Etape Loch Ness

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smeddumLB
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Etape Loch Ness

Postby smeddumLB » Sun Mar 17, 2019 20:39 pm

Hi,

I have a place in the Etape Loch Ness (closed road event) on 28th April, but am no longer able to do it.

Would anyone like my place? I am happy to pay the fee to swap the names on the entry.

kaiserpc
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Re: Etape Loch Ness

Postby kaiserpc » Fri Apr 26, 2019 09:50 am

Good luck for Sunday everybody! The forecast is looking pretty good; dry, light winds, but pretty cold at the start (6c) - so bring some layers and long fingered gloves! Should be fast (apart from the Fort Augustus climb :-) )

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thegreatdivide
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Re: Etape Loch Ness

Postby thegreatdivide » Mon Apr 29, 2019 05:51 am

Unfortunately it was an eventful one for me. Came down en masse in the lead pack, four miles in on the first fast descent, when we all hit a very greasy wet patch. Nobody’s fault, no brand of rubber could have prevented it, it was just a bad bit of road. The marshals were able to warn everyone else after the event, but I could hear the odd rider coming down while I was trying to get myself together. Rode on for about a quarter of a mile, but realised I wasn’t Tony Martin and pulled in and waited for help. Another few shredded guys had done the same.

Scotland international Rob Wainwright was in our group and broke his collar bone and a few others had to be taken off in ambulances. The rest of us were just skinned and twisted. The guys in the Red Cross cars or in bikes were brilliant and it sounds like they had a busy day on other sections.

FYI - the chap on the Ft Augustus climb that many will have passed who was in serious trouble is now on the mend. He had a cardiac arrest, but just behind him was my pal’s colleague who’s an anaesthetist (as is my pal). He was with him in an instant and administered CPR before the ambulance got there. Truly amazing luck!

What a day!

5600 rode on the day and the event sold out in less than three days, with folk travelling from all over the UK to the far north. Superb.
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oxoman
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Re: Etape Loch Ness

Postby oxoman » Mon Apr 29, 2019 06:12 am

Sadly that descent catches some out every year regardless of the warnings. 2nd yr I did it a guy came down and was ok only for another guy to catch him and they both needed hospital treatment after that. Fort Augustus is a bit of a trudge up and a lot of people suffer on it, normally without such serious consequences. Sounds like someone had someone up above looking after him and was very lucky to have expert help on hand, hope he recovers fully. It truly is a nice ride I have certainly enjoyed the several times I've done it, even when we got all 4 seasons on one day. For what it's worth I never treat any sportive as a race and generally ride on my own at my lace as it reduces the risk of crashes with others. The only other thing that sells out as quick as the etape is the accommodation.
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thegreatdivide
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Re: Etape Loch Ness

Postby thegreatdivide » Mon Apr 29, 2019 07:30 am

Sixth ELN for me without incident. I know the risks and like the thrill of hammering it in a good working pack. Slightly odd when I spend most of the rest of the year solo these days! I'll be back next year.
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oxoman
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Re: Etape Loch Ness

Postby oxoman » Mon Apr 29, 2019 21:42 pm

Must admit I've enjoyed the 3 I've done. Last one left.me knackered for a couple of wks after, as I combined it with Fort William, Laggan Wildtrax Glentress, Innerleithen and Dalby mountain biking. Stopped at various places as I drove home to the Midlands, it about killed me as riding and driving solo. It was fun though.
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Rollemynot
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Re: Etape Loch Ness

Postby Rollemynot » Tue Apr 30, 2019 18:53 pm

Why has this event grown when etape Caledonia is dwindling - it will be interesting to see this years turnout... will it survive?

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thegreatdivide
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Re: Etape Loch Ness

Postby thegreatdivide » Wed May 01, 2019 09:25 am

I don't think it will. Not unless they take drastic action like reducing the cost to the ELN fee and going back to sending out the race packs. They did that last year, but the new company have gone back to the old way again. Pain in the back side.

It's had a good innings though. Oldest/first closed road sportive in the UK, it's raised a lot of money for charity (regardless of what the whingers say) and it's introduced a lot more people to Highland Perthshire. The local businesses will miss that cash injection for sure. Maybe the community could take it over?

I'm back again this year.
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bompington
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Re: Etape Loch Ness

Postby bompington » Wed May 01, 2019 10:27 am

Slightly OT but relevant to sportives in this part of the world...

... as coincidence would have it, I've been mildly surprised by the lack of info re the 3 pistes: and here I was literally sitting here thinking about it when an email arrived from Alan A.

Turns out he's been too busy to organise the 3 pistes properly - it is a bit of a labour of love it has to be said. It's a "turn up and ride" event, there's no bus transfer available at all, pretty much kills it for me.

I was a bit ambivalent about it this year anyway, I've done it for a few and was feeling a bit like a new challenge. My alternative idea is to ride back from our caravan on the west coast - so a solo ride: but then last year I was late to the start of the 3P and wound up riding literally the whole route solo: not what you pay for with a sportive!

The route home from the west coast is over 150 miles by the normal road, a bit out of my range. But if you go via the ferries that's down to about 110: yes, it's a route from mainland UK to mainland UK that's shorter if you take two ferries.

As for the Etape Cal... there have certainly been years when the community have been deeply involved in the race...

