MARIE Curie Cancer Care Etape Caledonia, an IMG Challenger World event, today opened entries for what has become the UK’s leading closed road sportive which is set to return to Highland Perthshire on May 12, 2013.
The 81-mile Etape Caledonia has sold out in the last two consecutive years and, with a surge in the popularity of cycling thanks to the Olympics, organisers are anticipating that demand for places will be higher than ever.
Over 7,000 cyclists have already registered their interest on the Etape Caledonia website therefore prospective participants are encouraged to enter as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
Etape Caledonia, now in its seventh successful year was the UK’s first closed road sportive and is the largest event of its kind outside of mainland Europe. Part of the most successful cycling event series in the UK, alongside its ‘tougher little brother’ event, Etape Pennines, it is estimated to generate over £1million of additional value to the local economy through tourism related spend including accommodation, food and visitor attractions.
With strong links to charity partners, the event has also been instrumental in encouraging participants to raise well in excess of £1.5million over its seven-year history for its title charity partners.
Marie Curie Cancer Care, the event’s title charity partner, is this year encouraging all participants to pledge their support to the charity and to fundraise. Their efforts will help provide free nursing care and support for people with terminal cancer and other illnesses in their own homes or in one of the charity’s hospices.
James Robinson, managing director of IMG Challenger World, said: “With cycling placed firmly in the hearts and minds of the British public following an incredible sporting year, I am delighted that we will be returning to Scotland for the seventh Etape Caledonia. We encourage participants to enter as soon as they can- last year’s event sold out in record time of just six weeks- and to make their commitment to fundraising for Marie Curie Cancer Care right from the start.”
Marie Curie Cancer Care’s director of dundraising, Fabian French, said: “We are extremely pleased to be working with this premier cycling event again. Last year, our supporters raised £285,000 and we’re hoping to improve on that in 2013 by extending our invitation for all participants to join our Daffodil Team, where we will offer additional support and advice all the way to the finish line.”
He continued: “This 81-mile ride offers cyclists an unrivalled individual challenge but also the opportunity to help others by raising valuable funds to provide more free nursing care and support to terminally ill people and their families. Marie Curie Nurses cared for over 3,500 terminally ill people at home acrossScotlandlast year, as well as providing care at the charity’s hospices in Edinburgh and Glasgow.”
Participants wishing to register for Etape Caledonia and raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Care should visit www.etapecaledonia.co.uk