PETE Wishart MP will be up early this Sunday morning as he officiates at the opening of the seventh Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Caledonia cycling sportive which starts in Pitlochry at 6.30am on 12th May.
What is now the UK’s biggest closed road cycling event, the Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Caledonia, run by IMG Challenger World, continues to grow in popularity. Attracting celebrities and well known individuals from across Scotland, some ‘weel kent’ faces expected to cross the start (and finish) lines this year include rock star and musician Gregor Philp from Deacon Blue, Perthshire adventurer and former round the world cycling world record holder Mark Beaumont, and Friends Reunited chief and well-known technology entrepreneur, Chris van der Kuyl.
Pete Wishart, also no stranger to the start line at Etape Caledonia, commented: “I am delighted to be opening this year’s Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Caledonia for a second year running. This is undoubtedly one of the area’s flagship events, and its incredible success has now given rise to other similar events across the country, including sibling cycling events Etape Pennines and Etape Mercia- for which entries are still open.
“Thousands of participants are raising money for Marie Curie Cancer Care this weekend, a very worthwhile cause, and the legacy of their fundraising efforts will be appreciated by many for years to come.”
The Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Caledonia 2013 sold out in just 72 hours, with over 5,000 participants registering to take part, drawn to the event by the stunning scenery, the winding route through the picturesque landscapes, and the unique opportunity to enjoy this environment safely and without the pollution created by motor vehicles.
Isobel Paul for Marie Curie Cancer Care, said:
“We are very excited about supporting all of our fundraisers at this year’s Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Caledonia. Over 1,100 riders have already committed to raise funds and it’s never too late to make a donation. Marie Curie cared for over 3,500 terminally ill people at home across Scotland last year, as well as providing care at the charity’s hospices in Edinburgh and Glasgow. The money raised from the Etape Caledonia will help us continue to provide this vital care across Scotland.”
James Robinson, of organisers IMG Challenger World, said:
“I am delighted that Pete Wishart has agreed to open this year’s event for us. We have over 5,000 cyclists taking advantage of the safety of closed roads and fresh Highland air, enjoying Scotland at its very best.
“The economic impact of events such as Etape Caledonia lasts all year round, with many participants returning to the area to train and to holiday and we continue to be grateful to the warm welcome provided by the Highland Perthshire community, who take to the roads every year, very early in the morning, to cheer on the participants and provide encouragement and support for them at all stages of the route. With such substantial numbers participating we expect it to be a very busy weekend for the area, and a great boost to the economy of Highland Perthshire.”