Article by Christophe Diricks, Bertrand Levy, Santiago Fernandez
As featured in LPEA Insight/ Out magazine #20, December 2021.
Hundreds of professionals at KPMG Luxembourg have been bitten by the cycling bug! Cycling sharpens our mental focus and is an ideal way to live our values. There’s lots in common between serving our clients and riding our bikes — both require well-defined objectives, courage and working together to go further.
Cycling in Luxembourg — past and present
Luxembourg’s relationship with cycling is a long and rewarding one. Its first cycling associations appeared in the late 19th century, helping to rapidly develop the Grand Duchy’s cycling culture. Luxembourg boasts many cycling champions and no less than five Tour de France wins (François Faber in 1909, Nicolas Frantz in 1927 and 1928, Charly Gaul in 1958 and lately Andy Schleck in 2010). And not to forget Elsy Jacobs, the first-ever female world champion in 1958!
Today, Luxembourg’s cycling culture is still going strong. With its extensive 600km network of impeccable cycling routes (set to expand to over 1,000km over the coming years), there are many ways to explore this tiny country by bicycle.
There’s plenty to delight off-road enthusiasts as well, who can discover the country’s picturesque landscapes through a network of signposted trails, including the Müllerthal area, the Terres Rouges or the Lac de la Haute Sûre region to name only a few.
Cycling is the new jogging!
Christophe Diricks: “With our busy lifestyles, people wanting to lose weight often choose running or jogging for convenience — they just need an hour (shower included) and a small bag. However, if you weigh around 95kg as I do, your knees could suffer!
“I discovered cycling a decade ago like many so-called middle-aged men in Lycra (MAMILs) and eventually replaced my running shoes with my cycling outfit. Since then, a group of friends and I have organized a challenging cycling trip every year, climbing some of the most iconic mountains in Europe like the Galibier, Alpe d’Huez, Stelvio, Großglockner, Kitzbühel and the Ballons d’Alsace!
“These 2-day challenges, involving a hefty 300km and 6,000m of altitude gain, require year-round training — helping you keep your weight down and the doctor away. Also, taking up cycling is one of the best ways to strengthen your immunity, with regular cyclists 50 percent less likely to get sick.
“Last but not least, joining a cycling group or club is a wonderful way to meet people and make new friends. Cycling with like-minded people will help expand your social circle and give you a new perspective towards life.”
Cycling @ KPMG
The health of our employees is a top priority at KPMG. We actively promote healthy lifestyles and sports, and cycling is no exception! In 2021, we launched a range of cycling initiatives, including offering our staff branded cycling outfits at preferential rates through a dedicated webshop. We also introduced a lease bike scheme for senior employees to further encourage soft mobility and cleaner modes of transportation.
Along with providing our employees with support and resources to maintain their physical and mental wellbeing, these cycling initiatives help us reduce our environmental impact and fulfill our worldwide commitment to becoming a net-zero carbon organization.
Also, we share our passion for cycling with our clients and friends through regular events like our traditional “Ride to the Beach” event during our annual KPMG Plage (which will hopefully return in 2022 post-Covid).
Last but not least, we’ve been a proud premium partner of the Skoda Tour de Luxembourg since 2021. This year’s race, the 81st edition, was spectacular, with some of the world’s top cyclists keeping up the suspense until the final stage of this 5-day cycling competition through the Grand-Duchy.
David Capocci, KPMG Luxembourg’s Managing Partner: “Thanks to the Grand Duchy’s well-earned reputation as a cycle-friendly country, cycling has always been an integral part of KPMG Luxembourg’s DNA. Our wide variety of cycling initiatives, programs and sponsorships boost the physical and mental health of our staff and help bring us closer to our ambitious environmental goals.”