Pictured: Etape Loch Ness King of Mountain stage by Paul Campbell.
Caledonian Concepts, organisers of the Etape Loch Ness – a cycle sportive around the iconic Loch Ness – have today announced the 2020 event has been cancelled due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
Originally scheduled to take place on 26th April, the event was postponed until 13th September 2020, however the organisers have now taken the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 event.
Having been working with agencies and stakeholders over the past few months during the Coronavirus lockdown, the ultimate decision was made based on the health and welfare of all those involved in the event.
This includes that of participants, volunteers, staff, the emergency services and the local community.
The team also conducted a survey of participants to better understand their thoughts and concerns.
All entries will automatically be transferred to the 2021 Etape Loch Ness, taking place on 25th April and all entrants have been contacted by email with further information today.
General entry to the Etape Loch Ness typically sells out within 52 hours and organisers encourage participants to choose to defer to 2021.
Explaining the decision, Malcolm Sutherland, Event Director of Etape Loch Ness, said:
“First of all, I’d like to thank everyone for their incredible support and patience over the last few very challenging months.
“The decision to cancel was not taken lightly but we feel it is the right decision to make to protect our participants, our volunteers and everyone involved, including emergency services and importantly our local community which has always been so supportive.
“The Etape Loch Ness is a highlight of the cycling calendar in Scotland and beyond, and with the current social distancing measures and other restrictions in place would simply not be the same Etape that we all love.
“Instead, we will put our energy into making the Etape Loch Ness 2021 the best it can be.
“Our decision to cancel the event at this stage is also based on the training required to prepare for the event.
“We are also mindful that many participants were planning to use the event to raise money for charities and we will be working with our charity partner, Macmillan Cancer Support, to maximise fundraising in 2021.
“With huge numbers of people finding a passion for cycling over the lockdown period and sales of bikes soaring, we look forward to seeing past participants and new cyclists enjoying our event in 2021 and for years to come.”
Former international road cyclist and British Cycling coach, Kenny Riddle, added:
“Although I am saddened to hear of the cancellation of the 2020 event, I know it is the right decision to make at this time.
“The Etape is an event that I look forward to each year, and I know plenty of other people do too.
“I look forward to seeing everyone on the start line in April 2021.”