James in Tenerife

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 round 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 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 don’t know still 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 Tours 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 clients say about James…

Outstanding, as you would expect!  Classic Cols of Corsica 2016

Great sense of humour and wonderful organisational skills.  C Gillham, Classic Cols of Corsica 2016

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 2016

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 2017

Top guy, can see he really enjoys running a tour and loves his Cycling. N Gain Classic Cols of the Picos 2018

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 2018

Well what can I say, fautless. It’s clear James still has a huge passion for cycling and his business. As a busines 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 2018