Budding cyclists are invited to register for some of the few remaining places in the 2020 Etape Loch Ness.
They take can part in the event in return for a pledge to raise at least £150 for Macmillan Cancer Support. January has already seen a flurry of entries credited to New Year’s resolutions and people setting targets for the year ahead.
General and priority entry tickets for the popular event sold out in under 50 hours in October, due to record levels of demand, after last year’s event saw 5,600 people take part. Keen and budding cyclists travel from throughout the UK and internationally to participate in the scenic event, with some even making the journey from Australia.
The event is one of Scotland’s few closed roads sportives and takes in 66 miles of the stunning 360⁰ Loch Ness route. It also features a timed ‘King of the Mountain’ stage, with a 4.8 mile climb gaining 380m in height with a gradient reaching 12% at times.
Cyclists who have already entered can also opt to raise money for charity partner Macmillan Cancer Support by creating a fundraising page on Just Giving.
Malcolm Sutherland, Etape Loch Ness event director, said: ‘With over four months between now and the event it’s the perfect time to sign up and start training.
‘While we see lots of experienced cyclists participate, we would love to see some new faces this year and welcome less experienced riders. If you’re thinking of taking up cycling to get fit in the new year or have received a new bike this Christmas, then this is the perfect achievable goal to get you started.
‘Research from Cycling UK shows that if you cycle regularly in adulthood, you will enjoy a level of fitness equivalent to someone 10 years younger. Supporting the work of Macmillan Cancer Support is a great way to give back while experiencing our iconic Loch Ness route.’
Will Morrison Ayton, challenge events programme Manager (hiking and cycling) at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: ‘We are delighted to partner with Caledonian Concepts once again for this fantastic event. The event has proved a huge success and this year is no different – so far we have over 750 participants signed up for Macmillan Cancer Support and we hope to raise over an incredible £320,000.
‘Without the support of events like Etape Loch Ness, and our incredible supporters who take part, Macmillan couldn’t do the work that it does.
‘A huge thank you to those who have already chosen to cycle for Team Macmillan, but there are still places available. If you are looking for a new year challenge, sign up to take on the incredible route today and help people with cancer live life as fully as they can.’
The event is sponsored by The Singleton of Glen Ord, Shand Cycles, HIGH5, Cycle Republic, Erdinger, JBT Distribution, The Highland Council, Fuel10K and Harry Gow Bakery.
For further information and to enter visit www.etapelochness.com