- Geoff Thomas
- Rob Cotton
- Steve Faulkner
- Matthew Fell
- John Ford
- Tim Goodman
- Hayden Groves
- Sarah Hope
- Mike Hopkins
- Ian Loggie
- Alex McKenna
- Doug McKinnon
- Kevin Musgrave
- Martin Smith
- Richard Smith
- Ian Taylor
- Matthew Townsend
- Nicholas Trbovic
- Guy Wolstencroft
Cure Leukaemia Patron
15 years since I was declared in remission from chronic myeloid leukaemia I will ride the Tour de France for the fifth and final time to raise £1,000,000 for Cure Leukaemia.
The funds will be invested in the national Trials Acceleration Programme to fund specialist research nurses at 12 centres across the UK.
These nurses will give blood cancer patients from a catchment area of more than 20m access to potentially life saving treatments through clinical trials.
Rob Cotton, 54, Cheshire
Ex FTSE250 CEO and Non-Exec Chairperson
In life the opportunity to make life changing differences to other people’s lives are few and far between and to be able to help cure any cancer is an opportunity that cannot be passed up.
If that means to save lives and ultimately cure leukaemia you and your teammates have raise a £1m by pushing yourself to far beyond your known physical and mental limits, then as human being you can only say I’m in…even if it means delivering against the hardest sporting obstacle known, to ride the 21 stages of the 2020 Tour de France the day before the professionals, which has been declared the hardest in living memory by former winners…then count me in!
Steve Faulkner, 35, Loughborough
Senior Lecturer in Sports Engineering
I have always been inspired by cycling and particularly by Lance Armstrong’s story, which is something that helped me to deal with treatment for Burkitt’s Lymphoma in 2000/01 when I was only 16 years of age. My treatment included 9 months of chemo and two surgeries and I subsequently found out that I only had a 5% chance of survival. During the Sydney Olympics, I recall watching cycling and triathlon and thinking that if I made it through that it would be really cool to give triathlon a go. 5 years later I finished my degree in Sports Science at the University of Birmingham and was given the opportunity to take up cycling and triathlon and subsequently became a competitive athlete, representing GB at the 2008 World Champs and completing several half and full distance ironman events. I have always tried to share my story to show that others, particularly younger people, that undergoing chemo does not have to be a death sentence, but can open up endless possibilities in life. Since completing my degree, and subsequently PhD I have become more involved in performance sport and coaching cyclists and triathletes, including the Huub-Wattbike test team for the last two years. This event has given me the opportunity to help inspire others in the cancer battle, but also pay something back to the research community that helped to save my life and enable me to achieve the things that I have been fortunate enough to do in the 18 years since I finished my treatment.
Matthew Fell, 40, Beckenham
Director, Deutsche Bank
As a life-long Crystal Palace fan, it is a genuine privilege and honour to be part of Geoff’s GT15 team, and take on the challenge to raise a significant amount of much need funding for an amazing charity.
Riding the full Tour as part of a cycling team is a true bucket list item – I am a keen long distance triathlete, although cycling is actually my weakest discipline so this will be a material personal challenge!
John Ford, 53, Bedfordshire
Head of Business, Marshall Land Rover, Bedford
The Tour de France has been my number one aspirational event to compete for as long as I can remember.
I have completed a number of endurance challenges in the past, but this really is going to be the hardest (and the best) To be able to compete in such an iconic challenge for 21 days is so exciting (and scary).
I love the fact that it will test all of my physical and mental strength for such a long period of time. I really enjoy team pursuits, so to be able to work closely together with such an amazing team on this event, in addition to raising a great deal of money for such a worthy cause has to be worth all the blood, sweat and tears.
Tim Goodman, 55, South London
Engagement Director, Hermes EOS
The first time I became aware of death was when a boy at primary school had leukaemia and died.
I am a Crystal Palace fan so was, of course, very upset when news broke of Geoff’s diagnosis. But like so many others, I was inspired by the fight he showed to beat his illness and his amazing fundraising efforts.
I will wear the wristband that I bought the first time he took on the Tour for the next few months to inspire me: to have the opportunity to support his work and to indulge a daydream that I have most times that I ride my bike is something I will always cherish, even when at my limits on on the Tour and training for it.
Hayden Groves, 45, Broxbourne
I’ve been alongside Geoff on the bike, supporting and fund-raising for the charity since 2015, when I rode my first Tour.
In 2017 I was one of the quartet that rode all three Grand Tours. As a fellow Patron of the charity it would seem fitting that I’m there once again as one of his teammates in 2020 with the charity taking on more of a National focus by funding specialist research nurses at 12 different blood cancer centres across the UK.
Geoff says it will be his last ever Grand tour (or so he says … until the next one !)
