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Cycle opening 2016 Tour de France stage in new Grand Dèpart Classic

Press Release   •   Aug 14, 2015 09:00 BST

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, call 0203 310 7034 or email

This summer Prostate Cancer UK is asking Men United to get active and fundraise. People are being urged to search Men United, and do something great with their mates via


Notes to Editor:

For more information, please contact Gary Haines, Sport PR Manager at Prostate Cancer UK, on 020 3310 7079 or at
About Men United and Prostate Cancer UK:
o Men deserve better. Men United is Prostate Cancer UK’s movement for everyone who believes that men are worth fighting for, to help us beat prostate cancer and keep friendships alive. Some 230,000 people have engaged with Men United since 2014.
o This summer Men United has tons of fun ways for people to see their mates, from bike rides, sponsored walks, BBQs and quiz nights - all whilst doing something great for Prostate Cancer UK.
o Search Men United, or visit
o Prostate Cancer UK works to get men in all areas of the country the early detection, effective diagnosis and better treatments that will beat this disease.
o Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. More than 10,000 men die every year from this male-only disease, and 300,000 men are living with prostate cancer in the UK.
o Anyone with concerns about prostate cancer can contact Prostate Cancer UK's Specialist Nurses in confidence on 0800 074 8383 or via the online Live chat, instant messaging service: The Specialist Nurse phone service is free to landlines and open from 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday with late opening until 8pm on Wednesdays.