Thomas Pidock leading the Alpe D'Huez climb in the 2022 Tour de France.
Thomas Pidock leading the Alpe D'Huez climb in the 2022 Tour de France; (photo/MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP via Getty Images)

Watch Out, Strava: MTB Gold Medalist and Tour de France Stage Winner Tom Pidcock Launches New App

Olympian MTB champion and Tour de France stage winner Tom Pidcock did a soft launch last year of a new cycling app. Now, with the backing of Dutch investors, Link My Ride is ready for a global stage.

A social bike riding app called Link My Ride has received backing from a Dutch investment firm, leading to a global launch later this year.

The app started as the brainchild of multidiscipline professional cyclist Tom Pidcock and his former teammate Jacques Sauvagnargues. The pair envisioned a tool that could help cyclists meet and network all over the world. Link My Ride allows cyclists to find cycling clubs, meet fellow riders nearby, and create or join social events, such as women-only rides.

Pidcock and Sauvagnargues managed a soft launch of the app in 2021. (Pidcock was winning his mountain bike gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics about the same time.)

But with the July announcement of support from the Dutch Sport Tech Fund, the app fully launches at the end of the year, Forbes reported. The Dutch Sport Tech Fund is also a startup, founded in 2020 by Mark Snijders, a former professional footballer.

Pidcock and Sauvagnargues have big ambitions for the app. They believe it could become a competitor to Strava, which has about 100 million users.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Link My Ride (@linkmyride)

Cycling as a ‘Social Sport’

In a Q&A with the Dutch Sport Tech Fund, Sauvagnargues said he has always seen cycling as a “social sport.” He went looking for an app that could connect him with other cyclists “so that we could travel beautiful routes together.”

But no such app existed, so he started working with his colleague and childhood best friend Pidcock to develop one. Since launching, they’ve received a lot of positive feedback from cyclists, Sauvagnargues said.

“Many pro cyclists I told about Link My Ride reacted enthusiastically and shared a message about our app on social media, quickly downloading the app 2,000 times,” he said. “Then we knew: there is a demand for our solution.”

Sauvagnargues said he wanted to partner with an investment fund that looks for new sports technologies.

“There is also a nice overlap in the other startups in which Dutch Sport Tech Fund invests and our company,” he said. “I, therefore, see many synergy benefits and opportunities to reinforce each other. We, therefore, hope to be able to use the ecosystem and help each other grow.”

On its website, the Dutch Sport Tech Fund sets clear expectations for the app.

“The cycling market will grow >20% per year in the coming period,” the page for Link My Ride says. “[Link My Ride] wants to activate 250,000 users within 24 months via approximately 8,500 clubs and 3,200 companies. In year 2, a profit must already be made.”

Part of selling the app to users will involve the celebrity endorsement of cyclists like Pidcock. That shouldn’t be a problem, considering that he just won the iconic Alpe d’Huez stage of this year’s Tour de France.

Thomas Pidock leading the Alpe D'Huez climb in the 2022 Tour de France.
5 Iconic Climbs in the Tour de France
Nothing blows the peloton apart like a mountain stage — here are the five most iconic climbs of the Tour de France. Read more…
Andrew McLemore
By

An award-winning journalist and photographer, Andrew McLemore brings more than 14 years of experience to his position as Associate News Editor for Lola Digital Media. Andrew is a musician, climber and traveler who currently lives in Cuenca, Ecuador, which he uses as a home base for adventures throughout the Americas. When he's not writing, playing gigs or exploring the outdoors, he's hanging out with his dog Campana.