiffel Tower for photos and then making just one lap of the Paris Tour loop before heading to our hotel (and a big party)!

We have a standard cost of £150 per night, regardless of which Loop you choose. As an example, if you cycle 3 stages, you’d be with us for 4 nights and the Loop tour cost would be £600.

For more information on costs, see the How it Works page.

We have fundraising targets between £800 for a 2 stage Loop and £3000 for our Grand Loopers. Most Loops have a fundraising target of £1200.

For more information on fundraising targets as well as all the information, support and help we offer (including charity visits and young people from the charities joining us on tour), have a look at the fundraising pages.

Le Loop exclusively supports the William Wates Memorial Trust and we don’t allow our cyclists to raise money for other charities.

Whilst we know that there are many causes and charities which are dear to our cyclists’ hearts, there are many reasons why we stick to our rules.

To read the full fundraising policy, click on the policy tab on the fundraising page.

We think we offer the best supported, most friendly event you can ride. Your Loop cost covers all of the following…

  • Accommodation (Mostly twin share. Single supplements are available to buy at cost price from January).
  • All food (breakfast and dinner in hotels plus 4 of the best feedstops you’ve ever seen each day).
  • Fully signed route, the stuff of legend.
  • Mechanical support including a fleet of spare bikes provided by Trek, our event sponsors. There is no charge for mechanical assistance (parts sold at cost price) or the use of a spare bike/ wheel for a day or two (however, if your bike cannot be fixed and you have more than 2 days left on tour, we’ll speak to you about your options and will make sure you find a happy solution).
  • Medical support from two volunteer doctors and 2 physiotherapists (massage is available from massage therapists at extra cost).
  • Luggage Transfers (your main luggage will be taken from each hotel to the next).
  • Day bag vehicles (you can leave a day bag in each of the two feedstop vans each morning and have access to them every 40 kms at the feedstops).
  • Coach transfers to the next stage start when the stages aren’t contiguous.
  • Travel to and from your Loop (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 from one of our bike hubs)
  • Evening massage (£10 or 10€ per massage if you’d like one. No need to pre-book: our massage therapists and physios will be on hand every evening when you arrive at the hotel)
  • Beer/wine/dinner drinks!

This is an almost impossible question to answer but we’ll try!

Firstly, remember that we have a huge variety of abilities and all of them are welcome. Whilst some may cycle happily up a 10% gradient 12km climb at 15kph, there are others of us who’d be delighted to average 7!

Secondly, we’re not a race, so whilst you may decide to test yourself or time a certain climb on strava, there will be other times when you’ll decide to sit up, cycle with and enjoy the banter with a slower-paced group, stop for ice cream or just enjoy the view and take it easy.

In general, on a flatter, 180km first-week stage, cycling in a small group with some drafting benefit, the average cycling speed is likely to be between 20 and 30 kph. But factor in feedstops and photos and the pace feels much more leisurely than racey.

A more accurate way to cover the speed subject is to mention times: on an average undulating 180 or 190km, first week stage, with a start time of 8am, we usually expect the first cyclists to arrive at the hotel at 3.30 or 4pm and the last cyclists at about 7pm.

For the middle mountains, this might be between 5pm and 8pm and on the two or three toughest stages of each tour (200 kms in the Alps or Pyrenees) this can be 6pm – 10pm.

First of all, please don’t worry.

We have some very fast cyclists and we have some much slower cyclists and everyone is welcome. There’s huge respect for everyone taking on this challenge; for the fast cyclists and how on earth they can keep it up – to those spending an extra several hours a day on a bike and still (mostly smiling).

If you have trained and are enjoying the cycling, we won’t ask you to get in a van, even at 10pm on a mountain stage.

However, if you would like to get in a van at any point, or if there’s a danger in you keeping cycling (eg. a medical problem or it’s dark and you don’t have lights), we have several feedstop vans which can take cyclists on to the next stop and we also have a back van with 5 seats to sweep anyone who needs a lift.

The only situation where we would ask you to take a lift in the van is if you are over 45 minutes behind the next slowest cyclist – and this would just be a lift to catch up with the next last cyclist or to set you off again from the next feed stop. This is extremely unlikely and certainly not anything you should be concerned about.

If in doubt, give us a ring and we can discuss you speed or training. 0131 3000796.

But seriously, there’s no need to worry!

On average, half the group is made up of Grand Loopers and half the group of Loop cyclists. However, due to overlapping Loops and variation in Loop popularity, numbers can vary quite a bit throughout the three weeks.

The smallest number of cyclists on the road with us on any given day is around 65 and the largest around 110. This number means there are cyclists of every speed and ability and enough people to create a great atmosphere on the road and at dinner – whilst never being too many. We pride ourselves on knowing all our cyclists and offering a brilliant, personal service.

Unfortunately we can’t offer places for non cycling friends or partners. The main reasons are hotel capacity (we need it all for our cyclists!) and the nature of the event (which is so all-consuming in terms of energy, new friends, tour chat and evening admin that trying to make time and space for someone not participating in the cycling is much more difficult that you’d imagine, not to mention the very little time you’d spend together).

We do however offer Paris friends and family places for cyclists riding into Paris who would like to be met and cheered in on the last stage. You can invite friends and family to join you for the last night celebration party and we also have the option for them to join us for the last cycle into Paris. The places can be booked via the Rider Zone.

If you have any more specific questions about friends or relatives meeting up with you in France, please email sarah@rideleloop.org

We hope that our Loops offer enough variety to challenge and delight everyone. However, if you’d like to join two Loops together or take part in two Loops with a gap between them, that’s no problem. We will however ask you to commit to the higher of the two fundraising targets as well as 50% of the lower target.

*Note that it is not possible to make a Grand Loop place by joining shorter Loops.

Your fundraising target is a key part of your commitment to taking part in Le Loop. We give masses of support, ideas and tools. It’s achievable! We know it is – over 700 riders have done it before you (and we’ve done it ourselves). Ultimately though, if necessary, we will ask you to top up your fundraising yourself if necessary, to reach your target.

We ask you to reach 80% of your target by the end of April and aim to get the final 20% in by the end of August.

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