Cyclists from all over the UK have been pedalling across Highland Perthshire as Etape Caledonia 2019, the UK’s original closed-roads sportive, took place today.
In its 13th year, the mass participation cycling event, organised by Limelight Sports, saw riders in their thousands travel to Pitlochry to take on the route today, which covers 85 miles of stunning landscape and demanding terrain across Highland Perthshire.
An overcast day, participants pedalled the 85-mile route, taking on the mighty Mt Schiehallion and travelling along the banks of Loch Rannoch and Loch Tummel, while those looking for a slightly less demanding experience opted for the shorter 40-mile circuit.
Hollywood A-Lister John Hannah, a keen cyclist, was taking part for the first time, and took a few seconds to record a video post saying he was sure participants would “have a lot of fun” out on the course. John completed the route in 4 hours 59 minutes.
Beginning in Pitlochry from 6.30am this morning with the start line on Atholl Road, the first finishers began arriving back in the town from around 10am to receive their well-earned medal and enjoy the thriving Event Village, with food, drink, massages, live music and much more on offer. The event is famed for its buzzing and supportive atmosphere.
The event’s oldest participant, John McNally, completed the circuit in 6 hours 20 minutes. At 82, the octogenarian from Cupar, Fife has participated in Etape Caledonia an incredible twelve times with no plans to slow down any time soon.
Many riders had signed up for special charity places with Marie Curie, the event’s official charity partner. By cycling for Team Marie Curie, participants have been enabling Marie Curie Nurses to continue to provide essential care to people living with a terminal illness, and vital emotional support to their loved ones.
As the event draws to a close, organisers Limelight Sports are delighted that the event has been a success with thousands of all levels of ability out on the roads of Highland Perthshire participating in the event. Craig Dews, CEO at Limelight Sports, said:
“This year has been another amazing year for Etape Caledonia, the UK’s original closed road cycling event. We hope all of the participants today had a great experience being part of this challenging and exciting sportive. It’s been fantastic to be able to bring Etape Caledonia to Highland Perthshire once again. After thirteen years the event is still hugely popular with cyclists of all levels of ability and from all around the UK; and this year we have been delighted to welcome a record number of women to the event, with over 700 participating.
“We are very keen to build on this excitement and respond to the ever-increasing demand from riders to be part of this event. We are keen for as many people as possible to experience the unique sensation of cycling on exclusively closed roads, whilst taking in the dramatic hilltop views and sweeping descents that the event offers. We’re the Scottish cycling event, open to everyone.” For those looking to participate next year, places for Etape Caledonia 2020 are available to book from tomorrow (Monday 20th May, 2019) online at www.etapecaledonia.co.uk