THE MARIE Curie Cancer Care Etape Caledonia, currently recognised as the UK’s biggest closed-roads cycling event, has been shortlisted for Best Sporting Event at the regional final of the North East of Scotland’s Scottish Thistle Awards.
If successful, the event will secure a place in the national final later this year.
Paving the way for closed road cycling sportives across the UK, the Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Caledonia just held its seventh edition of the event last weekend, having sold out all 5,000 places in under 72 hours late last year.
The cycling sportive is estimated to bring in around £1.5million in tourism revenues every year to the Highland Perthshire area in which it takes place. Participants also raised £260,000 in 2012 for title charity partner Marie Curie Cancer Care.
The Scottish Thistle Awards recognise excellence in the Scottish tourism industry and aim to recognise the exceptional efforts made by even more tourism businesses throughout Scotland. The ceremony for the North East region takes place on 4th June at Battleby in Perthshire.
Says a spokesperson: “The Scottish Thistle Awards celebrate excellence across the industry with special emphasis on quality and enhancing the overall visitor experience.
“VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance scheme seeks to capitalise on this further and aims to position Scotland as one of the world’s best visitor destinations.
“VisitScotland will work closely with winners to tailor make a package of benefits to best suit the winners’ needs. This could include, amongst many other options: entry into the Quality Assurance scheme, advertising, promotion in a VisitScotland Information Centre, promotion in VisitScotland PR activity.”
IMG Challenger World, organisers of the Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Caledonia, have announced pre-registration for the 2014 event which will take place on Sunday 11th May is now open.
Applicants will get an exclusive 24 hour window to enter the event when places go on sale later this year and, with all 5000 places selling out in just 72 hours last year, those 24 hours could make all the difference to those budding cyclists hoping to take on the 81-mile cycling challenge.
Marie Curie Cancer Care is the official Charity Partner of the Etape Series and all money raised by cyclists will enable Marie Curie nurses to provide free, end-of-life care and support to terminally-ill people and their families in their own homes or in dedicated Marie Curie hospices.
James Robinson, IMG Challenger World, said:
“We are absolutely delighted to hear we have been shortlisted for a prestigious Thistle Award. Feedback about the event has been extremely positive this year and Etape Caledonia is now firmly established as one the UK’s biggest closed road sportive and we expect sign up for 2014 to be very strong indeed.”
Meanwhile, for those participants who have firmly caught the cycling bug, there are still some general entry places left for the Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Pennines and Etape Mercia.
Entries and expressions of interest can be made for all Etape Series events online at www.etapecaledonia.co.uk
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