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Etape Caledonia

Top tags:

Stunning scenery

Friendly atmosphere

Challenging course

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68

Tickets £140, Charity places available

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Welcome to Etape Caledonia.

Etape Caledonia is a mass participation cycling event that has attracted more than 35,000 people since it debuted in 2007. With 5,000 places on offer each year, this sell out event attracts riders from all over the country to take on one of the most breathtaking rides through the spectacular Scottish Highlands.

It is hard for riders to not enjoy the views, whilst taking breaks at the number of food and drink stations placed around the course. Once completed, it's time to sit back, relax, and soak up the atmosphere in the Event Village. Riders can stick around to raise a glass with friends and family to toast their cycling achievement.

Review summary

4.3
68 Reviews
  • Course
  • Organisation
  • Atmosphere

R

Richard P
"Positive <br />1) Thought it was a great route <br />2) Rest areas at the right..."

A

Alistair G
"This was my first time at the Etape Caledonia and I participated with a friend...."

I

Ian H
"My third time doing this event. Great location, good and challenging course,..."
See all reviews

How to enter the Etape Caledonia

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Do it for a good cause. Make those miles count and register for a charity place.

  1. 85 Mile

    Bike 85mi
    Standard Entries
    £140
    View Tickets
    Charity Entries
    Choose from 10 charities
    Select
  2. 40 Mile

    Bike 40mi
    Standard Entries
    View Tickets
    Charity Entries
    Choose from 10 charities
    Select

Etape Caledonia routes

The two Etape Caledonia routes take in the best of what the Highlands has to offer. Winding roads, tree-lined avenues, Lochs, mountains and everything in between. The 85 mile course is technical and challenging in parts, but still allows for moments where you can take a break from the hurt locker and take in the stunning views. The 40 mile brings in some challenges, but takes out the steep climb of Schiehallion. You can find more information on both routes on our route maps below.

85 Mile Route

85 miles of closed road cycling beginning and concluding in Pitlochry. The course consists of rolling hills and forest-lined roads around Loch Rannoch and Loch Tummel, combined with the demanding, twisting climb of Mt Schiehallion (1,083m).

The course takes you up to Trinafour with a challenging ascent of 374m and back down towards Kinloch Rannoch. Once you have cycled around Loch Rannoch you will begin your ascent up Schiehallion (382m). Afterwards, enjoy the descent down towards Aberfeldy and head back towards the finish line in Pitlochry. Make sure to relax and enjoy celebrating your achievement in the event village festival.

40 mile route

A 40 mile option of closed road cycling beginning in Pitlochry. The course will take a left away from the 85 mile route at Tummel Bridge where you will begin their ascent to 392m. Once you have finished the climb you can enjoy a descent taking you South towards Coshieville and round to Aberfeldy. The route then takes you back around to the finish line back in Pitlochry, where you can relax and celebrate your achievements at the event festival.

It will be hard for you to not enjoy the views, whilst taking breaks at the number of food and drink stations placed around the course. Once completed, it’s time to sit back, relax, and soak up the atmosphere in the Event Village. You can stick around afterwards and raise a glass with friends and family to toast your cycling achievement.

Event Details

What’s Included

Entry Includes:

  • 85 mile & 40 mile closed road routes
  • Feed stations on route
  • Fully timed event
  • Race pack inc numbers
  • Finishers medal
  • Sweep bus service

The minimum age of entry for the event is 18 years old as of 31 December 2019.

The registration process confirms that the same person who entered online is the person participating and that they have their event numbers and timing chip for the event, as well as the latest information of the route conditions.

Kit List

You will need to make sure that you bring your bike, helmet, race number, timing chip (which will need to be collected during registration) and, we strongly recommend that you check the weather forecast and bring the appropriate clothing. Along with this be sure to bring energy supplies to get you through the course.

Spectators

Spectators are more than welcome

FAQs

Why Is There A Cut Off Time?

In order to secure the support of local residents and businesses, we must ensure that roads are re-opened at pre-agreed times. An average of 13mph is the slowest possible speed cyclists can travel at to be within this road re-opening schedule. It is felt that this is a reasonable period to allow cyclists to complete the course. After the cut off time, cyclists will be allowed to continue on the route but will have to obey normal traffic regulations and negotiate the traffic that will then be on the road. Participants who choose to continue will be outside of the event support infrastructure. A sweep vehicle will be available to collect participants who choose not to complete the full course.

What Happens If I Feel Unwell Whilst Cycling?

See your GP if you have a problem or worry that might make it a risk for you to take part in the event. If you have any known medical conditions (such as diabetes, asthma, allergy to penicillin, etc) inform us prior to the event by entering it in the box provided on the online application.

In addition, please write all medical details on the back of your event number and put a small indelible red cross on the front of your number. Whether you have a medical condition or not, if you feel unwell on the event day – don’t take part. If you have flu, a feverish cold or a tummy bug, do not train until you have fully recovered. Then start gently and build up gradually. Do not attempt to catch up on lost mileage after illness or injury – this may cause further damage or illness.

Can I Listen To My Portable Music Player During The Event?

No, listening to portable music players on route is not permitted for participants’ safety reasons.

