THE Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Caledonia has sold out of general entry places in just 72 hours, a record time for the UK’s leading cycling event. A few ‘Pledge Places’ remain, which requires the participant to commit to raising a minimum of £300 for the event’s title charity in order to take part, but they are expected to fill this weekend.
The rush to secure a place in the 81-mile event in Perthshire, Scotland, which had a 48-hour window for those who had previously registered interest, opened for general entries on Wednesday – alongside its ‘tougher little brother’, Etape Pennines – shows a clear post-Olympic interest in cycling and an increasing demand for premier closed road cycling events in the UK.
Prospective participants who failed to secure a place in Etape Caledonia need not hang up their cycling shoes, there are still places available for the Etape Pennines in County Durham where riders have an opportunity to test their legs over 78 miles of stunning countryside.
Pennines quickly established itself as one of the toughest Sportives in the UK following its debut in 2012. Hailed as “beautiful and brutal” by Cycling Plus magazine, the event challenges riders over 2,000metres of climbs but with speedy downhill sections and breathtaking views, hard work is certainly rewarded.
Marie Curie Cancer Care, the event’s charity partner is also encouraging all participants to raise funds for the charity. Marie Curie provides free hands-on nursing care to people with a terminal illness, either in their own home or one of the charity’s nine hospices.
To celebrate the growth of the Etape Series, IMG’s partnership with Marie Curie Cancer Care and in recognition of the incredible work they do, IMG will contribute pledge place entry fees for Etape Pennines in 2013. Which means you can now enter for free with a commitment to raise funds for this exceptionally worthy cause. General places are £63.
James Robinson, managing director of IMG Challenger World said: “Cyclists are spoilt for choice this year with two fantastic Etape events taking place on inspiring courses in wonderful locations. The series is growing in popularity year by year and with such demand for the inspirational closed road courses that Etape Series events deliver, we are hoping to offer more opportunities in the future. Watch this space!”
Marie Curie Cancer Care’s director of fundraising, Fabian French, said: “It’s great news the Etape Caledonia has been so popular. We’ve already had a fantastic amount of cyclists committing to raising funds for Marie Curie and there’s still plenty of time to sign up and join our Daffodil Team. Those who missed out on the Etape Caledonia can also still register for aCharity Pledge Placein the Etape Pennines.”
Participants wishing to register for Etape Pennines and raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Care should visit www.etapepennines.co.uk