It has become one of the most formidable sporting squads the Highlands has ever seen, with hundreds of members cycling thousands of miles and raising £1million for charity in the process. And now a final call is being sounded for riders who want to be a part Team Macmillan’s phenomenal success story at Etape Loch Ness 2019.
Over 5,000 entries for the popular 66-mile sportive around the world-famous loch sold out within 51 hours of going on sale in October, but a limited number of additional places have now been made available for cyclists who pledge to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.
Hundreds of riders have already signed up to ride for the event’s official charity partner – including many whose lives have been touched by the disease – with the aim of helping Macmillan provide vital services to cancer patients and their families.
Macmillan has been the charity partner for Etape Loch Ness in each of the five years that it has been staged, and in 2018 riders smashed through the £1million fund-raising milestone with their combined efforts.
Shirlie Geddes, the charity’s fundraising manager in the North of Scotland, said: “To hit that £1million mark was absolutely amazing and one that we could only ever dream of reaching when we were selected as the charity partner for Etape Loch Ness.
“But it became clear early on in our association that cyclists were not only incredibly passionate about the event, but about using their efforts to help good causes like Macmillan. To see so many of our distinctive green jerseys passing through the finish line gives Macmillan staff and volunteers an incredible feeling.
“Although £1millon is a huge achievement, we can’t stop there. We need the help of everyone to be able to provide Macmillan services in the Highlands, across Scotland and the rest of the UK, and to help people living with cancer live life as fully as they can.”
Cyclists who sign up for one of the Team Macmillan places must pledge to raise a minimum of £100 for the charity. Places are currently available at www.etapelochness.com and this is now the only method of entering the sold-out event.
Event director Malcolm Sutherland added: “It’s always been the aim of Etape Loch Ness to showcase the Highlands as a world-class cycling destination, but the fact that our riders make such an outstanding contribution to Macmillan has become just as important.
“Many of those taking part will have personal reasons for joining Team Macmillan – their lives will have been touched by cancer in some way and they have received help from the charity. It’s inspiring to see people then doing what they can to ensure other patients and families continue to have access to that support.”
Starting in Inverness, the stunning Etape Loch Ness route follows the A82 along the northern side before passing through Fort Augustus onto the south side where riders face the challenging King of the Mountain stage. The route then continues around the southern side of the loch before returning to the event hub at Eden Court in Inverness.
To sign up for one of the last remaining places available for Macmillan Cancer Support, visit www.etapelochness.com Further information is also available on social media – Facebook www.facebook.com/etapelochness, Instagram and Twitter @EtapeLochNess Further information about Macmillan is also available at www.macmillan.org.uk/etapelochness