There are No Flat Stages on the Tour De France

Thank you everyone who came along to hear the story behind two of the Tour 21 team of 2021, Geoff Thomas MBE and Mike Hopkins MBE on Saturday night. There have been so many messages telling me how interesting  and inspiring they found the talk, and I couldn’t agree more. After understanding their background, Geoff in football and then his involvement in Charity work, Mike on how he has worked to grow educational opportunities in Birmingham, it is easy to understand how they became MBE’s this year.

Hearing them talk about The Tour 21 gave me a great insight in to what to expect, although I’m not sure that I’m looking forward to some of those mountain stages. Some great pieces of advice on how I should prepare and then ride, especially those early stages when there will be a temptation to ride too fast. Getting to know how good the support team are was also a great comfort, Mike and Geoff both told the audience how important they were to the riders, making sure the roads were kept clear, that food and drink was available when they needed it, all allowing them to concentrate fully on riding their bikes.

Interesting too was to hear how they both approached the ride, Mike liked to know what to expect each day preparing himself for the different terrain as it came along, where as Geoff didn’t want to know making sure the tough road ahead wasn’t in his thoughts. I’m not sure what I’ll do yet, but it shows how there are different ways to approach the same thing. There are never right or wrong ways to do things, just different approaches.

Cure Leukaemia was also very important to them both, Geoff played such a big part in opening up opportunities for them. His profile in football helped open doors that were inaccessible to the medical and fundraising teams. Mike came to support Cure Leukaemia for his own very personal reasons, understandably his father was a major motivation for him on the Tour. Their insight into Cure Leukaemia gave everyone a new perspective on how we can all help.

The Tour 21 and our talk ‘There are no flat Stages on the Tour de France’ had two great things in common. On the surface they are about the toughest cycle race there is, The Tour de France, but in reality they were about raising money for Cure Leukaemia and raising their profile.

Thank you to all that came along,

Thank you to all the supporters who donated raffle prizes

Thank you to Lickey End Social Club who donated their facilities free of charge

And a special Thank You to Geoff and Mike for giving up a Saturday night to help out.

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