Origin of the Tour du ALS
What was initially intended as a cycling tour in France for a private group has resulted in an annual sporting fundraising event. Under the slogan "Together we kick ass against ALS ", hundreds of cyclists, runners and hikers climb Mont Ventoux every year to raise money for research into the cause of ALS.
Gert-Jan Pijl & Bernard Bos initiators of the Tour du ALS:
Gert-Jan: “At the end of 2011 I contacted the ALS Netherlands Foundation. We, family and friends, wanted to go to Mont Ventoux to raise money for ALS because Gijs van de Water, the father of my wife Irmgard, suffered from this disease. At the same time, Bernard Bos, former director of the De Oosthoek school community in Hardenberg, also contacted ALS Netherlands.
A 33-year-old colleague, Marlinda Tamminga, was diagnosed with ALS half a year after giving birth to her third child. She motivated Bernard to take up the challenge with colleagues and to cycle for a good cause. Both plans reached ALS Netherlands, after which PR & Events manager Ineke Zaal initiated a meeting in the center of the country. The Tour du ALS soon became a fact.
The best thing I think is that this event originated from the ffeeling with the two ALS patients as a source of inspiration. We started with around 25 people and now the "family" has grown to hundreds of participants, ALS patients and volunteers who make a positive contribution in the fight against ALS. "
A fun fact is that Bernard cycled all editions himself.
Tour du ALS under the wings of ALS the Netherlands
In 2017, the Board of the Tour du ALS Foundation chose to join forces with the ALS Netherlands Foundation. For that reason, the Tour du ALS Foundation was merged with the ALS Netherlands Foundation on 1 September 2017. Gert-Jan Pijl, chairman of the Tour du ALS Foundation, will stay on as a volunteer of the ALS Netherlands Foundation to help realize many more beautiful Tour editions!