6,000 cyclists have signed up for the 2023 edition of the Etape Loch Ness, a 66-mile closed-road sportive around the iconic Loch Ness, which takes place on April 23rd.
General entry to the event sold out in 50 hours, with 26% coming from outside Scotland and 1.8% from overseas.
Riders will be representing 20 countries at the event, including the UK, USA, Ireland, France, Germany, Norway, Canada, United Arab Emirates, China, Netherlands, Poland, Belgium, Switzerland, Australia, Sweden, Portugal, Italy, Austria, Denmark and South Africa.
Malcolm Sutherland, Event Director of Etape Loch Ness, said:
“The 2023 Etape Loch Ness looks set to be an absolutely fantastic event.
“Every year we are amazed at how quickly the event sells out with plenty of riders itching to get back in the saddle and cycle the spectacular course along Loch Ness.
“We always get feedback of the warm Highland welcome that our riders receive, and we are grateful to the communities along the route for their continued support as well as our sponsors and partners, including the Highland Council.”
Welcoming cyclists at the start line this year will be Brian Smith, a former Olympic and Scottish Commonwealth Games road cyclist turned commentator.
Brian will be at the EKOI stand at the event village over the weekend and will also be presenting prizes to this year’s King and Queen of the Mountain – a timed section of the route consisting of a 4.8 mile (9km) climb to the top of the Glendoe summit.
The official charity of the Etape Loch Ness is Macmillan Cancer Support, and almost 800 of the 6,000 cyclists signed-up will be riding for the charity.
Jimmy Holland, Programme Manager at Macmillan Cancer Support, commented:
“The Etape Loch Ness is always a highlight for Macmillan as it attracts so many fundraisers, both experienced riders and novices, really challenging themselves to raise money because they want to help support people affected by cancer.
“An incredible total of £1.68m has been raised for Macmillan Cancer Support by Etape Loch Ness riders since 2014 and, this year, we hope to raise a further £265,000.
“Good luck and thank you to all those who will be cycling on April 23rd for Team Macmillan!”
For safety reasons, there will be some temporary traffic restrictions in place from Saturday 22nd April to Sunday 23rd April. Full details can be found here.