Perthshire, January 2007:
The Etape Caledonia will break new ground in the UK as the first-ever timed mass participation cycling event on closed roads. Scheduled for Sunday 24th June 2007. The 133km (83-mile) course will provide a stern but achievable challenge for up to 2,500 competitors, with over 2,000 metres of hill climbs in the stunning surroundings of highland Perthshire.
The event has been designed to appeal to road racers and cycling enthusiasts, but will also be accessible to the fast-increasing audiences entering triathlons and duathlons across the UK.
Indeed, the event will be promoted and staged by a new division of Quintus Group, who through their wholly owned subsidiary SBI Group also stage the London Triathlon, The Blenheim Triathlon and The London Duathlon.
The Etape Caledonia has received strong support from Perth & Kinross Council and the local police, and is the first of what will become a UK Etape Series.Etape Caledonia Director, Kevin Stewart, is delighted: “I am very excited that our search for a venue to establish a European-style closed roads cycle challenge has come to fruition with the launch of the Etape Caledonia. By providing UK cyclists with this demanding course under the umbrella of a road closure, we hope to set a new benchmark for competitive cycling in the UK.”
Councillor Alan Livingstone, Convener of the Enterprise & Infrastructure Committee, says: “Perth & Kinross Council is delighted to welcome the Etape Caledonia event to Highland Perthshire. The Council is committed – through its event strategy – to drawing major sporting and cultural events to the area and I am pleased to see that our approach has successfully added another major attraction to this year’s events calendar.
“Council officers will work closely with the Council’s partners and with the local communities involved in a bid to maximise the economic impact of this event.”
The route will take in some of the stunning scenery of Highland Perthshire including the three lochs of Tummel, Rannoch and Tay, with some significant hill climbs. The event will provide a stern challenge for the road racer or enthusiast who would welcome the chance to set a time to gauge against their peers, with the safety of closed roads.
The full distance event will cost £49 to enter, with a shorter 28-mile course costing £25 being proposed which will allow a wide range of abilities to participate. Entries and further information are available online at www.EtapeCaledonia.co.uk