Thousands Pedal Across Highland Perthshire at Etape Caledonia 2021
Cyclists from all over the UK have been pedalling across Highland Perthshire as Etape Caledonia 2021, the UK’s original closed-roads sportive, took place today following a 28-month hiatus as a result of the pandemic.
In its 14th edition, the completely sold-out mass participation cycling event, organised by LimeLight Sports Club, saw riders in their thousands travel to Pitlochry to take on the route today, giving a much-needed boost to the hard-hit tourism economy of Highland Perthshire.
The Autumnal weather failed to put a dampener on the event as participants pedalled the 85-mile and 40-mile routes in a reversed direction for the first time. The route took in the mighty Schiehallion and the stunning banks of Loch Rannoch and Loch Tummel, giving participants a glorious ride across Perthshire’s big tree country, enjoying the splendour of the Autumn colours on blissfully peaceful closed roads.
Beginning in Pitlochry from 7am this morning with the start line on Foss Road, the first finishers began arriving back in the town from around 9:30am to collect their well-earned medal and enjoy the local hospitality.
Over 250 riders had signed up for charity places with Marie Curie and Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance, the event’s official charity partners. By cycling for the charity partners, participants are raising funds for Marie Curie Nurses to continue to provide essential care to people living with a terminal illness, and vital emotional support to their loved ones and the country’s only charity-funded air ambulance which relies entirely on public donations to fuel its life-saving flights.
The event also welcomed its e-bike participants this year for the first time. Damien Bird, from Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire, took part on an e-bike. Damien, an Etape Caledonia veteran cyclist, suffered a heart attack in Spring 2020 and was diagnosed with Cardiomyopathy during the national lockdown, leading him to make significant lifestyle changes including giving up his 6000km per year cycling passion. Investing in a e-bike as part of his recovery process, Damien’s turbo powered pedalling has given him a new lease of life, bringing him back to the event which kick started his cycling obsession just seven years ago.
As the event draws to a close, organisers LimeLight Sports Club 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. James Robinson, Managing Director of LimeLight Sports Club, said:
“This year has been really challenging for our team and, we’re sure, for many of our participants too. We are genuinely delighted to be back in Highland Perthshire and we hope all of the participants today have had a great experience being part of this inspiring and exciting sportive. As always, we have received a very warm Scottish welcome from local businesses and the people of Highland Perthshire. It’s been fantastic to be able to bring Etape Caledonia back to the area once again and we are already looking forward to being back again next year with our 15th event. Etape Caledonia continues to be hugely popular with cyclists of all levels of ability and from all around the UK, and this year had the highest level of pre-registrations we’ve ever seen.”
“We are very keen to build on this excitement and respond to the ever-increasing demand from riders to be part of this event and I’m delighted to confirm that members of Limelight Sports Club can now access advance registration for our 2022 event, with general registration opening in October. 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.”
For those looking to participate next year, places for Etape Caledonia 2022 are available exclusively for LimeLight Sports Club members to register now. Founding Membership of Limelight Sports Club costs just £3.98 per month and members benefit from a £30 saving on the 2022 entry fee, free refunds, deferrals and no booking fees, among incredible offers on world class brands such as Wahoo and Supersapiens. To register, visit https://www.etapecaledonia.co.uk/lsc-membership
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