Buzzing from the success of today’s event in Pitlochry, IMG Challenger World, organisers of the Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Caledonia, have announced that they have opened up pre-registration for the 2013 event which will take place on Sunday 12th May.
Applicants will get an exclusive 24 hour window to register for the event when places go on sale later this year and, with demand for the 5000 places now outstripping supply, those 24 hours could make all the difference to those budding cyclists hoping to take on the 81 mile cycling challenge in aid of charity.
Marie Curie Cancer Care is the official Charity Partner of the Etape Series and all money raised by cyclists will enable Marie Curie nurses to provide free end of life care and support to terminally ill people and their families in their own homes or in dedicated Marie Curie hospices.
Today thousands of cyclists gathered on the start line alongside household names, athletes and elite cyclists who heard a rousing Scottish welcome from Member of Parliament for Perth & North Perthshire, Pete Wishart and Robbie McIntosh, Marie Curie’s Scottish Events Manager.
The fastest time, and first over the finish line, was claimed by David McIntosh (36), an Australian insolvency lawyer now living in London with a strong time of 3 hours 37 minutes 15 seconds. Fastest female was taken by Mona Petrie with a time of 3 hours 52 minutes and 45 seconds.
James Tibbets, Event Director, IMG Challenger World, said: “We are absolutely delighted with how well the event went this weekend. Despite the slightly chilly, damp and particularly windy weather conditions which slowed everyone down, Highland Perthshire heated everyone up with hot food, drinks and warm Highland welcomes. We’d also like to thank Marie Curie Cancer Care, Perth & Kinross Council, and the many sponsors involved in the event who contribute to ensuring it is a fantastic experience for cyclists.
“There was a real festival atmosphere at the finish line in Pitlochry and it was fantastic to see so many cyclists crossing it with beaming smiles. Feedback has been extremely positive with everyone commenting on the stunning scenery on the route and the unique opportunity to enjoy these vistas on safe and traffic free roads.”
He added: “We are already in planning for next year’s event and are excited about the future of the Etape Series of cycling events including the Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Pennines which takes place on October 7th this year. Etape Caledonia is now firmly established as one of the UK’s major cycling events and we expect sign up for 2013 to be very strong.”
Official charity partner of the Etape Series, Marie Curie Cancer Care, had over 800 fundraisers in their Daffodil Team at Sunday’s event, who were supported all the way to the finish line with fundraising ideas and incentives as well as exclusive tips from the Endura Racing pro riders.
Marie Curie Cancer Care have confirmed today that their fundraising total had already reached £150,000 and with sponsorship money still coming in over the next two months the final figure is expected to climb.
Robbie McIntosh, Marie Curie Cancer Care's Scottish Events Manager, said: “We have loved being a part of this amazing event and seeing all the cyclists cross the finish line. We're especially proud of our all Daffodil Team cyclists who have completed today's challenge to raise money for us.
“Even though the race is now over, there's still plenty of time for cyclists to fundraise for Marie Curie Cancer Care, and further donations can also be made by ringing 08700 340 040.
“All the money raised will help our staff continue providing free end of life care to those with terminal cancer and other life limiting illnesses in their own homes or at one of the charity's nine hospices, two of which are in Glasgow and Edinburgh.”
Meanwhile, for those participants who have firmly caught the cycling bug, there are only 140 general entry places left for the IMG Challenger World’s' second and new closed road sportive, the Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Pennines, in October this year. A recent press ride to test the course has led to reports that the Pennines route is Etape Caledonia's “tougher little brother” and demand for the 2500 places is expected to be high.
Entries and expressions of interest can be made for both events online at www.etapecaledonia.co.uk