Cyclists descend on Perthshire for Marie Curie Etape Caledonia

Thousands of cyclists from across Scotland and the UK turned Perthsire yellow on Sunday (8 May) for the annual Marie Curie Etape Caledonia.

The cycle has raised more than £1.5m for the Marie Curie charity since 2007. Picture: RB Create

Joined by Olympic Champion and World Record Holder, Chris Boardman, nearly 5,000 cyclists set off at dawn to tackle the 81 mile closed road course, covering a total ascent of 1,196m. 


Taking in the stunning scenery, cyclists meandered around Loch Tummel and Loch Rannoch before approaching the steeps of Schiehallion and returning to Pitlochry to crowds of cheering supporters.



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By the end of 2016, Marie Curie estimates it will have raised more than £1.5million over the past five years from the event.

Spaces for the 2017 event will be made available later this year. Picture RB Create


Boardman said: “It’s been a lovely ride this morning, very civilised. I found a nice group of people to sit behind so definitely found it easier than in 2014.

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“The weather was great, very little wind and not too cold. I’ll absolutely be back next year with a bigger group of people which will be great.”

First to cross the finish line was Mark Walker from Newborough: “This was my first-ever event five years ago and I’ve been back every year since, with my times getting better and better; I love it.

A variety of bikes are allowed to participate, with this year's oldest participant being 80 years old. Picture: RB Create

“The course is brilliant, there is a bit of everything and the weather this year was so much kinder than the last five years.”

Credited as the UK’s first closed-road sportive back in 2007, the sportive quickly established itself as a bucket list event within the cycling community.

The Marie Curie Etape Caledonia remain one of the pinnacle events in the UK’s cycling calendar, drawing in thousands of recreational, fundraising and enthusiast cyclists each year.

The event has seen over 30,000 participants in its nine years of operation. Picture: RB Create

Megan Melville from Marie Curie added: “It’s been fantastic to hear the stories from the cyclists about their inspiration for taking part and we’re so grateful for their support.

“Every pound raised for Marie Curie makes a big difference, meaning our nurses are able to give more care and support to people living with a terminal illness and their families.”

Hopeful participants for the 2017 event are able to register their interest online. Those who register will get an exclusive 48 hour priority window to enter the event when places go on sale later this year.

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Etape Caledonia 2016's weather was better than in previous years. Picture: RB Create
Spaces for the 2017 event will be made available later this year. Picture RB Create
A variety of bikes are allowed to participate, with this year's oldest participant being 80 years old. Picture: RB Create
The event has seen over 30,000 participants in its nine years of operation. Picture: RB Create
Etape Caledonia 2016's weather was better than in previous years. Picture: RB Create