The genesis of Tour du ALS

How did Tour du ALS actually begin?

What was initially intended as a cycling tour in France for a private group, has resulted in an annual sporting fundraising event with the motto "Together we kick ALS out of the world".

For example, Ivan Sweebroek and Gert-Jan Pijl contacted the ALS Netherlands Foundation at the end of 2011. Gert-Jan wanted to go as a family, with his wife Irmgard as treasurer, and friends to Mont Ventoux to raise money for ALS. Irmgard's father, Gijs van de Water, suffered from this disease. 

At the same time, Bernard Bos, former director of the De Oosthoek comprehensive school in Hardenberg, also contacted ALS Netherlands. One of his colleagues, 33-year-old Marlinda Tamminga, was diagnosed with ALS. She motivated Bernard to take up the challenge together with colleagues and to cycle for a good cause.

Both plans reached the ALS Netherlands Foundation, after which PR & Events manager Ineke Zaal initiated a meeting in the center of the country. Tour du ALS was soon to be a fact.


“I think the best thing is that this event originated from the family feeling with the two ALS patients as a source of inspiration,” says Gert-Jan. “We started with less than 25 people and now the 'family' has grown to hundreds of participants, ALS patients and volunteers who are making a special positive contribution to the fight against ALS.”