Ajkerr73
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Re: Etape Loch Ness

Postby Ajkerr73 » Tue May 14, 2019 13:18 pm

Rollemynot wrote:Why has this event grown when etape Caledonia is dwindling - it will be interesting to see this years turnout... will it survive?


Etape Cally now sold out for 2019 I believe.

IMP handed it over to another company to run this year (Magnus Backstedt involved??)

The advertising and social media profile has been much improved.

Its a great event, closer to the large population centres than ELN and I hope it continues to survive and thrive.

A big event for the area and a great advertisement for one of the prettiest parts of Scotland.

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thegreatdivide
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Re: Etape Loch Ness

Postby thegreatdivide » Tue May 14, 2019 21:57 pm

Ajkerr73 wrote:The advertising and social media profile has been much improved.

Its a great event, closer to the large population centres than ELN and I hope it continues to survive and thrive.


With all the constant spamming and ‘deals’,it still took them down to the wire to sell out (which I don’t think they have - I suspect they’re just saving face). While ELN sold out of general admission entries in less than three days. The event needs an overhaul, or a break year.
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Rollemynot
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Re: Etape Loch Ness

Postby Rollemynot » Wed May 15, 2019 06:25 am

thegreatdivide wrote:
Ajkerr73 wrote:The advertising and social media profile has been much improved.

Its a great event, closer to the large population centres than ELN and I hope it continues to survive and thrive.


With all the constant spamming and ‘deals’,it still took them down to the wire to sell out (which I don’t think they have - I suspect they’re just saving face). While ELN sold out of general admission entries in less than three days. The event needs an overhaul, or a break year.


I agree with the save face.... so glad I did the early bird offer!

We will see on the day, but I doubt there will be the same numbers as <2016

PBlakeney
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Re: Etape Loch Ness

Postby PBlakeney » Wed May 15, 2019 06:33 am

Maybe it is as simple as most people who are going to do it have done it.
I know that I’d prefer it with less entrants. Too many muppets in 2010.
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Slowbike
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Re: Etape Loch Ness

Postby Slowbike » Wed May 15, 2019 09:15 am

Rollemynot wrote:Why has this event grown when etape Caledonia is dwindling - it will be interesting to see this years turnout... will it survive?



Where is Etape Caledonia held?

Where is Etape Loch Ness held?

The first one I had to look up - I recognise the name of the start/finish, but even opening it up and not entirely sure where it is.
The second one (ok I've ridden it so that helps) I know, the whole country knows, in fact, pretty much the whole world knows - the name Loch Ness is famous in itself,so a bike ride with that in the name is going to be popular regardless ... doesn't make it better/worse than Etape Caledonia, but it's an easier sell...

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thegreatdivide
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Re: Etape Loch Ness

Postby thegreatdivide » Thu May 16, 2019 14:25 pm

The EC is the one that started the whole UK closed road sportive thing, and it’s been covered at least once by every cycling magazine in the country. So it’s pretty well known (in past years I’ve met folk from across Europe who came to ride it). Unfortunately, due to gradual price hikes and several changes of management, it seems to be losing its way. If they can get it extended to 100 miles with the addition of the excellent Ben Lawers climb and they get the cost right, I can maybe see it getting back to full speed. It’s certainly one of the most picturesque sportives in the country. It makes Ride London look like a long tour round some housing estates and overpriced property with a bit of a hill thrown in.
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bompington
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Re: Etape Loch Ness

Postby bompington » Thu May 16, 2019 14:57 pm

thegreatdivide wrote:If they can get it extended to 100 miles with the addition of the excellent Ben Lawers climb

Perhaps they could throw in Glen Quaich as a bonus

PBlakeney
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Re: Etape Loch Ness

Postby PBlakeney » Thu May 16, 2019 15:59 pm

bompington wrote:
thegreatdivide wrote:If they can get it extended to 100 miles with the addition of the excellent Ben Lawers climb

Perhaps they could throw in Glen Quaich as a bonus

From the Kenmore side, obviously. :twisted:
Lop off the boring bit around Loch Rannoch and keep going west at Fortingall and I’m sure a route can found although closed road round the north side of Loch Tay could be problematic. Must try it next time I’m up there. Done the Dunkeld/Amulree/Killin/Ben Lawers/Aberfeldy/Dunkeld loop often enough. Was planning a reverse next time but...
A variation suggestion. Alternate directions annually?
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PBlakeney
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Re: Etape Loch Ness

Postby PBlakeney » Thu May 16, 2019 16:18 pm

PS - The Oban Sportive is prettier but not for speed freaks/racing. It’s not a race, right?
The resurfaced sections are bliss but the gravel, hairpins and potential potholes slow you down in other descents.
The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
I am not sure. You have no chance.

Veronese68 wrote:PB is the most sensible person on here.

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thegreatdivide
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Re: Etape Loch Ness

Postby thegreatdivide » Sun May 19, 2019 18:20 pm

There were lots of UK cycling clubs taking part in the Caledonia today which was good to see. There were also guys over from N Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. I even chatted to a woman at the end who’d timed her trip over from the US to take part and had hired a road bike when she got here which was impressive. The actor John Hannah had signed up too. Loves his bikes so he does.

I still don’t think they sold out, but there was definitely a good buzz in the town. I bet I end up doing it yet again next year.
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