There are still places available for the Etape Caledonia on 24 June, Britain’s only sportive ride to take place on entirely closed roads.
Aiming to attract some of the best sportive riders, organisers will seed the fastest riders at the head of the race so that they can get a quick start. Official times from other established rides such as the Etape du Dales and the Dragon Ride will be accepted as evidence of previous good form.
And, for anyone considering the Cape Argus Cycle Tour in South Africa next March, the Etape Caledonia will act as an International seeding event. The Argus is the worlds largest timed cycle race with 42,000 entrants and a good seeding can make the difference of over an hour in your final time.
Organisers, Quintus Group, are confident of total satisfaction for anyone who makes the trip to the Scottish Highlands for the Etape Caledonia.
Etape Caledonia director Kevin Stewart said; “We’re keen to offer something special to the experienced rider. Cycling on closed roads will be unique in Britain, and seeding the riders will ensure that the fastest ones can get off to a quick start and have the opportunity to record a good time.
“There are a couple of smaller climbs early in the route so we want to ensure that the fastest riders get a clear run at these. We expect the riders will really spread out as they hit the Schiehallion climb at around 45 miles into the route.”
The seeding process will be overseen by UCI Commissaire, Colin Clews. He commented; “The Etape Caledonia will certainly be no ordinary sportive. The climb of Schiehallion will no doubt remain an unforgettable experience for all those who undertake the ascent and descent.
“With such splendid scenery throughout, and the closed road offering the opportunity for both the views and the roads to be enjoyed in full, the Etape Caledonia will help take sportive riding in Britain to a new level."
The Etape route is 81 miles with almost 2000m of climbing. Stewart added; “We expect a field of around 2500 riders. The whole experience of the Scottish Highlands and riding alongside beautiful lochs will be truly memorable.
“The ride will be challenging, but it’s achievable by anyone who is prepared to put some miles in the legs. It’s a stunning route, and there’s a shorter option of 28 miles available.”
Entry is available online by visiting http://www.etapecaledonia.co.uk.
To ensure your place at the head of the race simply provide a record of your times in existing cyclo sportive, road racing events or an official national ranking.
Entries to Etape Caledonia are £49 for the 81 mile route and £25 for the 28 mile route, both offering a full road closure for participants able to maintain a 12mph average speed. Entries are guaranteed at the time of entry subject to availability.
Michael Bradley Photography