Etape Loch Ness postponed again amid Covid concerns
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The Etape Loch Ness has been postponed until later in the year as the ongoing coronavirus lockdown continues to impact big events.
The 66-mile challenge event, which sees cyclists ride around Loch Ness on closed roads between Inverness and Fort Augustus, has not taken place since April 2019.
Organisers announced on Wednesday that the Etape would be rescheduled for August 22.
Event director Malcolm Sutherland said: "It is with great regret that we have taken the decision to postpone the 2021 Etape Loch Ness due to take place on April 25.
"We have been monitoring the situation very closely over the last few weeks and, following consultation with government agencies, local authorities and emergency services, it is clear that due to the current Covid-19 situation and the ongoing level of restrictions in the UK, an event of this size cannot go ahead in April.
"We are very saddened to have to postpone the event again and we are extremely grateful for the ongoing support from our stakeholders, event partners and our local community."
Everyone with a place in the 2021 event will have their entry automatically transferred to the rescheduled event on August 22 and participants have been contacted regarding this.
Mr Sutherland added: "The health, safety and welfare of our participants, volunteers, staff, stakeholders and the local community is at the heart of everything we do and will always remain our priority. We want to reassure you that our team is working very hard behind the scenes on planning for the August event and look forward to sharing our plans with you over the coming months.
"We know this will be disappointing news and from all of us at the Etape Loch Ness team, we want to thank you for your patience and support over the last year. We can’t wait to welcome you all back to Loch Ness in August. Above all, we hope you and your loved ones are keeping safe and well."