The British blood cancer charity Cure Leukaemia is delighted to announce that Santini will become the Official Kit Supplier for “The Tour 21” this year. The three-year partnership means that Cure Leukaemia’s major cycling event, The Tour 21, which will see amateur cyclists take on all 21 stages of the Tour de France route one week ahead of the professional event, will be kitted out in the latest high-tech cycling wear for the grueling challenge.

Santini recently became an Official Partner of the Tour de France, beginning in 2022 for five years, and as part of Cure Leukaemia’s UK partnership with the Tour, the Italy-based Cycling Wear manufacturer is aligning with a challenge that looks to raise £1,000,000 for life-saving research into blood cancer.

Santini named as the official kit supplier for Cure Leukaemia and The Tour 21.
From left: James McLaughlin (Cure Leukaemia CEO), Jonathan Sangan (Santini UK Custom Sales Manager) & Geoff Thomas (Cure Leukaemia Patron).

Santini is a brand with enormous cycling heritage. The instantly recognizable SMS logo has been seen on the shoulders of champions over the decades and recently can be seen in the Pro Tour peloton on high profile teams such as Trek Segafredo. Santini are cycling apparel partners to all ASO events including Tour de France and Vuelta. Santini is also suppliers of the official UCI kit as worn by World Champions in every discipline of the sport. Supplying Slovakian National team kit as well as a long association with the Australian National team.

The Tour 21, which will take place from Friday 24th June – Sunday 17th July 2022, will see a team of 25 amateur cyclists led by former footballer, blood cancer survivor and Cure Leukaemia Patron Geoff Thomas taking on all 21 stages of the Tour de France with the aim of raising £1,000,000 for Cure Leukaemia.

Thomas, 56, who represented England, Crystal Palace, Wolves and Nottingham Forest during his 20-year career, was initially given just three months to live in 2003 when he was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia in 2003. Thanks to treatment from Cure Leukaemia’s Co-Founder Professor Charlie Craddock CBE and a stem cell transplant from his sister Kay, Geoff went into remission in 2004 and turned his mind to supporting the doctors and nurses that helped save his life.

During his treatment, Geoff was inspired by the survival stories of others and decided to cycle the full Tour de France ahead of the professionals in 2005 to raise funds which led to him being awarded the Helen Rollason Award at that year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year. Geoff then went on to complete the Tour again in 2007 and then in 2015 he returned to Cure Leukaemia to take on the gruelling 21 stages once more.

In 2017, Geoff cycled the Tour de France for a 4th time as well as the Giro D’Italia and La Vuelta to help Cure Leukaemia raise an additional £1m towards the expansion of one of Europe’s biggest Haematology Centres in Birmingham.

In 2022, 17 years after he first took on the Tour, Geoff is due to ride the Tour for the final time alongside 24 other amateur cyclists with the aim of raising £1m for Cure Leukaemia to fund the national Trials Acceleration Programme (TAP) which the charity began funding in January 2020. Consisting of 12 blood cancer centres across the UK, TAP enables patients from a catchment area of 20 million to access potentially life-saving treatments for all forms of blood cancer through clinical trials and Geoff and his team’s efforts would have funded this network for 12 months.

As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, the 2020 event was cancelled leaving Cure Leukaemia with a £1,000,000 shortfall. The team was committed to completing their challenge in 2021 however, and through their official partnership with The Tour de France, Geoff and the team incredibly surpassed their £1,000,000 target for Cure Leukaemia.

Monica Santini, CEO, Santini Cycling Wear said:

“We are delighted to be partners of ‘The Tour 21’ and to join forces with Cure Leukaemia. The 25 amateur cyclists will wear a special Santini kit dedicated to ‘The Tour 21′”.

“We hope this partnership will help to increase the fundraising and accelerate Leukaemia research.”

Jon Sangan, UK Custom Sales Director, Santini said: “Santini has long admired Cure Leukaemia’s tireless charity work to bring pioneering drug and transplant treatments to blood cancer patients in the UK. With the latest announcement of Santini and Cure Leukaemia becoming partners to The Tour de France, it was only natural that we join forces to create a very special Tour21 event and London to Paris experience for the charity’s supporters. We look forward to supporting the charity with not only the finest cycling apparel, but also our desire to help the cause of Leukaemia research.”

