The Etape Caledonia, which returns to the Scottish Highlands on 19th – 20th May 2018, has today (23 March) announced an all new more accessible 40-mile route, whilst an additional four miles has been added to the original 81-mile route.
The new 40-mile route will follow part of the existing route as riders will turn left from Tummel Bridge then head South towards Coshieville and around to Aberfeldy, before returning back to Pitlochry. The traditional 81-mile route has been extended to 85-miles and will take participants from Tummel Bridge, up to Trinafour and back down towards Kinloch Rannoch. The added distance also includes an incline that takes riders from 100m to 360m above sea level.
Both new distances have been introduced as The Etape Caledonia seeks to encourage new audiences to take up the sport. The 40-mile route, which is open to ages 15+*, is just one of the ways younger people can get involved, with the Aberfeldy Time Trial being introduced on the Saturday, for riders, friends and family members over the age of 13, wanting to give their legs a short, fast workout.
This comes as The Etape Caledonia has been awarded funding by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, to support new activity, including the creation of a school’s resource pack for the local areas to widen the appeal of the event to young people.
Alongside this, The Etape Caledonia will also be celebrating Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018. The year aims to inspire all ages through our young people (aged 8-26) by celebrating their talents, valuing their contributions and creating new opportunities for them to shine on a local and global stage.’
This year the Etape Caledonia will welcome over 5,000 cyclists across the weekend to the beautiful Scottish town of Pitlochry for a weekend filled with celebration, camaraderie and of course, cycling. Mark Beaumont, who recently broke the record for cycling round the world in 78 days has also been announced as the 2018 ambassador and will be holding a selection of talks and book signings across the weekend.
The event now offers 85 miles of closed-road cycling, breath taking natural scenery matched by no other. Set in the heart of stunning Perthshire, cyclists will enjoy panoramic views of rolling hills, snow covered mountains and Loch’s including Rannoch and Tummel. The route will treat cyclists to tough climbs including the renowned Schiehallion amongst others and fast paced cycling down closed roads.
The event appeals to a wide range of cyclists, whether a beginner looking to get into cycling or a seasoned cyclist assessing whether they’re ready for the start of the season. From recreational to club riders, not to mention hundreds of charity fundraisers the event welcomes all and is a staple event in any keen cyclist’s calendar.
Marc Webster, Senior Vice President & Managing Director, EMEA Mass Participation & Operations from IMG said: “We’re excited to be able to announce the all-new 40-mile route at this years Etape Caledonia event. Alongside the extended 85-mile route we hope to encourage as many new people to join us on May 20th for a weekend full of cycling and camaraderie.
We’d also like to thank EventScotland for funding that will help us inspire the next generation of Scottish cyclists”.
Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: "EventScotland is delighted to be supporting The Etape Caledonia this year, as part of our portfolio of exciting cycling events. The 40-mile route is a great addition to the sportive, particularly with Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018 as it gives young people as well as less experienced riders the chance to take part and experience some of the same breathtaking views of the Scottish landscape as the longer route.
“EventScotland is working to make Scotland the perfect stage for events. Through funding and developing an exciting portfolio of sporting and cultural events and festivals, we are helping raise Scotland’s international profile and boost the economy by attracting more visitors.”
Entries are on sale now but are limited – please visit www.etapecaledonia.co.uk to book your place or to find out more information.
*Ages 15, 16, 17 need parental consent to take part in the 40-mile route