14 years ago Geoff Thomas was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia

14 years ago Geoff Thomas was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia

Geoff was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia in the summer of 2003, when he was given just three months to live.

4th July 2017 marks 14 years on from his diagnosis, and the team's cycling efforts on behalf of Cure Leukaemia show their dedication to helping others overcome the illness in the same way that Geoff did. 

We wish the team the best of luck on the rest of their Tour de France route! 


Giro D'Italia - Stage 21

10.00am - They have done it! These 5 amateur cyclists have completed the first leg of their epic 3 Tours Challenge. The Giro d'Italia has been harder than any of them imagined - 3,600km and full of gruelling mountain climbs. They are doing this to save lives and help Cure Leukaemia raise an additional £1m this year to expand the Centre for Clinical Haematology. The team have had so many generous donations from all over the world and every penny of these will go towards Cure Leukaemia's appeal. 
This Giro leg simply would not have happened without the sponsors so a huge thank you to all them all and especially Farr Vintners. The team are seeking further sponsors for the next two tours so please get in touch if you would like your business to be a part of this amazing story.

8.26am - Emotional words from Geoff ahead of the final stage into Milan. The team has taken this epic challenge on to help people in the same position that Geoff was 14 years ago.

6.01am - They have travelled 3,585.7km in 20, gruelling days. That distance is the equivalent to travelling direct from Birmingham to Mary's Harbour in Canada - effectively they have cycled the Atlantic Ocean. Extraordinary.

6.00am - And so this is it. The final 29.3km of the Giro D'Italia for the 3 Tours Challenge Team. Starting in the famous Monza race track they will soon be in Milan having completed a truly epic challenge for Cure Leukaemia.

Giro D'Italia - Stage 20

8.00pm - The team are so close to home now, just the roll into Milan from Monza tomorrow. Read the penultimate blog from former National chef of the year Hayden Groves HERE. Geoff's Strava from Stage 20 is below.

9.30pm - The last big push for the team today after 19 gruelling stages that have tested them to their limits. They are doing this to help Cure Leukaemia raise £1m to expand the Centre for Clinical Haematology in Birmingham and building work on this transformational project began on Wednesday. In the video below we hear from consultant haematologist Sridhar Chaghanti, Peter Hood from the contractors Interclass, Cure Leukaemia CEO James McLaughlin and current leukaemia patient Lizzie Dean.

6.00am - The penultimate stage of the Giro D'Italia for the 3 Tours Challenge team and another testing day in the saddle.

Giro D'Italia - Stage 19

6.00am - Another tough day in the saddle. Three days to go for these guys before they have completed one of the toughest cycling challenges in the world.

Giro D'Italia - Stage 18

5.04pm - Whilst the team are battling through another epic stage of the Giro D'Italia some great news has arrived from Birmingham. This is the reason those 5 guys are going through so much pain out there, to ensure this project is fully funded and patients, like Geoff, benefit from the groundbreaking lifesaving treatments it can provide.

Work on the expansion of the Centre for Clinical Haematology has officially started

Read more HERE

6.00am - Stage 18. 137km - one of the shorter stages of the Giro D'Italia but just LOOK at those mountains!

Giro D'Italia - Stage 17

10.00pm - Here's the Stage 17 blog of Hayden Groves - again, amazing that he can write this after this gruelling stages - click here

9.00pm - Another long, tough day but Geoff was happy with his ride! Here it is mapped out on Strava below.

9.56am - Another reality check for the team here too as young Harry goes back into hospital for his treatment. #CycleforHarry

8.00am - Some of the reactions from the team below. I am sure you can excuse the language. 

6.00am - Stage 17. 219km. More huge climbs. The team are so tired after yesterday and will have to draw on every ounce of energy to get through today. This will be a sombre day for the riders however as the news from Manchester reached them. Their physical pain put firmly into perspective after such a senseless act of violence. Everyone associated with the 3 Tours Challenge and Cure Leukaemia would like to express their deepest sympathies with those involved in the act of terrorism in Manchester.

Giro D'Italia - Stage 16 - May 22nd

11.00pm - Geoff was obviously disappointed today but he received plenty of encouragement from home.

