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Ever since he rode across America as a young man, the bike has been a force for good in the life of Geoff Coombes. He’s been able to translate those life-changing experiences on the bike into immense good for the world, starting the Tour de Cure in his native Australia and raising millions of dollars to find a cure for cancer.
Geoff has had some big adventures in his life, from that months-long bike trip across the U.S. to seeing South America by bus (and a boat, up the Amazon), amongst many other chapters in a three-year stint of travel. His biggest adventure, however, might just be what came after that.
On another bike tour, he says he remembers chatting with some people and saying, “Imagine if you could do this for a cause.” Fast forward to 2007 and that sentiment turned into the first Tour de Cure.
From humble origins with 28 participants the first year — “The first ride we were pretty clueless,” Geoff readily admits — it has grown immensely. Now, more than 10,000 participants attend the Tour de Cure’s events annually, which have expanded from rides to gala events. Bobby & Jens co-host Jens Voigt counts among the many participants over the years. And the total amount of money raised exceeds $AUD75 million, directly contributing to 50 scientific cancer breakthroughs. Geoff only sees more positive outcomes going forward.
“I think Covid if anything has shown us that the scientists are brilliant,” said Geoff. “They just need the funding to be able to chase their hypotheses and we will get those breakthroughs.”
Listen to the latest episode of Bobby & Jens for the full conversation.
“Bobby & Jens” is a weekly VeloNews podcast brought to you by Zwift. It stars former pros Bobby Julich and Jens Voigt and features conversations with top athletes, coaches, emerging stars, and other newsmakers from the wide world of cycling. A new episode drops every Friday. Subscribe now wherever you get your podcasts.