Wealth manager James Maltin teamed up with ex-England international footballer and former Leukaemia sufferer Geoff Thomas as part of the first amateur team to complete the three Grand Tours of cycling, back to back; and raised GBP1 million for Cure Leukaemia in the process.
The Three Tours Challenge saw Maltin and Thomas, plus Chef of the Year 2013 Hayden Groves, and tech businessman Doug McKinnon, complete the Tour de France, the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España in 63 days, a ride of over 10,000km at an average of 167km per day. The riders burnt more than one million calories each in the process and climbed 66km, equivalent to scaling Mount Everest seven times.
After completing the final stage of the Tour de France in July, Matlin then cycled from Paris to Calais, before purchasing a kayak and paddling across the Channel back home to England. In what is being dubbed the ‘Two Towers Triathlon’, he then ran the 86 miles from Dover to Westminster, making him the first man to ever complete this feat of endurance.
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.
Upon completing the Veulta a España, Maltin, said: “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 Three Tours Challenge and raising vital funds for Cure Leukaemia.
England footballer Geoff Thomas, says: “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.”
Chef of the Year Hayden Groves, said: “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 rainswept 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!”
McKinnon says: “It’s difficult to put into words the feeling of accomplishment: a bittersweet 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.”