10.32pm - After a truly epic day in the saddle Hayden somehow managed to summon the energy to write a blog HERE and upload his Strava below.

8.54pm - This message of support from Lizzie Dean was sent to the team just before one of their descents today. Inspirational.

8.52pm - For the good of the team Geoff has decided to jump off the bike. As Matt says below, this stage is beyond gruelling, to get this far is remarkable in itself.

5.50pm - One thing is for certain, the team would be finding it far harder to climb these mountains without the energy bars and gels provided by our amazing sponsor Fuel-It, check them out!

5.39pm - Amazing scenery. Imagine cycling up these however...

5.11pm - Race director Paul Morton broadcast live a few minutes ago from the top of 1 of the 3 mountains on today's stage. They have climbed so high it is snowing!! 

3.08pm - Some great support from well-known sporting names today.

3.05pm - As predicted, this stage is proving to be so, so difficult for the team. The videos on Twitter emphasise how gruelling these climbs are.

6.00am - Stage 16. The start of the the Dolomites. 222km of huge climbing - this will be the teams' greatest challenge so far.

Giro D'Italia - Rest Day

3.00pm - It may have been a rest day for the legs but it certainly was not for the mind. All thoughts turning to what lies ahead... the dolomites!

6.00am - Very welcome rest day for the team . Please show your support by making a donation HERE or by sending a message via twitter HERE.

Giro D'Italia - Stage 15 - May 20th

9.00pm - Former national chef of the year Hayden Groves has been busy providing content once again! Blog HERE and GoPro of stage 15 below, amazing footage from an epic challenge.

7.23am - Assured that Geoff WILL be live on BBC Radio Manchester talking to Andy Crane in the next hour. Click HERE to listen.

6.00am - Stage 15. Just shy of 200km with two nasty looking peaks near the end!

Giro D'Italia -Stage 14

9.15pm - Not only are these guys taking of the toughest of cycling routes but they had extreme weather to battle today! Great blog from Hayden Groves HERE and his latest GoPro video below!

9.00pm - Really tough day for the team. Some extreme weather at one point!

9.22am - Apologies to anyone who tuned in to hear Geoff live this morning. Unfortunately these are the perils of live radio! We are told Geoff will be on news bulletins throughout the day.

7.12am - How about a video message from the current leader of the Giro D'Italia, Tom Dumoulin to kick the day off!

6.01am - Geoff will be LIVE on BBC Radio Manchester around 7.45am this morning - make sure you tune in HERE

6.00am - Stage 14. 131km with a big climb at the end of the day. Ouch!

Giro D'Italia - Stage 13

10.00pm - Hayden's latest blog HERE and GoPro below!

9.55pm - These guys are over two weeks away from their families now. Really tough.

9.53pm - And this is what Geoff means to the man in the article below!

9.45pm - What is it with Crystal Palace and cycling at the moment! Maybe Stephen could join the team in France?! 

8.19pm - By the way folks  please don't forget that YOU can join the team for stages of the Tour de France this July. If you love your cycling you would be mad to miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Click HERE to see all the options.

8.13pm - This is a fantastic fundraising idea from 2013 National Chef Of The Year Hayden Groves. With a forward from none other than Michel Roux Jr Hayden will be writing a unique cookbook about his experiences during the 3 Tours Challenge. Combining cycling and recipes the book will be inspired by the cuisines made famous by the regions along this epic journey. With stunning photography and mouth watering recipes it will be a book for those who love their photos, cycling and travel! 100% of the proceeds will go to Cure Leukaemia. Stay tuned for further info in the coming weeks and months. 

7.45pm - Nice to see a tweet from Jill Douglas who has been such a great supporter of Geoff's over the years. Thanks Jill - fancy riding a stage or two of the Tour de France?

7.30pm - The team were in high spirits today, that could be because the route was flat! Still 167km mind! Marcus and Doug did a LIVE broadcast at the end of the stage on our Facebook page - click HERE.

