22 June 2016 By Tash Ellens
A team of 11 workers from Alitex, including owner Tom Hall, will tackle the iconic stages 1 & 2 of the Tour de France route around Normandy, when they take part in the 2016 Tour de Force which starts this Saturday.
The Tour de Force is a charity-based challenge, which gives cyclists of all abilities and experiences the chance to ride the Tour de France route one week ahead of the professionals. Participants can take on from 1-21 stages of the Tour by choosing from a range of different Tour Taster Packages, or becoming a ‘Lifer’ and completing the whole route. The 2016 Tour departs Mont St Michel on Saturday 25th June and arrives in Paris 21 stages later on Sunday 17th July.
Participating riders raise money for the William Wates Memorial Trust (WWMT) which gives grants to charities that engage disadvantaged young people through sport, arts and education.
Tom Hall, who has participated in the last five Tour de Forces, first entered with a team of employees back in 2014 and looks forward to introducing the challenge to the latest group which includes members from both ends of the cycling spectrum.
He said: “Having given up rugby due to bad knees I took up cycling, firstly, as a healthy way of getting to work, but discovered that it was extremely enjoyable and a great way to take your mind off everyday things. I then heard about the Tour de Force and, having never ridden over 100 miles before, decided it was a challenge I wanted to take on. After a few Tours, I thought it would be a fantastic team-building event for the company, particularly with the fundraising element.
“The Tour has a unique atmosphere to it which lends itself perfectly for corporate teams. There is a wonderful camaraderie throughout the event with everyone supporting each other and willing one another on to the finish line. As well as the cycling challenge, the off-road organisation is second-to-none with everything being about enjoyment, so there is an ideal balance. Add in the charity element and you have an all-in-one event where you have a great experience whilst, most importantly, raising money for a very worthy cause.”
If you would like to make a donation to the Alitex Tour de Force team, please go to the Alitex fundraising page.