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Ex-England football star leads cycling team on London-Paris ride to beat blood cancers

CGerrard
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23 Jun 2011

Geoff Thomas, the former England and Crystal Palace footballer and leukaemia survivor, is set off on the London-Paris (L2P) cycling event on Thursday 23 June for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, to help beat blood cancers.

Geoff will be joined by teams from our corporate supporters including Brewin Dolphin (Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research L2P Cycle Team sponsors) and an international team of cyclists from Hogan Lovells, the global legal practice and our Charity of the Year partners.

The 550km tour started at Hampton Court in London and finishes on Saturday 25 June, at the Eiffel Tower in Paris. With just 350 riders, The London-Paris is known as "THE professional cycling event for amateur cyclists". It is the closest the amateur rider can get to the Tour de France experience.

Geoff, who took on the ride last year, said: "It’s a very special event and a great opportunity to get close to feeling the thrill of riding amongst a pack of cyclists in a road race. It’s probably the closest amateur riders can get to the Tour de France experience."

Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research is one of the 2011 L2P official charities. Thomas, who captained Crystal Palace and played nine times for England, was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia in 2003, aged 37, less than a year after his last season as a professional footballer. His sister was luckily a perfect bone marrow match which gave him the opportunity to have a stem cell transplant in early 2004.

Inspired by the courage of patients around him and by Lance Armstrong’s battle with cancer, Geoff took on the Tour de France in 2005, just six months after going into remission.

Geoff Thomas is now working with Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research to help more patients beat blood cancers.

Geoff said: "We had an amazing time on the London to Paris ride last year– great cycling, the best camaraderie and amazing memories. As I saw the Eiffel Tower coming into view, it really focused my mind on why we were doing this. I am very lucky to have survived leukaemia – many of my fellow patients have lost their battle against this awful disease.

Follow the team as they pedal to beat blood cancers!

Track the team's progress to Paris by visiting Brewin Dolphin blog, Blood, Sweat & Gears or  Hogan Lovells blog.