Cyclists can set the wheels in motion to help save men’s lives by exclusively riding next year’s opening stage of the Tour de France just one week before the professional peloton – thanks to Prostate Cancer UK.
The brand new Grand Départ Classic offers riders an exclusive chance to sample all 117 miles of the first stage of the 2016 event, a full eight days before the likes of reigning champion Chris Froome, Nairo Quintana and Geraint Thomas saddle up for the world’s greatest cycling stage race.
And by saddling up to pave the way for the cycling superstars, those involved can raise money to combat a disease that affects one in eight men in the UK.
Setting off from the historic Mont Saint-Michel Abbey in Normandy, the riders will head across mainly flat terrain along the coast of Normandy before finishing at Utah Beach, one of the D-Day landing beaches in 1944.
As part of an exciting three-day package, riders will leave London on Thursday, 23 June and travel by coach to Portsmouth, catching a ferry across the English Channel to Cherbourg, Normandy.
After a transfer from Cherbourg to the hotel, riders will get a chance to give their bikes a final tune up, before assembling as a team for an evening meal at Mont Saint-Michel. An early breakfast awaits the riders on Saturday, before the much anticipated roll-out for the Grand Départ Classic.
The picturesque route will be fully signposted with feed stations and mechanical and medical support.
From the finish, the riders will be able to rest up as they transfer, by coach, to a celebration meal in Caen, on Friday evening before heading back to London the following day on Eurostar via Paris.
Head of Events for Prostate Cancer UK Andy Sallnow said: “Launching the Grand Départ Classic is our chance to give our supporters a glimpse of the pro Tour de France experience.
“We’re inviting riders to challenge themselves to push their limits to save men’s lives, and the flat route means that even people new to the sport will be able to complete the 117-mile distance with the right amount of training.
“One man dies every hour of prostate cancer in the UK, which is why the funds raised are so crucial. We can’t wait to see the Men United peloton roll past the same iconic landmarks, on the same roads as the pros who will be speeding through just over a week later.”
After paying a £149 non-refundable registration fee, there is a £1,000 minimum sponsorship fee, while riders can also pay their own tour costs and set their own sponsorship targets.
Each rider that takes part will also be able to wear their specially-designed Prostate Cancer UK riding top, and to celebrate the authentic flavour of Le Tour, there will also be four iconic jerseys up for grabs.
The yellow jersey will honour the top fundraiser, the polka dot attire will go on the rider that raises the most 10 weeks before the event (15 April) and the green is for the fastest to reach the minimum £1,000 sponsorship. Youth is the key for the white jersey, just like in Le Tour, with the youngest top fundraiser under the age of 30 pulling on that coloured jersey.
To register your interest in saddling up for this exclusive event, and for more details on the ride visit GrandDepartClassic.org.uk, call 0203 310 7034 or email email@example.com.