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Eighteen amateur cyclists officially began the 2023 edition of The Tour 21 – in partnership with Flutter – this weekend, riding all 21 stages of the Tour de France just one week ahead of the professionals and aiming to raise over £1-million for blood cancer charity, Cure Leukaemia.

The Tour 21 brings together a group of amateur cyclists annually to take on the biggest endurance challenge of their lives, the Tour de France – one week ahead of the professionals. As of day one of the 2023 ride, The Tour 21 has this year already raised over £725,000 – a huge accomplishment, but still with some way to go to their £1million target.

This year’s route, which traces a diagonal route from the Basque country to the German border, includes stages in the Pyrenees, the Massif Central, the Jura, the Alps and the Vosges.

At 3,404km long, it eschews the Mediterranean as well as most of the north and south of France, taking in two countries, six regions, 23 departments, and five mountain ranges – the Pyrenees, Massif Central, Jura, Alps and Vosges.

The team features cyclists from across the world with ten UK-based cyclists, and eight cyclists from USA who will looking to tackle the world’s most famous cycling endurance race. The eighteen cyclists were selected from a pool of over 400 applicants.

Cure Leukaemia Chief Executive James McLaughlin expressed his sincere gratitude to the team as they set off from Bilbao.

“I say this every year, but I am once again in awe of our team of dedicated cyclists who will be undertaking this year’s Tour. Everyone at the charity are immensely grateful for the sacrifices made by each of the cyclists over the past 12 months in preparing for this incredible challenge. They set off from Bilbao safe in the knowledge that they are making a real difference to blood cancer patients across the world.”

“The team will become a part of a very exclusive club by tackling all 21 stages of the Tour de France – a feat that very few amateur cyclists can list as part of their achievements.”

“There will inevitably be highs and lows along the way, but what is important for the team is that they never lose sight of the difference that their fundraising will make for blood cancer patients across the world.”

Fundraising from the challenge is directly invested in the Trials Acceleration Programme (TAP) which helps those fighting the cancer across the globe, including three-time winner Greg LeMond, who last year announced he is battling Chronic Myelogenous Leukaemia.

Since 2020, Cure Leukaemia has been the Official UK Charity Partner of the race.

Interested in joining the team in 2024? Click here to register your interest


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