Etape Caledonia, the UK’s original closed-roads sportive, has today revealed the route for its Autumn edition that will see participants being given a once in a lifetime opportunity to cycle the iconic challenge in reverse.
We’re delighted to bring the first major sporting event to Perthshire since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020. LimeLight Sports Club will continue to follow Government guidelines and work with the local councils to ensure a safe event takes place in line with current COVID-19 measures.
Participants will still set off from Pitlochry in the early hours of Sunday 19th September but, instead of heading North as they have done in previous years, the reversed route will now take them South towards Logierait, through Aberfeldy, then North towards Schiehallion. Participants cycling the 85 mile route will loop around Loch Rannoch before heading back towards Pitlochry along the banks of Loch Tummel.
This unique route reversal gives the opportunity for participants to see the climb of Schiehallion from a totally new perspective, and to tackle the ascent from a very different angle. Riders will enjoy a very unique challenge which will be physically testing, as well as a novel way to see this iconic route from a brand-new perspective.
The decision to reverse the route was reached, following consultation with the local community and Perth & Kinross Council, after it transpired that the new Autumn date clashed with peak potato harvesting season in the region.
Here is some key information about this year’s new route:
- Start Location: The new start location for 2021 is at the Pitlochry Recreation Ground. This space is exclusive to the event and, with a large open space, will provide enough space for all participants.
- First road and steep descent: For the reversed route in 2021, Etape Caledonia will be releasing smaller waves of riders at any one time to allow for the number of riders participating to ride safely along the road. These smaller groups will come through a “funnel” at the start meaning we won’t have large groups going into a narrow road and creating a “pinch-point”. We have also been working with the Atholl Estate to use a new road that they have constructed. This road is 2 lanes wide and has a gradual descent eliminating the need to go down the steep descent into Logierait.
- Finish: Once crossing the finish-line you will have 2km of closed roads to come to a stop, take a rest and bask in the glory of completing Etape Caledonia. You will then leave the closed road through a gate system where it is clear you are now on public highway. There will be a reduced speed limit on the section of road into Pitlochry as an additional safety feature.
A reversed route comes with a reversed profile! Check out the 40 mile and 85 mile routes below. We can’t wait to see you on the start line!
The 2021 edition of Etape Caledonia takes place on Sunday 19 September. Go to the Etape Caledonia website for further information on the event and ticket options. Visit etapecaledonia.co.uk