Sarah Hope, London
Global Credit Financing & Solutions, Deutsche Bank
I endeavour to take my passion for cycling and combine that with my desire to help others.
This will be the ultimate challenge both physically and mentally, and I couldn’t be more excited to use something I love so much (cycling) to benefit Cure Leukaemia and the incredible research they support. I am honoured to be part of the GT15 Team.
Mike Hopkins, 61, Feckenham
I have already undertaken a cycling event to raise money for the charity as it is our nominated charity. In addition, my father died of Leukaemia 2 years ago.
Semi-retired Business Owner, Cheshire
I’m looking forward to what will be a challenge of a lifetime, however to be able to be part of a team that are going to raise over a million pounds for Cure Leukaemia will make me feel that I have done something to help change a lot of people’s lives!.
Alex McKenna, 49, Tooting
Director and Head Of Product & Platform Engineering for DWS
I am riding the Tour de France to raise money for Cure Leukaemia for three reasons.
First and foremost, to help fund the excellent work done by the charity. Second, to challenge myself. Third, just to be able to ride it – for a cycling fan like myself, it is the ultimate.
Doug McKinnon, 59, Lewes
Director, Sigma VS
I first cycled the full Tour de France with Geoff in 2015 and after meeting Professor Craddock and patients battling the disease I very quickly understood what an important, life-saving charity Cure Leukaemia is.
I then rode all 3 Grand Tours in 2017 and have recently become a proud Patron of the charity. Cure Leukaemia has come so far in recent years and I am proud to have played my part in its growth. I am very excited to be a part of this GT15 team with the aim of raising £1,000,000 to benefit blood cancer patients across the UK.
Kevin Musgrave, 52, Wakefield
Operations Director, Sigma VS
I first became aware of Cure Leukaemia through my friend and colleague Doug McKinnon and was lucky enough to cycle a few stages with him and Geoff in 2017.
The funds raised for this charity directly help save lives and I am proud to be a part of this fantastic team.
Martin Smith, 43, Leicestershire
My motivation to help the fight against this devastating disease is the loss of my father exactly 30 years ago to Leukaemia.
My hope is to move past this loss which occurred at a very young age and has continued to affect me since.
Taking on a challenge as significant as this will help others affected by Leukaemia and also help me to move forward too. My love of cycling has assisted me both mentally and physically over the years so combined with the chance to help support Geoff and the GT15 Team makes this an incredible challenge.
Richard Smith, 52, Preston
I have been inspired by and followed Geoff’s story for many years from when he played football for England to the current day.
I have, and continue to support the Cure Leukaemia family and all the work they do towards finding a cure for this dreadful disease not least in being a ride captain for Cure Leukaemia in 2018 and 2019. This is my opportunity to do what i can to help the cause and to bring some much needed funding to the charity.
I too had my own battles, not with cancer but with obesity. From being in a dark, dark place I found cycling and inching mile by mile to start with I eventually lost 8 stone to become someone who can use cycling to help others and bring much needed support to those who suffer with illness.
This is the perfect opportunity to give back to something I fully understand and truly believe in.
Ian Taylor, 48, Birmingham
Venue Sales Director – Conventions & Exhibitions, The NEC Group
I fell in love with Birmingham when I moved here for work back in 2005 – it’s a unique city that’s full of creative people.
Cure Leukaemia makes a genuine difference to people’s lives and the Trials Acceleration Programme is transformational – but it needs more funding.
When Geoff Thomas was looking for people to help raise £1m with this amazing cycling challenge, I jumped at the chance.
I’m excited to be one of the GT15 team and can’t wait to play a part in helping Cure Leukaemia continue its fantastic work.
Matthew Townsend, 46, Cheshire
Chief Executive, Ultimate Creative Communications
There’s no bigger physical challenge on earth than cycling every stage of the Tour de France. But it pales into insignificance when put beside the challenges faced by individuals and families following a diagnosis of cancer.
Leukaemia treatment has made huge strides forward in recent years. I’m joining the GT15 team in taking on this challenge for the number one reason of raising £1m to fund the critical final stages of research needed to make blood cancer curable.
Nicholas Trbovic, 29, London
Institutional Foreign Exchange Derivative Sales, Deutsche Bank
To take the opportunity of a lifetime raising a massive amount of money for a fantastically well organised charity and a cause where we can make a real difference while taking on the challenge of a lifetime, completing the Tour De France, pushing myself to my limit.
Guy Wolstencroft, 51, Cheshire
CEO My Hearing Group
Euphoric to have been chosen to make a difference for so many others! The World’s most famous, toughest, spectated and historic cycle race.
However brutally tough it will be and how deep and dark the places we have to go to – pales into insignificance compared to those who we will help.