Published: 05 Feb 2020

AEO to NEC Cycle Challenge on the road to raising £21,000 for Events for GT15

14 May 2020 will see a team of event industry amateur cyclists ride from the offices of the AEO to the NEC in support of GT15 - one of cycling’s toughest charity challenges – and they are now recruiting additional companies from across the events sector to join them for the challenge!

The main GT15 event on 26 June, will see a 21 strong intrepid team of amateur cyclists ride the 3,400km Tour de France, one day ahead of the professional peloton.  This will include Cure Leukaemia patron, former footballer and cancer survivor Geoff Thomas, and the NEC Group’s Acting Managing Director for Conventions and Exhibitions, Ian Taylor.  Their hope is to raise a total of £1million for the event, through a number of ‘Events for GT15’ initiatives across the next few months.

On this occasion, Events for GT15 hopes to fundraise over £21,000 in a 143km cycle for intermediate to experienced cyclists, beginning at Watford Stadium - on the doorstep of the AEO offices - through to the NEC in Birmingham. The ride logistics are being managed by Freeman, whilst Mash Media have signed up as the official Events for GT15 media partner.  All funds raised will be invested directly into funding specialist research nurses at 12 Cure Leukaemia centres across the country to form the national Trials Acceleration Programme (TAP) network. 

Ian Taylor who has organised this event said: “When Geoff was looking for people to help raise £1million with a Tour de France ride, I jumped at the chance to team my passion with a good cause. Cure Leukaemia does fantastic work, but it needs more funding to continue its efforts.  This cycle for Events for GT15 will not only be a fun day with friends and colleagues but also make a considerable difference to our fundraising.” 

With industry figures including Chris Skeith (AEO), Chris Preston (Freeman), Trevor Foley (tfconnect), Simon Albert (Messe Frankfurt UK) amongst those who’ve already signed up, this is your chance to get involved and ride with Geoff Thomas and the team on 14th May 2020.

For a company contribution of £1000, each rider will receive an Events for GT15 cycling jersey, signed by Geoff Thomas, digital images from the ride, access to the after party at the NEC and every participating company will have their logo featured in a pre-ride, one-page advert in Exhibition News, the official media partner for Events for GT15.


Chris Preston said: “I’ve no doubt the events industry will get behind this fantastic project and we’re thrilled not just to be taking part but to also be providing logistics to support the riders of Events for GT15.”

Trevor Foley added: “On behalf of tfconnect we are delighted to be involved in Events for GT15.  Ian and the team have an incredible target, but with the industry’s support I have no doubt this can be achieved.”

Chris Skeith said: “I can’t think of a better way to support such a fantastic charity target than by uniting as an industry and showing how we come together to make great events happen.”

Simon Albert concluded: “Riding 143km with industry colleagues and an ex professional footballer was something I just couldn’t turn down. I’ll be delighted to take part this fantastic initiative, raising money for such a good cause.”

If cycling isn’t your thing, the team is still calling on all industry peers to support in whatever way they can via Ian Taylor’s Just Giving page.

If you are interested in taking part in Events for GT15 challenge, please visit

For more details on GT15, please visit the GT15 website.