CYCLING legend, Chris Boardman, today confirmed he will take part in the Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Caledonia, arguably the UK’s premier closed road sportive, alongside his Tour de France co-presenter, Ned Boulting.
Not one to miss out on the action, Boardman will experience pelotons, descents and hill climbing on the infamous ‘Schehallion’ alongside 5,250 participants when he travels to Pitlochry, Scotland to take part in the 81-mile sportive on the 11 May.
The event, which was the first closed road cycling event in the UK when it launched seven years ago, takes place just eight weeks before the Grand Depart in Yorkshire.
He said: “Sportives are a fantastic way to enjoy spectacular countryside at whatever pace you choose, that’s what I love about them. I already spend several months a year in the Highlands for the incredible vistas and great, cycling-friendly roads, so when I was invited to take part in The Etape Caledonia, the first on fully closed roads in the UK and in my favourite part of the British Isles, I wasn’t going to say no!
“The Etape Caledonia is now known as one of the best cycling events in the UK and the fact that it has so many participants each year is testament to that.
“With heather-covered mountains and beautiful lochs surrounding us all day as we head into the Highlands, it’s going to be an epic day and I’m really looking forward to it.
“Having ridden the Tour de France and then moved to the ‘other side of the fence’ to commentate, of the two experiences, I have to confess I prefer the slower side!
“It’s also very useful for presenters to continue experiencing first-hand, what they will be talking about and see it from the point of view of the fans that will be watching the race. It helps to be able to taylor features and commentary to what they will want to know. Events like this give us that opportunity.”
The established Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Caledonia, now in its eighth year, was the first closed road cycling event in the UK and has been immensely popular in recent years with entries selling out in less than 48 hours as over 5,250 riders race to gain their spot on the start line.
Those wishing to enter the event can still get a place via the Etape Doublé package option which combines entry into the Etape Pennines and Etape Caledonia with a discount of £20. Participants wishing to enter should visit www.etapecaledonia.co.uk
James Robinson, managing director at IMG Challenger World, said: “We’re thrilled to have a cycling legend such as Chris among the participants at this year’s event.
“I am personally looking forward to seeing him take part and I’m sure the other cyclists will relish the opportunity to speak with him during the course of the day.”
Marie Curie Cancer Care is the official Charity Partner of the Etape Series. Etape Caledonia and Etape Pennines both encourage participants to raise vital funds, which enable Marie Curie Nurses to provide more free nursing care and support to terminally-ill people and their families in communities across the UK.
Marie Curie Cancer Care director of fundraising, Fabian French, said: “Marie Curie Cancer Care is delighted to be the charity partner for the Etape Series for the third time.
“We are grateful to all the riders who conquered the Etape challenges over the last two years and fundraised for us. So far, they have raised a fantastic £860,000, which has helped Marie Curie provide 43,000 hours of free nursing care.
“We hope that in 2014, cyclists taking part in the epic Etape challenges will also raise funds to help us provide even more free care and support to terminally ill people and their families across the UK.”
To keep up with all the latest news from the Etape Series, visit www.twitter.com/etapeseries and www.facebook.com/etapeseries
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About IMG Challenger World
Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Pennies 20 July 2014 – Etape Pennines quickly established itself as one of the toughest Sportives in the UK following its debut in 2012. Hailed as ‘Beautiful and Brutal’ by Cycling Plus magazine, the event challenges riders to 60 miles and over 2,000metres of climbing but with speedy downhill sections, hard work is duly rewarded with breath taking views and incredible self accomplishment. #Takeiton http://www.etapepennines.co.uk/
Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Caledonia 11 May 2014 – The UK’s leading cycling event and credited as the first and only closed road mass participation cycling event to be held in the UK. The event, which sells out over 5,200 places in 72 hours, appeals to cycle club enthusiasts, recreational cyclists, gym members and those looking for a new physical challenge in the stunning highlands of Perthshire. Register interest for 2014 event now! #Bepartofit http://www.etapecaledonia.co.uk/
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About Marie Curie Cancer Care
Marie Curie is the leading charity providing care to people with any terminal illness in their own homes or in one of its nine hospices. The charity is also a leader in research into the best ways of caring for people with a terminal illness. In addition to this the charity designs and advises on end of life services and works to ensure that the best possible care and patient choice is at the heart of commissioning end of life care across the UK. All Marie Curie services are completely free of charge. Around 70 per cent of the charity’s income comes from donations with the balance of funds coming from the NHS.
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