Grand Départ Classic 2020

Take on the the first stage of the 2020 Tour de France

Cycle like a pro and help stop prostate cancer being a killer! The Grand Départ Classic is your chance to cycle the first stage of the 2020 Tour de France.

Unfortunately, this year's event has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. We are currently planning for next year's event, and will have updated information as soon as possible. If you have any questions about the event, please get in touch on

2021's Grand Départ Classic will be taking place in Britanny. You can register your interest in 2021 now and be the first to hear when we open registrations. 

Prove your prowess in the peloton, ace the route, ascend through the ranks of the fundraising leaderboard and make a real difference to the lives of men with prostate cancer.

It's a fabulous experience, with an amazing cast of characters that participate and support your participation. Great camaraderie, great ride, great times...

- David Lundholm, 2018 rider


On Saturday 29 June 2019, 237 cyclists took on the first stage of the 2019 Tour de France on a circular route in Brussels, just one week before the pros. It was the adventure of a lifetime, with cyclists coming from all walks of life: young and not so young, seasoned veterans and some who'd picked up a bike for the first time since childhood to take on the challenge.

Many had been inspired by the Tour de France, many had had their lives touched by prostate cancer and all had their personal reasons for taking part. To date, over £700,000 has been raised to help stop men dying of prostate cancer.

What's the plan?

grand depart champagne

This year, we're aiming to recruit 200 riders to raise over £250,000 to help beat prostate cancer. We'll take care of all the logistics, from booking accommodation to getting you from the airport to he hotel in Nice. All you'll need to do is focus on the road ahead.

Day 1: Once you arrive at the airport in Nice there will be a free shuttle bus waiting to take you directly to the hotel. On arrival at the hotel you'll be checked into your room, followed by a leisurely afternoon with a pre-ride team meal in the evening. 

Day 2: Ride Day. Early breakfast followed by a short warm up ride to the official start of the 2020 Tour de France. The ride will begin at 7am, and you’ll have until 7pm to cycle the distance of your choice, finishing back in Nice. After you cross the finish line, you'll have a short coach journey back to the hotel for your recovery and a celebration meal.

Day 3: Following breakfast, the event ends and you're free to make your way back home. 

Start to finish a very well organised event, not a sportive, a family.

- Gary Evans, 2016, 2017 & 2018 rider


The 2020 route

The 1st stage is an undulating out-and-back race in Nice, involving three loops totalling 170km. You will however have the option of one loop (50km), two loops (100km) or three loops (170km) which you can decide on the day.

The Grand Départ of the Tour de France 2020 will mark the second time that the capital of the Alpes-Maritimes department will have hosted the Grand Départ with the last time being in 1981. It was indeed in 1906, during the 4th edition that the Tour visited Nice for the first time. 

You can also view a GPX of the small loop and big loop.

What do I need to do to take part?

You must be 18 or over to take part.

Option 1: Minimum sponsorship

Pay a £99 non-refundable registration fee and then pledge to raise a minimum of £1,000 in sponsorship (excluding Gift Aid).

Option 2: Self-funder 

Pay a £99 non-refundable registration fee and then pay a further £349 to cover your full event costs. You'd also have to pay an additional fee if you choose to utilise our bike hire service in Nice (£100) or bike transfer service from the UK (£195). We'd then ask you to raise as much as you can with a recommended minimum of £250.

Bike options

Please be reminded that this year flights are not included unfortunately, however we have a few different bike options for you to choose from:

Bike hire

You can hire a road bike out in Nice which will be available to you at the hotel on the Friday for a practice ride, and to make sure it’s the right fit for you. Mechanics will also be on hand to ensure it’s the right set up and fully working. The additional cost for self-funders is approximately £100 for the two days, but for minimum sponsorship riders it will be included within your fundraising amount.

Bike transfer 

You can have access to bike hubs across the UK, similar to Big Yellow storage depots, to drop off your bike around 4-5 days before event weekend. You'll be reunited with your bike when you arrive at the Nice hotel on Friday. After the ride you'll have 4-5 days to collect your bike from the same UK bike hub.

The current bike hub locations are Leeds, Manchester, Bristol & London,  with scope to add more dependant on the locations of our riders. The additional cost of self-funders is £195, but for minimum sponsorship riders it will be included within your fundraising amount.

Transferring your own bike

You can of course choose to transfer your own bike to Nice, using a bike box or something similar. As a self-funder if you choose this option you will not have to pay for a bike option.


Jersey competition

In the spirit of the Tour de France's four jerseys, we've been inspired to create our very own Grand Depart Classic jersey competition. Our four jerseys will each be awarded on the eve of the ride:

grand depart classic jersey competition winners

  • Yellow jersey: overall top fundraiser on the day before the ride
  • Polka jersey: leading fundraiser two months before the ride
  • Green jersey: first person to raise over £1,000 in sponsorship
  • White jersey: top fundraiser under the age of 36
  • Team Classification awards (those in a team of four or more): top fundraising team

Check out the Jersey competition for this year's ride.

The Grand Depart Classic 2016

What's included

We'll look after you and your bike throughout the event, from the moment you arrive on Friday in Nice, to the moment you say farewell on the Sunday. The support we provide includes:

  • Two nights accommodation
  • All meals from Friday evening through to Sunday morning
  • A choice of a bike hire service in Nice or a bike transfer service from one of our hubs around the UK (London, Leeds, Manchester & Bristol)
  • Fully signed route, with feed stations, mechanical and medical support
  • Finishers medal
  • Your own Prostate Cancer UK cycle jersey
  • Professional rider numbers to wear and keep, confirming your unique entry
  • GPX route file

Contact us with a question
The Grand Depart Classic 2016

Ride details

How tough is it to cycle a stage of the Tour de France?

This year's route is going to be undulating, on a route which consists or three loops totalling 170km. It is however suitable for new and experienced cyclists, as you have the option of one loop (50km), two loops (100km) or three loops (170km) depending on how you feel.

Many of our 2019 riders started cycling again for the first time since their childhood and successfully completed the ride. If you are concerned about its difficulty, give Jermayne from the Sporting Events team a call on 0203 310 7034. He completed last year's route as well as the year before, and can tell you want to expect in 2020.

How fast will I have to cycle?

You'll need to cycle at a minimum speed of 12 mph to successfully complete the stage. Riders will begin the stage at approximately 7am, and have until around 7pm to cross the finish line.

What support will I get to help me prepare?

We work alongside renowned coaching company RunningWithUs to provide you with expert training plans and advice on a wide range of topics from getting started, ride kit, bike handling, group riding, strength and conditioning, nutrition and more. You'll also be able to speak to the coaches at RunningWithUs throughout your training to ensure you are fully fit on ride day.

What type of bike will I need?

We recommend using a road bike to help with speed, style and efficiency.

Contact us with a question