What Do I Do With My Timing Chip?

In order for us to record your race time correctly you will need to attach your race number, which has the timing chip attached to it, to the handlebars of your bike for the duration of the event. The timing chips are disposable so you can take them away with you after the event. Visit the Help Desk in the Event Village for assistance or to see diagrams of where to put your race chip.

How Will I Know My Finishing Time?

All results will be available in the ‘Post Event’ section of the Competitor Zone which will be live on our website after the event. Additionally, if you have provided us with your mobile number on your application, you will also receive a text message with your result.

Will There Be Water/food On The Course?

There will be water and feed stations available throughout the course. Energy products and bananas will be available at feed stations, along with a limited supply of high-energy snacks. Within the event village, participants will have the opportunity to purchase additional food and drink. Riders are expected to bring their own for the start.

What Sort Of Bike Can I Use?

Bikes which are not of standard design must be approved by the organisers before the event. The organisers reserve the right to withdraw a participant from the event if their bike is considered, in the organiser’s opinion, to represent a danger to the cyclist or other participants. Please note that fixed wheel bikes (bikes that use the pedals as a brake) are not permitted.

Do I Have To Wear A Helmet?

Consistent with all world class sportives, participants must wear protective headgear which must be of a hard/soft construction and conform to a recognised standard such as EN1078, ANSI Z90.4, SNELL B90 or equivalent national standard. Participants are responsible for carefully selecting the correct headgear, ensuring it is in good condition and is fitted correctly. Please note: The British Kite Mark is not sufficient.

When Will I Receive My Race Pack?

If you have a premium place, your race pack will be posted out to the address you supply during registration in the weeks leading up to the event.

All other participants are required to collect their race packs from the Event Village in the centre of Pitlochry, which will be signposted clearly, prior to the event on Friday 17th or Saturday 18th May. Participants cannot collect race packs on event day.

Please bring a valid photo ID with you or a signed photocopy and a letter of authorisation if you are collecting it on someone else’s behalf.

Who Do I Contact For Lost Property?

Please visit the Help Desk on the day of the event. Alternatively, you can email us at [email protected] with a detailed description of your lost item(s).

Will I Receive Anything Before The Event?

You will receive a number of e-newsletters and regular updates in the lead up to the event. These will contain key information about the day and offer more ways to ensure you get the most from the day. Your race pack will be available for collection at race pack pick up before the event. Race packs will not be available for collection on the morning of the event.

Where Can I Dispose Of My Rubbish?

There will be clearly signed ‘Litter Zones’ at a number of locations around the route where cyclists can dispose of any rubbish while on the move. Those seen littering outside of these zones will have their timing chip removed and will be disqualified from the event.

How Will The Road Be Closed?

Etape Caledonia is going to close all access roads onto the route in advance of the first cyclists, using cones, barriers and traffic management personnel. This will be supplemented by motor cycle marshals and will comply with current legislation regarding cycling on the highway. This will create a traffic free environment for the entire event, subject to participants being able to maintain the minimum average speed of 13mph. This is NOT what is called a rolling road closure where motorcycles travel ahead of the event and stop traffic that is already on the route for a short period of time to allow participants past. Given the length of the closure this would be impractical and inconvenient for road users. If you are a local resident with further queries relating to specific closures, please contact our Customer Services team on ‘[email protected]’.

Etape Caledonia weather forecast

12°C
Predicted highs
8°C
Predicted lows
IconModerate breeze possible, up to 14mph

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Etape Caledonia reviews (68)

4.3 out of 5 stars

  • Course
  • Organisation
  • Atmosphere

Reasons people recommend this event

Stunning scenery

Friendly atmosphere

Challenging course

  • Did the 85 Mile in 2019

    Positive
    1) Thought it was a great route
    2) Rest areas at the right distances
    3) Being car and traffic free
    4) Volunteers on key corners where there were nasty corners
    5) Volunteers all in good spirit and cheerful
    6) Bike mechanics on hand though didn't need them was reassuring
    7) Massage was fab at the end helped me recover

    Could be improved
    1) Range of snacks at rest areas - why not energy drinks? or gels?
    2) Time allowed - we went relatively quickly 17mph between rest areas. The time allowed at rest areas was not long enough towards the end felt pressurised. My father-in-law would do distance, (82) but would struggle with no longer rest allowances
    3) Gift pack was poor for the money - why not a cycle top? - would act as a great advertisement for next year's event for the cycle community and a better badge of honour

  • Did the 85 Mile in 2019

    This was my first time at the Etape Caledonia and I participated with a friend. I found it to be well organised with good communication in the lead up to the event. The course itself was good with the right mixture of hills and flats. The event village was slightly disappointing with not a lot of things to see there, but to be honest we came for the cycling and that was an enjoyable day out!
  • I

    Ian H

    Did the 85 Mile in 2019

    My third time doing this event. Great location, good and challenging course, ride well organised and plenty friendly locals out to cheer you on along the way, which is nice. Disappointing lack of atmosphere on the Saturday this year, and I feel there should be more to encourage people to stay around after the event. I really enjoyed the live music in the old mill pub later, so more of that would be good.
    Accommodation prices becoming a problem and likely to put people off. Work to be done to restore atmosphere of previous years.
  • D

