2015 was a monumental year for Leathers LLP; celebrating 25 years in business, Managing Partner Michael Leather, together with members of his team at various stages along the way, completed the gruelling 3344km Tour de Force bike ride along the 2015 Tour de France route, raising over £40,000 in aid of the William Wates Memorial Trust. A once in a lifetime achievement? Far from it. Team Leathers are back in the saddle and looking towards July 2017...
Wednesday 20th July 2016
Chris Froome leads the 2016 Tour de France into the Swiss Alps, with the climax in Paris looming. The 2016 edition of the Tour de Force finished a few days earlier.
Such is the demand and desire to take part in next year’s Tour de Force, places for the 2017 event are made available almost a full year in advance. Places go live at 9am.
At 9.01am, Michael Leather, not knowing any details other than the event starts in Dusseldorf on 24th June 2016, signs up for the full 2017 route as a ‘lifer’…
18th October 2016
The months of speculation are over and the route of the 2017 Tour de France is unveiled to the world. Michael, however, has yet to recruit any teammates for the 2017 challenge.
Unfortunately, the 2017 route provides Michael with little assistance in his recruitment drive. More climbing than in previous years, visiting each of France’s five mountain ranges, climbs with gradients hitting eye-watering 20%, it’s enough to deter even professional cyclists!
Whilst Michael has signed up for the full 3500km route, the Tour de Force also offers shorter ‘Tour Tasters’, ranging between two and nine stages. It is these Tour Tasters which hold the key to the formation of Team Leathers 2017…
26th October 2016
The 2017 Tour Tasters are released and Michael remains the only participant from Team Leathers…yet, two brave souls show a glimmer of interest.
After much deliberation, and some assertive words of encouragement from Michael, Neil Matthews and Barry James (veterans of the 2015 edition) sign up for three stages, starting in the Pyrenees and finishing in the Massif Central. Apparently the breath-taking scenery is enough to mask the pain in the legs on the climbs.
The sheer physical and mental challenge which awaits the team in July 2017 can’t be underestimated; each participant knows what it takes to complete their respective stages, only this time they want to enjoy it rather than just survive! So, as we enter December’s festive season, the three remaining members of Team Leathers are ditching the mince pies and Christmas jumpers for sessions on the turbo trainer and rides in their winter lycra. Hopefully it’ll all be worth it come the summer.
Once again, Team Leathers will be raising as much money as possible for the amazing William Wates Memorial Trust, helping under privileged children in local communities. Interest is already gathering pace for a follow up charity dinner, so look out for updates in the New Year!