Geoff Thomas today returns from leading the first ever amateur team to complete the three Grand Tours of cycling, back-to-back, for Cure Leukaemia, the charity which saved his life when he was given three months to live in 2003.
The Three Tours Challenge saw Geoff Thomas (nine caps for England, unbeaten) and three other amateur cyclists complete the Tour de France and two other cycling grand tours, the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España, to raise £1 million for Cure Leukaemia.
Other amateur riders on Geoff’s team are Chef of the Year 2013 Hayden Groves, wealth manager James Maltin and tech businessman Doug McKinnon.
Each member of the team has burned more than one million calories in a ride of over 10,000km, an average of 167km per day, over 63 gruelling days.
The funds are being raised for Cure Leukaemia and the expansion of their Centre for Clinical Haematology at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, doubling its capacity.
England footballer Geoff Thomas commented:
“In Madrid with a glass of champagne thinking how on earth do we beat that! Right now, I'm not sure we can. I'm just so proud to be part of such a special team, achieving great things both on and off the bike.”
2013 National Chef of the Year Hayden Groves commented: “With the first pedal stroke in sun drenched Sardinia back in May, Madrid was a day we dared not dream about too soon.
For there were many miles, snow-capped mountains, wind and rain swept roads to be ridden. Yet now some 6,500 miles further on & 133,000m of climbing under our wheels, surrounded by our family and friends in Spain’s capital, I reflect with pride to have worn the Jersey and shared that epic journey with Geoff, Doug and James. Riding home from work again will never be able to come close!”
Investment manager James Maltin commented: "It has been an incredible journey and a life defining experience; a testament to what is possible when the right time and the right people meet.
Sheer determination has brought us to this point: an unwavering belief that whatever the circumstances, somehow we would realise our collective vision of completing the 3 Tours Challenge and raising vital funds for Cure Leukaemia.
Tech businessman Doug McKinnon commented: “It's difficult to put into words the feeling of accomplishment: a bitter sweet moment, knowing that we have achieved something so few can, or have.
The greatest pleasure is not only raising money and profile for Cure Leukaemia, but also riding with Geoff, James and Hayden - an unlikely band of brothers, bonded in a way no one can take from us.”
WATCH THE MOMENT THEY ARRIVED IN MADRID BELOW
Cure Leukaemia's £1m Centre Appeal 2017