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Former Tour de France winner is set to start Etape Loch Ness on Sunday

By Will Clark

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Loch Ness Etape, 2023..
Loch Ness Etape, 2023..

Legendary cyclist Stephen Roche, who won the ‘Triple Crown’ of victories in the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia and the World Road Race Championship in 1987, will officially start the 10th edition of the Etape Loch Ness, on Sunday.

A total of 5650 cyclists have signed up for the 66-mile closed-road cycle sportive.

With 24 countries represented, cyclists have entered from as far afield as Australia, USA and UAE as well as across the UK and Europe, contributing to the 28 per cent entered from out with Scotland and 1.5 per cent from overseas.

A total of 650 participants will be cycling for the official charity of the Etape Loch Ness, Macmillan Cancer Support, with the aim of raising £200,000. This would take the total raised for Macmillan Cancer Support over 10 years of the Etape Loch Ness to over £2 million.

The Etape Loch Ness 2024 includes a packed schedule across the weekend at the Event Hub at Eden Court in Inverness. On Saturday, Stephen Roche will join former Olympic and Commonwealth Games road cyclist turned commentator Brian Smith and Charline Jones, 2010 Commonwealth Games team sprint silver medallist, for Q&A sessions throughout the day.

Commenting on the weekend’s events, Event Director of Etape Loch Ness, Malcolm Sutherland said: “Ten years ago we couldn’t have dreamed of the success of the Etape Loch Ness.

It has grown to become the second largest closed-road sportive in the UK and is a highlight for cyclists in the Highlands, Scotland, the UK and abroad, taking in the sights of the iconic Loch Ness.

This year, we welcome back a group of ever-present cyclists who have taken part in every Etape Loch Ness. We can’t wait to have them join us for the 10th edition this weekend.

As always, we couldn’t do this without our amazing team and volunteers, as well as our sponsors, partners and the communities along the route.

“A huge thank you also to Team Macmillan cyclists who will be raising funds for Macmillan Cancer Support. We hope you all have a fantastic day!”

Jimmy Holland, Programme Manager at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “It’s great to be back for the tenth edition of the Etape Loch Ness. The event has raised £1.92m for Macmillan Cancer Support so far in its 10 years, and we hope to take that total to over £2m after this weekend. Thank you to each and every one of our incredible fundraisers. Good luck to you all!”

Depute Provost of Inverness Councillor Jackie Hendry will join Stephen Roche and Brian Smith for the presentation on Sunday.

Among those being honoured at the presentation will be a group of cyclists who have taken part in every Etape Loch Ness since 2014, including Keith Reid.

He said: “This event alone transformed my love of cycling. I used to consider a 10 mile run to be a big one, so that first Etape Loch Ness was entered into with real trepidation but I soon realised I could do far more than I originally thought.

“Since then, I've clocked up tens of thousand of miles. The catalyst for all of this was that first Etape Loch Ness so this event is really special to me.”

There will be some temporary traffic restrictions in place on Saturday and Sunday. Full details can be found here.

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