James Thompson

Founder & Director

I have had many an adventure on a bike, both road bikes and mountain bikes. I can’t remember not having bikes in my life as they offered me independence when I was younger – a free way to travel around the countryside. Cycling from Nottingham, where I was studying Environmental Engineering, home to my parents’ place in Cornwall, never seemed like a mad idea at the time. My greatest cycling adventure was a 4000 miles tandem tour from the UK to Jordan.

So you could say that I am passionate about cycling. But this pales in comparison to my passion for providing the best possible cycling holidays for Marmot clients. I love cycling up a col, but I love seeing a client arrive at the top of a col with a huge grin on their face even more. To share in their achievements and to take pride in providing our clients with a constantly evolving and improving the product is my goal.

I love maps and exploring as well as carefully crafting routes that showcase an area. I am a perfectionist and take pleasure in the detail. I still don’t know if I am cut out for a desk job, but I do have a head for logistics; getting your support vans, hire bikes and guides to the right place at the right time is like a giant and satisfying game of chess.

I created Marmot Tours back in 2001 as a multi-activity holiday company based in the Pyrenees. I never expected Marmot to grow into what it has become, but I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved and will continue to evolve the company to be the best it can be.

What our cyclists say about James…

Outstanding, as you would expect!  Classic Cols of Corsica

Great sense of humour and wonderful organisational skills.  C Gillham, Classic Cols of Corsica

Worked hard. Always seemed to be there when needed. Informal yet treated you like a customer, wanting to ensure we all enjoyed our experience. Sorted out a mechanical issue I had, and quickly got me back on the bike. He really loves what he does and that helps to give a positive and friendly environment.  I McKenzie. Raid du Massif Central

Fun, knowledgeable, and just so damn competent. Great bike and tech know-how. No minor detail was ignored or forgotten in delivering an amazing trip. G Fleming Tour de France

Top guy, can see he really enjoys running a tour and loves his cycling. N Gain. Classic Cols of the Picos

Also went above and beyond- great sense of humour, bought extra snacks that were vegetarian, made sure I was eating enough, encouraged me up Angliru, overall really positive person, took great photos and really well organized. K Hall. Classic Cols of the Picos

Well, what can I say, faultless? It’s clear James still has a huge passion for cycling and his business. As a business owner myself, it was great to see James take a back seat and let Alan and David get on with it, proper leadership. It’s good to see that growth in the business has not diluted the core spirit of a tour with Marmot. M Gorshkov. Classic Cols of Catalonia

His passion for cycling and Marmot and its guests is clear to see. Simply, just a real pleasure to have had the boss lead us around, always supportive, always willing to go one step further to make the trip memorable. A Roberts. Classic Cols of the Picos

A fantastic person and guide. Always very supportive and encouraging. An excellent organiser – everything worked according to the plan. D Eilat. Classic Cols of the Southern Alps

Knowledgeable, professional and adaptable. Nothing was too much trouble for James who maintained his calm and friendly attitude throughout the week, regardless of anything that was thrown at him. M Molloy Raid Pyrenean

James made sure that everyone felt included, and was very careful with everyone’s allergies and meal preferences – that was very much appreciated! James also has a great sense of humour, is very organized, and is approachable. I feel we were very lucky to have James on our Raid Pyrenean. M Barnet. Raid Pyrenean 100 hr cycling challenge