BUZZING from the success of yesterday’s event in Pitlochry, IMG Mass Participation, organisers of the Macmillan Cancer Support Etape Caledonia, have announced that registrations for their 2011 event are now open for Sunday 15th May 2011.
The event has gone from strength to strength rising from just over 1,000 participants in 2007, to over 4,500 entered in 2010.
Yesterday thousands of cyclists gathered on the start line alongside a stream of celebrities, Olympic athletes and elite cyclists who heard a rousing Highland welcome from Minister for Finance and Sustainable Growth, John Swinney, a keen cyclist and the area’s MSP.
‘Flying Scotsman’ and world record-breaker, Graeme Obree, led the peleton, accompanied by Olympic gold medallist James Cracknell and TV presenter, Ben Fogle.
Jo Dytch, event organiser, IMG, said: “We are absolutely delighted with how well the event went this weekend. Highland Perthshire was buzzing with people restaurants were full, as were hotels and we had a very warm Highland welcome from all. We’d also like to thank Perth & Kinross Council, and the many sponsors involved in the event who contribute to ensuring it is a fantastic experience for cyclists.
“There was a real festival atmosphere at the finish line in Pitlochry and it was a true delight to see so many cyclists crossing it with beaming smiles. Feedback from cyclists this year has been overwhelmingly positive, with the vast majority commenting on the stunning scenery on the route and the unique opportunity to enjoy these vistas on safe and traffic free roads.
“IMG Mass Participation is determined to ensure the event continues to be a success and that we continue to add value to Highland Perthshire through its growth and development. We are already in planning for next year’s event and are excited about its future prospects. We expect 2011 places to fill up very quickly indeed as the event is now firmly established as one of the UK’s major cycling events.”
Charity partner Macmillan Cancer Support, who had over 2,000 fundraisers riding in Sunday’s event, also confirmed today that their fundraising total had already reached £230,000 and with sponsorship money will still be coming in over the next two months the final figure is expected to climb.
Organisers are urging people interested in participating in next year’s event to consider fundraising for Macmillan Cancer Support in 2011 and to sign up soon to avoid disappointment.
Meanwhile, for those participants who have firmly caught the cycling bug, IMG Mass Participation will be launching their second closed-road event Sky Ride Etape Hibernia in County Clare, Ireland on August 22nd.
Entries can be made for both events online at www.etapecaledonia.co.uk
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