AS OVER 5,000 cyclists prepare to tackle some of Scotland’s most spectacular terrain next Sunday, a group of local pipers are also in training to ensure they have enough puff to pipe the participants through some of the toughest stages of the Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Caledonia in Pitlochry.
Gillie McNab, secretary of the Vale of Atholl Pipe Band in Pitlochry, has brought together a team of pipers to rouse the participants at key stages of the route including at the spectacular Queen’s View, the top of Schiehallion and at the finish line in Pitlochry.
She commented: “We see these cyclists at various stages of the event, giving it their all, and sometimes a wee drone of the pipes is enough to spur them on to cycling that little bit faster towards their goal.”
The piping is unique to the Caledonia event in the Etape Series, and organisers hope it delivers a decidedly Scottish experience for the thousands of cyclists who take part in the event, many of whom travel from all over the United Kingdom and from abroad to take part.
Event organiser, James Robinson, of IMG Challenger World, commented: “Etape Caledonia takes in some of Scotland’s most stunning scenery, it makes sense that we should cycle to the sound of a uniquely Scottish soundtrack. It’s become a tradition within the event to have pipers on the route and at the finish line and we’ll be looking forward to hearing those rousing notes of Highland Cathedral next Sunday.”
The Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Caledonia, arguably the UK’s most popular closed road sportive event, sold out in just 72 hours and just over 5,000 cyclists and their families are expected to arrive in the area next weekend for the event.
Sibling events within the Etape Series include the tougher little brother Etape Pennines, a stunning but challenging sportive, and forgiving little sister Etape Mercia, an entry level event. Entries are open at www.etapemercia.co.uk and www.etapepennines.co.uk