6.00am - Stage 13. Much flatter but still 167km. These guys need your support. Make a donation

Giro D'Italia - Stage 12

11.00pm - What's the last thing you'd fancy doing after riding 200+km on a bike? I should think uploading videos and writing a blog would probably not find themselves at the top of your list. So please take a few minutes to read the blog of former national chef of the year Hayden Groves called 'it's not about the grouse.' Read it HERE and watch his GoPro footage of Stage 12 below.

8.02pm - The eagle-eyed amongst you might just spot Andy at the front and on screen at the 2nd of his quiz nights to raise funds for this challenge. Hope everyone is having a great night!

8.00pm - As the team rest up and refuel after the longest stage of the Giro we have yet more great news to bring you! We are delighted to announce that Andy Parker from accountancy firm PKF Cooper Parry will join the 3 Tours Challenge team for the Tour de France leg of this epic cycling challenge. Andy has already raised over £11,000 and is holding a quiz night to raise more funds this evening as his future teammates draw breath after today. Read more HERE or what this video which was obviously filmed before Geoff left for Italy. Obviously!

3pm - Some fantastic news for the team and for Cure Leukaemia to bring you. The Crystal Palace squad has generously donated to the cause. Read the whole story HERE. Everyone associated with the challenge and Cure Leukaemia is so grateful.

6.00am - Stage 12 today. Not as bumpy as yesterday but so much longer - 229km!! These guys are pushing themselves so hard.

Giro D'Italia - Stage 11

10.00pm - Read Hayden's latest blog HERE - and watch his Relive and GoPro videos from Stage 11 below. 

7.44pm - The tweets say it all. So much respect for these guys.

7.40pm - Marcus gives us an update on Stage 11 and gives the unsung heroes of the 3 Tours Challenge some very well-deserved recognition.

6.38pm - Really tough day again for the team. 4,000m of climbing over 161km. Tomorrow will be the longest day they have in the saddle...

3.56pm - Perhaps not surprising that a video from Mr Southgate has sparked some serious interest from various sources - expect more to come!

10.00am - There have been some high profile people sending messages of good luck to Geoff and the team and this one will give the guys a huge boost:

9.06am - Don't forget that these guys are away from their families too whilst taking this on - tough.

6.00am - Stage 11. 161 km. Bumpy! Please show you support for these guys - they really are taking on a superhuman challenge for Cure Leukaemia. You can donate HERE and send your messages of support via @3ToursChallenge.

Giro D'Italia - Stage 10

10.10pm - Check this out from Hayden! Great video footage:

9.37pm - The team has had some fantastic support in recent days. Keep an eye out this week to see who!

9.35pm - Another blog post from former national chef of the year Hayden Groves read more HERE.

10.26am - It was a fantastic weekend for Crystal Palace - the club and foundation's support for the 3 Tours Challenge has been immense. 

10.21am - Rather you than me Marcus!

8.00am - Shorter stage for the team today - a time trial!

Giro D'Italia - Stage 9

James Maltin after...

James Maltin after...

James Maltin before...

James Maltin before...

10.30pm - Thankfully the team have a well earned rest day tomorrow. Please show your support for these remarkable people by donating HERE

10.00pm - Former national chef of the year Hayden Groves is blogging every single day during the challenge and the latest instalment can be found HERE. This video below is the graphic representation of his ride:

8.00pm - As predicted the end of this stage was an enormous test for the team.

10.54 - Doug McKinnon's wife Wendy and two sons Alex and Cameron have met up with the team today. Complete surprise for Dougie by the sounds of it! Sure it will give him a massive boost with his boys riding alongside him.

Neil Ashton, Geoff Thomas and Matt Lawton back in 2005

Neil Ashton, Geoff Thomas and Matt Lawton back in 2005

10.11am - the Daily Mail's Matt Lawton rode the Tour de France with Geoff back in 2005 with Neil Ashton and Ian Whittle. Geoff has had fantastic support from the media over the years including all above, Matt Dickinson, Dan Roan, Ned Boulting and many more. Hopefully they will all help spread word of this challenge as it builds in the coming weeks and months. 

10.09am - Some periscope shenanigans from the teams this morning - I will leave you to find that little snippet on Twitter! Please do send your messages of good luck to the team via their Twitter page @3ToursChallenge - it means so much to them knowing so many are right behind them.