Laurent Lachaux, Commercial Director, Amaury Sport Organisation said:

“We are very proud to build bridges between Cure Leukaemia and Santini, creating synergies for both of our partners. This partnership will strengthen the link that unites the Tour de France with Tour 21 and Santini while helping to create more impactful activities that are in line with the Tour de France long lasting charity action plan. A.S.O. is committed to help raising awareness of Cure Leukaemia and we hope that joining forces with a recognized international brand like Santini will help the Tour 21 to increase fundraising and accelerate Leukaemia research.”

Cure Leukaemia Chief Executive James McLaughlin said:

“We are delighted to welcome Santini into the Cure Leukaemia family. They have a storied history in the sport as one of the most prestigious cycling brands in the world. In securing this partnership, we hope that it not only raises awareness of Cure Leukaemia and the Tour 21 event at a global level but also provides us with the opportunity to secure increased fundraising potential and expand our range of cycling events and opportunities going forward.”

“Led by Geoff, cycling has played such a key role in the growth of Cure Leukaemia since 2015 and we are immensely proud to now be officially associated with Santini.”

“Each of the twenty-five cyclists will be putting themselves through pain to raise vital funds for Cure Leukaemia so it is only right that we kit the team out in the best apparel possible, and Santini were only too happy to support!”

Editor’s Notes

  • There are currently six places remaining on the Tour 21 Team in 2022. To register interest in joining Geoff’s team for The Tour 21 go to: thetour21.co.uk.
  • Those interested in taking part in the event in 2023 can also register interest via thetour21.co.uk.
  • If you would like to join Santini and sponsor The Tour 21, you can find out more about the opportunities here.
  • For more information about Cure Leukaemia, go to: cureleukaemia.co.uk
  • To make a donation to Geoff and the Tour 21 Team go to justgiving.com/campaign/thetour21

About Santini Cycling Wear

Santini Cycling Wear was founded in 1965 by Pietro Santini who spotted a market for technical cycling clothing as a result of his abiding passion for the sport and competition. In what would seem like a revolutionary and contrarian choice today, the Bergamo-based company made the pivotal decision to design and manufacture all of its products exclusively in Italy. Each item is designed and developed by a design team with a deep-rooted passion for the two-wheel world to meet four key requirements: fit, performance, comfort, and durability.

Santini currently produces 5,000 items of clothing per day and exports 80% of its output. It is deeply committed to ongoing investment in researching and developing innovative textiles and new production methods. However, people – athletes – remain its central focus as it continues to refine its creations to allow cyclists to pursue their sporting passions in a comfortable but inimitably stylish kit (www.santinicycling.com)

About Cure Leukaemia

Founded in 2003 by Professor Charlie Craddock CBE and patients Graham Silk and Michael Woolley, Cure Leukaemia helps to bring pioneering drug and transplant treatments to blood cancer patients across the United Kingdom. The charity funds the Trials Acceleration Programme (TAP) network comprising 12 blood cancer centres across the UK.

As a result, the specialist research nurses funded at these centres allow clinical trials of pioneering and potentially life-saving treatments for blood cancer to run, giving patients from a catchment area of over 20 million access to these new therapies. Cure Leukaemia also funds the TAP network’s Hub based at the internationally renowned Centre for Clinical Haematology at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham to co-ordinate and accelerate the delivery and assessment of these pioneering trials.

Without the expert research nurses to ensure patients are constantly monitored and cared for; these trials would not run, and patients would miss the opportunity to access potentially life-saving therapies. The aim of Cure Leukaemia is to raise money to fund more research nurses and provide world-class treatment for its patients. Only by funding more nurses in more hospitals, can more blood cancer patients benefit from access to potentially life-saving treatment.

In 2017 Cure Leukaemia raised an additional £1m to help fully fund the expansion of the Centre for Clinical Haematology. The transformational £3.4m project doubled the Centre’s capacity for blood cancer patients treated, clinical trials opened, and research nurses employed. Capacity for an additional 75 jobs has been created, and it has allowed stem cell transplants to be performed as an outpatient for the first time.

Also in 2017, Cure Leukaemia was selected to be one of Deutsche Bank’s two UK Charities of the Year for 2018 and 2019, a partnership that has raised £2m and made its nationwide transition possible.

In 2021, Cure Leukaemia were announced as the first Official UK Charity for the Tour de France.

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