PETE Wishart, the SNP MP for Perth and North Perthshire, is to officially open the seventh Etape Caledonia cycle event in Highland Perthshire on Sunday.
The cycle run - now the UK’s biggest closed road cycling event - will feature over 1,100 riders raising funds for Marie Curie Cancer Care.
The event will get underway at Pitlochry at 6.30am on Sunday. Amongst the cyclists taking part will be rock star and musician Gregor Philp from Deacon Blue, Perthshire adventurer and former round the world cycling world record holder Mark Beaumont and Friends Reunited chief Chris van der Kuyl.
Mr Wishart said: “I am delighted to be opening this year’s Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Caledonia for a second year running. This is undoubtedly one of the area’s flagship events, and its incredible success has now given rise to other similar events across the country, including sibling cycling events Etape Pennines and Etape Mercia - for which entries are still open. “Thousands of participants are raising money for Marie Curie Cancer Care this weekend, a very worthwhile cause, and the legacy of their fundraising efforts will be appreciated by many for years to come.”
An event spokeswoman said: “The Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Caledonia 2013 sold out in just 72 hours, with over 5,000 participants registering to take part, drawn to the event by the stunning scenery, the winding route through the picturesque landscapes, and the unique opportunity to enjoy this environment safely and without the pollution created by motor vehicles. “
Isobel Paul, of Marie Curie Cancer Care, said: “We are very excited about supporting all of our fundraisers at this year’s Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Caledonia. Over 1,100 riders have already committed to raise funds and it’s never too late to make a donation. Marie Curie cared for over 3,500 terminally ill people at home across Scotland last year, as well as providing care at the charity’s hospices in Edinburgh and Glasgow. The money raised from the Etape Caledonia will help us continue to provide this vital care across Scotland.”