9.50am - As you can see from the graph below the end of this stage is pretty brutal!

Giro D'Italia - Stage 8

9.05pm - And from Geoff's former England teammate Gary Lineker. The football world is right behind Geoff and the team. Onwards.

9.00pm - Amazing support from the Crystal Palace family today.

8.00pm - Hayden and the teams' stage 8 mapped out. Hayden's blog for the day can be found HERE

12.19pm - Great support from Rebecca - is there a female cyclist out there who can join the team for Le Tour and La Vuelta??

10.00am - Emotional words from Geoff.

9.56am - A great message from West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Ben Foster who hopes to be able to join the team for the start of the Tour de France later this summer.

9.54am - stage 8 underway - aching limbs, tired minds but they keep going!

Giro D'Italia - Stage 7

10.00pm - Hayden's latest blog HERE

9.15pm - A former teammate from 2015 with some words of encouragement too.

9.00pm - Laura Kenny's dad showing his support for Hayden and the team.

8.00pm - Tough day for the team with the stage being curtailed but plenty of support still coming in for them.

3.15pm - Messages of good luck also mean so much to the team especially from the people who will benefit from the funds they raise. One of those brave leukaemia patients is 12-year-old Harry Price who sent this video message earlier today before Harry's hospital appointment. 

3.13pm - It is great to see so many people feeling inspired by the challenge and donating or finding ways to raise funds. The last three donations on the 3 Tours JustGiving page emphasise this. To make a donation click HERE.

3.12pm - It's been a disjointed day for the team as they were not allowed to cycle on the motorway without it being closed but they were soon back in the saddle.

9.30am - In the text below the donor refer to a 'dear friend' - this person appears in the video below.  

9.28am - A very generous donation has come in from an anonymous donor. Thank you.

9.25am - And emotional words from Geoff too - we must remember why this challenge is taking place. 

9.22am - Sobering words from Doug below. These guys are pushing themselves so hard to help others. Please show your support: JustGiving

Giro D'Italia - Stage 6

8.00pm - Here's Hayden's Strava for Stage 6 and here's his blog! BLOG

2.01pm - Here's a photo of Stephen from 2015, great to see him supporting the 3 Tours Challenge.

1.58pm - Nice message from Stephen Jones - Head of Private Clients at Brewin Dolphin. Stephen was a teammate of Geoff, Doug, James and Hayden when they tackled the Tour de France for Cure Leukaemia back in 2015. 

7.20am - The first stage on the Italian mainland after a ferry crossing last night.

Giro D'Italia - Stage 5

9.00pm - More fantastic imagery from Dave Hayward.

8.30pm - Hayden's latest blog HERE and below we can see the teams' route today.

12.38pm - More great support for Geoff and the team from the football community

11.15am - Fantastic support from JustGiving - we are featured on their homepage!

10.57am - It can be hard for non cyclists to grasp the enormity of this challenge. Have a look at this video and take a moment to appreciate this is just ONE stage! 

9.18am - At least Geoff still has a sense of humour!

9.15am - Stage 5. No let up at all. If Davina McCall, Eddie Izzard or David Walliams were doing this challenge it would be everywhere such is the scale. Show your support: @3ToursChallenge

Giro D'Italia - Stage 4

9.25pm - Thankfully there are many, many people supporting Geoff and the guys as this selection of tweets show:

9.10pm - Geoff's tweet at the end of the day shows what these guys are putting themselves through for Cure Leukaemia.

7.00pm - Another brutal day for the team but they all completed stage 4. Here are the thoughts of Hayden.

10.01am - Every single donation, big or small, makes a huge difference and gives the team a massive boost. Please show your support HERE.

9.49am - For those of you who prefer photographs to graphs - this is Mount Etna and this is what stands between the team and Stage 5 today.

9.00am - Have you ever cycled up a volcano? ... No, me neither but that is exactly what awaits the team today. A volcano! Mount Etna, and this graph below emphasises how tough it is going to be. Tell us about the craziest cycle route you have taken on by tweeting @3ToursChallenge