Rory Barnett

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Le Loop 2023 - The Pain in Spain!

“An amateur should think long and hard about attempting a stage of the Tour de France. 2 would probably necessitate a visit to the doctor, 3 may require a psychiatrist.” Bernard Hinault (5 time Tour winner, aka ‘The Badger’).

This summer, however, I will be ignoring Bernard’s sage advice, and riding the first 3 stages of the Tour, to raise money for the William Wates Memorial Trust. Every year, this incredible charity recruits a bunch of foolhardy intrepid cyclists to take part in ‘Le Loop,’ which follows the same route as the professional riders (which is where the similarities between us and the professionals end).

The race this year begins on the beautiful coast of Northern Spain. But there’ll be no time to Basque in the sunshine (see what I did there?), because we will be setting off from Bilbao, then cycling along the coast to San Sebastian, before crossing the French border into Bayonne.

It’s going to be long and hilly – 120 miles a day for 3 consecutive days. We will burn almost 30,000 calories in total – the equivalent of 130 pints of beer or 50 bottles of champagne. The distance each day is the same as a full circuit of the M25.

The mission of the William Wates Memorial Trust is to help the most disadvantaged young people keep away from a life of crime and violence, and fulfil their potential. It was set up in memory of William Wates, who was tragically killed in 1996. I will be riding alongside his brother, my great friend Rick Wates, who has worked tirelessly with the Trust since it was founded.

‘Le Loop’ is their main annual fund-raising event, and had to be cancelled because of COVID in 2020 and 2021. Therefore it would be great to help make this fund-raising year an extra special one.

The last time I rode in this event was 2014. I was due to take part in 2020 and 21, but the pandemic put paid to that. So three years have passed, and I’ve now reached the ripe old age of Cincuenta y algo – no longer a pollo primavera (enough dodgy Spanish!) I will continue my training for “The Pain in Spain.” Any donations will be very gratefully received.

Muchas Gracias!

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Thank you to my Sponsors


David Barnett


Your Famalam (is A Mad Ting)

Oh so proud, a teeny bit worried and hope the gym and training pays off!! 💪 ❤️❤️❤️



Awesome ! None of us will ever whinge in the gym again ! Best of luck Rory.



Well done Rory ⭐️


The Swerlings

Come back with your shield or on it


James Sleeman

Brilliant - am actually jealous (sitting here in my armchair…)


Andy & Sorrell

buena suerte - Espero que tu trasero no se ponga demasiado adolorida #googletranslate


Kelley And Dan Bourgoise

Go Rory Barnett! x


Mark Davies

Well done Rory


Roly Fisher

Good luck Muchacho, may you Indur-rain & shine!


Scott Hylton

£50 now, another £50 if you finish... Good luck, my man.


Eleanor Doody

Best of luck Rory! That is quite a challenge. Back the chamois cream!


Elinor Hamilton

Slap Egyptian Magic on all your sensitive little areas, and you'll be reet. Oh yes, and a bit of training might help. Either way, enjoy (if you can). xx


Charles Robarts

Don't let the badger down


Edward Fenn-smith

Amazing, Rory, well done! Just wanted to make sure that you actually completed the challenge before making my donation!


Gemma Freeman


Mr A R Merton


David Dudding

Will it be sunny or are you planning on cycling Indurain?


Seeeeester X

Go big lycra-wearing bro. Don’t forget to keep your pedals up when you’re going downhill and no flappy t-shirts! Love you xx


Helen Balke

Good luck Ror xxx


Daisy, Bear And The Boys

Rory best of luck. A wonderful challenge and a fantastic charity. All love Daisy Bear and the boys x


Barnaby Lewis

Good luck Rory! I’m sure you will smash it!


Oli Christie

Bon chance, fils. 🚴‍♂️ Vamos!!


David Van Der Gaag

Vamos Rory! Brilliant effort.


Rosy Day

Ciclo Segura(o) Rory! Well done you.


Rob Smith

Good's a fantastic support team. Go at a comfortable pace to the first checkpoint each day. Eat lots. Pack for the next day the night before. Go to bed early. Lay off the "pot Belge".


Jemima Mcdonnell


Scott Hylton

Well done, dude! VERY impressive!


Joan Brown

Good luck Rory! x


Piers Boothman


Sophy Harries


Sophie Ajram


Marcus Evans

Great cause, great for your body and soul -enjoy!


Joe, Charlie, I,s&c

What a wonderful thing! Best of luck Rors!



Whatever the Spanish is for ‘chapeau’. For my own challenge, I shall try and drink the 130 pints of beer that you are shedding over the same three day period.


Fleur Evans

Masses of luck!!


Colin Mclean

Rather your knees than mine, Rory. Go you!


Lucy Peasley

Good luck! From all the Peas x


Sara Starling

May your backpack be filled with ice pops & your joints well oiled!


Jo Lindley

Good luck Rory!


Onhold Studio

Go ahead, pedal faster, climb higher, and push yourself to new limits. We know you can do it. Good luck from your friends at Onhold Studio.



In the words of Christopher Cross xx


Lorraine Hodgson

Good Luck Rory 😊





Piers Fisher


Hugh Paulley

£1 to take you to 5K Also doing a £10 for effort!!