Participants travel the length and breadth of the country to enjoy the breath-taking views and tackle the imposing King of the Mountain stage – a challenging 4.8-mile climb which rises to 380m. Last year’s fastest male rider – Andy Cunningham of All Terrain Cycling who completed the course in a time of 2 hours, 48 minutes and 20 seconds– will return to attempt to better his time around the picturesque loch.
With many participants taking to the Highland sportive in aid of charity, over 1,000 riders will raise funds for the event’s charity partner, Macmillan Cancer Support. Since the charity’s partnership began in 2014, Etape Loch Ness participants have raised over £730,000 for Macmillan – and it is hoped that the £1 million milestone will be reached this weekend.
Event director Malcolm Sutherland says, “Every year the buzz around Etape Loch Ness gets bigger and bigger, and in just a matter of days thousands of cyclists will arrive in Inverness to enjoy some of the finest cycling Scotland has to offer.
“Once again we’re thrilled to see so many participants riding for charities and good causes, inducing our charity partner Macmillan Cancer Support.
“We’ve been so grateful for the support of the communities and businesses in and around Inverness and Loch Ness for their support in the lead up to this weekend – and now that’s it’s almost here, we can all ensure that participants receive a warm Highland welcome.”
The first wave of riders is due to set off on Sunday morning at 6.15am from Bught Park. The fastest riders home are expected to arrive back in the Highlands capital from 9am onwards, with the majority of participants arriving before 1pm.
For spectators and participants, the event hub at Eden Court will feature mechanical support from Cycle Republic, pop-up bars from Tomatin Distillery and Cromarty Brewery, and stalls from Muc-Off, FUEL10K, Bikes of Inverness, Dryburgh Cycles, Macmillan Cancer Support and Inverness Science Festival.
Throughout the weekend, temporary traffic restrictions will be in place around Inverness and Loch Ness to ensure the safety of cyclists and other road users. Full closure details are as follows (all Sunday 29 April unless stated otherwise):
- Inverness - Bishop’s Road from Ardross Terrace to Ness Walk, Sat 28 April 18:00 – Sun 29 April 15:30, Full closure
- Inverness - Bught Road / Ness Walk from Bught Avenue Junction to Ballifeary Lane, Sat 28 April 18:00 – Sun 29 April 08:00, Full closure
- Inverness - Bught Road from Bught Avenue to Whin Park, Sat 28 April 21:00 – Sun 29 April 08:00, Full closure
- Inverness - Bught Avenue from Bught Road to Bught Lane, Sat 28 April 18:00 – Sun 29 April 07:30, Full closure
- Inverness - Bught Drive from Bught Avenue to Glen Urquhart Road, 05:30 – 07:10, Full closure
- Inverness - Ness Walk from Bishop’s Road to Ballifeary Lane, 05:30 – 08:00, Full closure
- A82 from General Booth Road to A831 junction in Drumnadrochit, 05:35 – 08:05, Full closure
- A82 from Bught Drive to General Booth Road, 06:00 – 07:15, Full closure
- A82 from A831 junction in Drumnadrochit to Urquhart Castle, 06:35 – 08:15, Full closure
- A82 from Urquhart Castle to Dalcataig Road in Invermoriston, 06:20 – 09:05, Full closure
- A82 from Dalcataig junction in Invermoriston to B862 junction in Fort Augustus, 07:00 – 09:35, Full closure
- B862 from Fort Augustus to B852 Junction, 07:10 – 10:55, Full closure
- B852 from B862 junction to Lower Foyers Junction, 07:45 – 11:05, Full closure
- B852 from Lower Foyers Junction to B862 junction in Dores, 07:45 – 11:55, Full closure
- B862 from Dores to Holm Roundabout, 08:15 – 12:25, Full closure
- B862 from Holm Roundabout to Ness Bridge, 08:35 – 12:40, Inverness-bound closure (left lane)
- Inverness - Ness Walk / Ardross Terrace, 08:45 – 12:40, Full closure