Superbike For Superhuman Endeavours
Geoff Thomas, MBE, former footballing legend and blood cancer survivor, has been prolific in raising awareness and fund-raising with the Tour 21 series
Geoff Thomas has conquered all 21 stages of the Tour de France no less than five times as a tribute to the medical professionals who helped him and to patients fighting their own battle against Leukaemia.
Ribble Cycles, honours the Tour 21, their superhuman efforts and celebrates being the official bike partner with the creation of a new tour superbike – Ribble’s Tour 21 Alumni Limited Edition Ultra SL R.
Masterminded by Ribble’s Head of Product and ex-pro Tour rider, Jamie Burrow, who is no stranger of what it really takes to complete one of the most iconic sporting events in the world, the bike is a special homage to everyone’s personal efforts, which is reflected in the striking aerodynamically optimised geometry, resplendent bespoke colourway and 24-carat gold leaf detailing. As a limited edition it is only available to Tour 21 riders, with each bike personally signed and numbered by Geoff Thomas and proceeds going to Cure Leukaemia.
Geoff, you have completed the Tour de France five times – how did this come about?
With a conversation really – when I was told I was in remission from cancer in January 2005. I still had a profile from my playing days, but my knees were shot from football. I asked someone what riding the Tour would entail and was told it would be three weeks in France. I didn’t even have a bike, but I knew that this was what I needed to do. I got my first bike at the start of March 2005 and my first ride was six miles and it nearly killed me! I thought to myself, ‘I’m really going to have to put some effort into this!’.
Describe the experience – has it lived up to expectations?
Surpassed everything! Nobody really gave me any hope but that’s what motivated me. I did my first 100-mile ride just two weeks before that first event. We had some gruelling days but the feeling reaching Paris was indescribable.
How much have your efforts raised?
The first ride raised £250,000 and in 2021 we raised more than £1m for the first time. Over the years we’ve leveraged more than £300 million in drugs into the infrastructure we’ve built.
Ribble’s superbike and support what does that mean?
We’ve struck up a good relationship and a support package for the Tour 21. I’m a modest guy, but the Alumni bike’s creation to raise money for Cure Leukaemia is great.
For more information, visit: ribblecycles.co.uk