    DP

    Did the 85 Mile in 2019

    I've participated in the event for a number of years, and seen a major change in the atmosphere over the last couple of years, Village a lot quieter, registration area was empty this year, none of the usual stands selling various cycling products - again no atmosphere! Accommodation prices in the village have gone through the roof, if you check prices the week before and then on the event weekend you see a 3-4 times increase ! and a number of establishments require 2 nights minimum, some even 3 ! The extra hill added a couple of years ago is an extra challenge which is fine, but I would have then removed the section that loops right from Keltneyburn [bottom of descent 6] - boring section and also poor road surface on the return section. Although still a well organised event and you do see some local support on the route [depending on the weather]
  • Did the 85 Mile in 2019

    This is my local sportive, 2019 event was my 6th on the trot, always have a great time as my nephew from Virginia Water and others from the London area come North to do it. I have just completed my 2nd Ride London 100 Event and although well organised, due to the number of Riders (25,000) there are always accidents and other incidents which close off the hilly parts of the course like Box Hill and Leith Hill, which you then end up trudging along pushing bike with thousands of others and a lot of the enjoyment disappears, not organisers fault but just too many people for the narrow Surrey lanes. Well done Etape Caledonia organisers, as have never really had any delays on th EC. Great event keep it going. 🚴🏽‍♂️🚴🏽‍♂️🏅🏅👍😎
  • N

    NEIL Mc

    Did the 85 Mile in 2019

    I have been doing EC every year as its my local and is always good for the welcome from locals along the way and the camaraderie among fellow cyclists. However was disappointed not to see many of the usual things at the event village: no mech service,(when it was supported by mavic in previous years was very useful to get any last minute problems sorted on the Saturday No endura stand or Zipvit - always found it handy to by there nutrition pack and the local guy selling the tweed stuff etc.) Basically no atmosphere and spoiled event. Also very disappointed by feed stations not enough variety compared to previous years or is just as i get slower over the years by the time get there all they had left were some flapjacks and Bananas neither of which sit well on my stomach. However the volunteers at the stops were there useful cheery selfs despite the weather. And mechanic at last stop who assisted me deserves a special thanks. Route: dont see the need for the extra wee bit they added on two years ago. Hope that many of these issues will be addressed for next year and its down to new buisness taking over event and frankly the only reason am coming back again is the reduced price offered on entry as the price was becoming prohibitive to your average cyclist Other Events better value for money and reason for decline in numbers participating in recent years?. Wish all who organised, volunteer and the natives for putting up with the inconvenience all the best for the future.
  • C

    C S

    Did the 85 Mile in 2019

    My 1st closed road event and I really enjoyed it. Well organised. Well equipped feed stations. I also used the Red Cross services at the end due to a minor injury sustained on the ride. Thank you
  • S

    Shirley c

    Did the 85 Mile in 2019

    Very disappointed in the premium pack, the top arrived size small/ 42 inch chest was told after messaging to take it to registration and they would swap for a smaller one. This was the smallest size which fits my husband who wears xl cycling clothes . After messaging again was told tough! £125 for an event you can pay £45 for cycle only I am left with a top I can do nothing with. At the holding part before start even though the premium numbers are different none of us there were marshalled to the premium start point.. food at first feed station: half a banana wasn’t very good.. very disappointed in this event compared to etape Loch Ness, will never do it again or recommend which is sad as my perception was that this was a top of the range event. 40 mile people were also set off before us .
  • Did the 85 Mile in 2019

    I've taken up cycling late in life and I'm now into my 5th year doing about 5k miles a year now. Over that time I've done many sportives, both open and closed road. This is my 3rd different Scottish closed road sportive over the last 3 years. I opted for a fastback entry mainly as I live over 400 miles away and my wife had an engagement on Saturday that meant we could not get up to register. This also included an event short sleeve jersey. What a bonus. Everything on ride day is well sign posted and laid out. The Scottish weather meant the rain jacket came on and off a few times so be prepared. The course is challenging with a steady climb from the start to the first breath and leg taking hill. Nicely undulating after that along the loch side and the 2 feed stations. Back round and a loop later and the climb up the Schiehallion road interspersed with respites makes this not so painful. A nice ride follows until a sharp left turn and a short sharp climb that undulates and sends you back into Pitlochry to a humongous crowd and finishing welcome and a medal. Food and drink is available in the finishing area and general entertainment. Pitlochry is a town that offers a warm welcome to the thousands of cyclists which is nice. Give it a go. I cannot ride next year due to clash of dates. Even 1 week after the event, a lot of accommodation was already booked for next year. This is one ride going places and quite rightly so. Keith of Watford Velo Sport. Watford Hertfordshire.
  • S

    S T

    Did the 85 Mile in 2019

    I did have a great ride and was pleased to beat my 2018 time, however, was disappointed that no positions were given as I was hoping to improve my position in the placings and that was one of the reasons for participating, I emailed the timing people but they said that organisers didn't want to display positions...please can we have them back next year? Good event though and seemed to go pretty smoothly.
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